Words of wisdom for today's graduates
By Eric Immerman
Special to Page 2

America's graduating class of 2003 faces a future fraught with political and economic uncertainty. However, our new graduates can take comfort in the fact that they enter the next stage of their lives armed with the following inspirational words of wisdom and sage advice from their Commencement speakers:

Nate Newton
"When opportunity knocks, answer the door, unless opportunity knocks with a suspicious sense of force and urgency, in which case you should tell opportunity to hold on for a quick second while you flush the contents of your underwear drawer down the toilet, after which you should only let opportunity in after he provides you with sufficient identification and a search warrant."

Rasheed Wallace
Who knew Rasheed spends much of June delivering commencements speeches to high schools across the U.S.?

Rasheed Wallace
"Carpe Diem. That's a Latin expression meaning, 'Seize The J.' Life is fragile, man, so you should treat every J as if it were your last J. But don't bogart the J, man. Remember, Caesar cashed the J before Bruto got a pull, which ultimately led to Caesar's demise and the fall of the Roman Empire."

Don King
"I just want to say one word to you ... just one word ... are you listening? Plasticalidociousness."

Mike Price
"I'd like to conclude my remarks with a passage from famed statesman William Jennings Bryan: 'Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved; it is not a dance with fate, it is a dance with Daddy issues and stretch marks."

Larry Eustachy
"If life hands you lemons, make Mike's Hard Lemonade, unless life is all stingy and only gives you, like, a couple of lemons, in which case you should just squeeze a light zest of fresh lemon juice into your vodka or martini, or maybe you could cut them into small wedges and garnish your Hefeweisen, a refreshing wheat beer."

Jeremy Shockey
Being a straight-A student in high school, Jeremy Shockey is a big believer in the value of an education.

Jeremy Shockey
"The more things change, the more they stay the same ... bigger isn't necessarily better ... everything is everything ... the wonders of modern technology ... San Dimas High School Football Rules!!!!"

George Steinbrenner
"One of the most important lessons you learn in high school and college can also be applied to the business community, including professional baseball. And that lesson is, when you're having trouble with your work, pay a Japanese guy to do it."

Richard Williams
"You are facing an economy that remains in a downward spiral and a job market that is the toughest it's been in years. Fortunately, all the answers to securing your financial future can be found in my upcoming self-help book, 'The Complete Idiot's Guide To Birthing and Raising an Early Retirement.'"

Hootie Johnson
"I strongly encourage all of you to shed your generation's apathetic reputation and take an active role in politics, starting with a movement near and dear to my heart, the ongoing fight to rid the world of women's suffrage."

Bobby Knight
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference, for if I would have taken the more heavily trafficked path, the authorities might have unearthed the corpse I may or may not have disposed of after the hunting accident."

Yao Ming

(English translation: "Despite TLC's ominous warnings, actively pursuing waterfalls can be a magnificent and rewarding experience.")

Allen Iverson
"I'm living proof of the old adage, 'Practice doesn't make perfect, and all perfect practice really makes is a good example of alliteration; as a matter of fact, it's been my experience that practice of any kind has no inherent value whatsoever.'"

Martin Gramatica
"When you come to a fork in the road, take a step back and think about the options in front of you, then take another step back and pause again for a brief moment of introspection, and finally, take two dramatic strides to the left, look to the ground for guidance, and then make your decision."

Rafael Palmeiro
"Don't sweat the small stuff . . . Life is just a game of inches . . . if I reach just one person today, and that person happens to be sitting all the way in the fifth row, I'm signing a contract extension with Viagra."

Phil Jackson
"In the immortal words of Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli, and that chick from the acne infomercial, 'Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.'"

Arnold Schwarzenegger
"In life, not everyone is declared a winner. In life, you are not rewarded just for participating. In life, sometimes just giving your all isn't good enough. I guess what I'm trying to say is, life is not the Special Olympics."

Eric Immerman is a contributing comedy writer to ESPN The Magazine and "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn." His material also has been featured on Laugh.com. He can be reached at eimmerman@hotmail.com



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