SBD/December 19, 2013/2013 Year In Review

They Did What? The Moments Of The Year That Made Us Shake Our Heads

FAU's naming-rights deal with the GEO Group did not exactly go down as planned
No year is complete without a few scenarios occurring that people would like to have back. Here are some of the things that made us say, "Really?"

PRISON BREAK: Saddled with debt on its $70M football stadium, plus conference exit and entry fees, it makes sense Florida Atlantic Univ. would look for a naming-rights partner for the venue. However, the school’s choice of the GEO Group, a private prison operator, proves to be both fodder for comedians and an issue for human-rights organizations. Within days, critics of the deal begin call the stadium Owlcatraz and FAU’s Board of Trustees comes under fire for entering into a deal with a company marred by a reputation for abusive treatment of its prisoners. The company ultimately pulls out of the deal after myriad protests by students and community members.

MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU: The Flyers post images online of Ilya Bryzgalov’s new “Star Wars” mask featuring Yoda, Darth Vader, and R2D2. However, fans of the movie franchise are miffed because Yoda was seemingly holding a red light saber, traditionally a symbol of the Sith Lords. Like, duh! The artist says he was simply going for an orange-ish color as a hint of the Flyers’ colors. Lucasfilm Ltd. gets in touch with the Flyers as well and asks that the colors be changed to match the original look of Yoda in the “Star Wars” movies. The changes are eventually made to give Yoda the proper green-colored saber.

Also:
* The Mercedes-Benz Superdome goes dark during Super Bowl XLVII, leaving the CBS broadcast crew on air but unable to get many updates for a painstaking 34 minutes.
* Chevrolet at the 11th hour nixes a "Silverado Strong" promotion during the World Series, realizing it could be deemed insensitive following the Boston Marathon bombings.
* The Sabres' new third jersey -- featuring a gold front, blue back and silver numbers -- debuts to a decidedly negative reaction due to the design.
* The NBA's regular-season game in Mexico City is postponed after smoke billows into the arena prior to tipoff.
* The NHL Rangers' website publishes an article entitled "A Girl's Guide to Watching the Rangers," which is called sexist and condescending.
* The Twins are forced to backtrack on plans to allow select fans to watch batting practice for $15.
* CBS' Doug Gottlieb makes his NCAA tournament debut with a poorly received, racially based remark.
* The IOC votes to drop wrestling from the Olympic program beginning in '20 before reversing course seven months later.
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