Shaq Sites As large on the Web as he is in life, the Lakers' center inspires chat admirers and loose translation

June 03, 2001

Aristotle wrote, "No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of
madness." Shaquille O'Neal (below), the self-proclaimed Big
Aristotle, expressed vaguely similar sentiments when asked if
he'd seen the Parthenon during a visit to Greece. "I can't
really remember the names of the clubs that we went to," he
replied.

With the philosopher-center's return to the NBA Finals, we were
inspired to check out a sliver of his vast Web presence
(according to the Google search engine, "about 131,000
mentions"). Our first stop was Shaq World (shaq.com), the big
man's official site. Easy to navigate, it provides stats,
photos, news, an audio-video clips section, a chat room (sample
posting: SHAQ IS SOOOOO HOTTTTTT!!!!) and archived chat
transcripts.

We then tapped into Shaq Universe (jps.net/bcolditz), a mostly
fawning fan site. Our favorite area was the media section,
offering this (unsubstantiated) scoop: "Shaq and his flashy
teammate Kobe Bryant are teaming up in a future movie. I do not
have any details as to what the name of the movie is, or what it
is about, but I am sure it will not be too good."

Next we tried Google's translation service on an outdated
Italian section of sports.com. Under the headline SHAQ DRAGS THE
LAKERS, we learned that "the O'Neal has condemned Utah to the
left quarter defeat in six" and "played to the large one in
spite of the heaviest absences of Kobe Bryant and Ron Harper."
Needless to say, we're now big fans of Google's translation
service.

Our final stop was the SHAQ Cares site
(front.csulb.edu/success/shaqcares.htm), but instead of a 7'1"
center, we found the Success and Happiness Attributes
Questionnaire (SHAQ). If only we could see Big Aristotle's
answers.

--C.B.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)