This joke is pithy to an extreme but I will explain it. First, here it is:
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
Funny, right? Your sides are splitting and you can hardly be blamed for that. Some of you are in the dark. You can’t be blamed for that, either.
Not content to make a trillion dollars per year, the University of Alabama has been hounding Daniel Moore for several years because he paints scenes of the action at UA football games. UA wants him either to desist from his malodorous and dastardly activity or, better yet, give the school a nice chunk of the money he gets from selling his paintings. Who knows? This could amount to a nifty $20,000 per helmet bashing season.
So far, UA has spent $1.4 million in its righteous effort to force Mr. Moore to obtain a license to paint. It was none other than the late, great Bear Bryant himself who first asked Moore to paint pictures. Some of Moore’s paintings hang in the Bryant football museum but the good man is dead now, so what the hell. In 2009, the U.S. District Court in Birmingham ruled in favor of Moore but UA hangs tough. If it loses at the Court of Appeals level it intends to fight the good fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Funny? Sure, but read this: UA bravely notes that “While we regret the necessity of having to involve the courts in this matter, the lawsuit was necessary since UA must protect the value and reputation of our trademarks.” True enough! If Mr. Moore prevails, how will UA take its planned next step, to stop newspapers from photographing the action at football games? The snowball effect, you know. The foot-in-the-door worry. The slippery slope, etc. Will newspapers never stop their damn intrusions? Have you heard of “the Crimson Tide”? That’s UA, of course. Who gave journalists the right to call UA sports teams by that name? You can be sure that, without a licensing agreement, it was not UA.
Perhaps the funniest part of this joke is that Moore’s work boosts UA prestige and bolsters fan support. If that is true, then maybe Moore should sue UA for a portion of its gate receipts. A lousy 2% would set him up for life and permit him to take some painting lessons.