Opinion: ‘Man’ does oddities outside Florida

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

The internet meme “Florida Man” gave everyone some good laughs when it became popular a little while ago to search Florida man in Google with your birth date.

Because of the many, wacky things people in Florida seem to do, especially those that are crimes, it gives way for some good humor and fun.

For example, my birth date has a Florida man story from the Washington Post in 2016, with this headline: “A Florida man wondered whether his flak jacket worked. So his cousin picked up a gun.”

GREAT headline, right?

Sounds funny, but the tragic part is that the guy died from the gunshot wound.

Nonetheless, the headlines that appear in the Google results are pretty funny, but we need to stop making Florida man out to be the bad guy.

There are 49 other states in this country, and there are people in each of them that deserve to be in this same spotlight.

What about Illinois?

Sure, people complain about living here and make fun of the state all the time, but are we crazy enough to make the same mistakes as Florida men?

The answer is yes, yes we are.

On Oct. 17, KDVR reported that right here in Coles County, Mattoon to be exact, a man tried using a false name to avoid being arrested due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

The issue was that the man had his name tattooed on his neck; it was not his full name, but it was his first name and the first initial of his last name.

Closer to home for me, this next “Illinois man” story comes from WGN Nov. 7, with a situation in Belleville.

A man was running away from a dog that was trying to attack him, and he scaled a tree in a park in Belleville.

Already a little funny, it garners more laughs when you see that he spent the night in the tree.

Unfortunately for this Illinois man, he got one of his legs stuck in a fork in the tree and got a serious injury from it, and he spent the night in the tree because he could not get his leg unstuck.

Major injury aside, this sounds like something Florida man would do, right?

Look even further, beyond Illinois for these wacky stories: One week ago, for example, USA Today reported that an Alaska man tried to smuggle $400,000 of heroin and meth inside rancid goat intestines.

Two weeks ago, from CBS Denver, this headline popped up: “‘He dragged my pants right off me’: Colorado man gored by deer that officials believe was raised by people.”

Seriously, what a wacky thing to happen, considering the buck charged through the fence the man and his wife had in their yard and attacked them.

Now, of course, in all of these cases I am not laughing at the people who got hurt or were incarcerated or whatever, I am just pointing out the fact that wacky things happen everywhere, not just in Florida.

Perhaps, instead of the meme being referred to as “Florida man,” it should simply just be referred to as “man being man.”

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]