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A proliferation of championships

Andy Warhol once predicted we each would be famous for 15 minutes. Now we could be headed toward a time when each of us will be a champion.

First there was Indiana class basketball, which quadrupled the number of state championships. This historic step was aimed at discouraging would-be Bobby Plumps from small rural schools from dreaming of another Milan High School winning an all-size-schools championship, presumably to keep rural kids focused on important farm chores.

Now there is the Big Ten Championship football game, the third of which is today in Indianapolis. And next year there will be an NCAA championship football tournament, just like the one for men’s basketball, only with helmets and long pants and probably even more betting.

And though the men’s basketball tournament, which began with eight teams in 1939, now has 65 teams, some have suggested making the field even bigger. At some point, the brackets may expand to include Milan High School.

But if you still can’t find a championship to align yourself with, consider the Shrimp-Cocktail-Eating competition at St. Elmo’s restaurant today, in honor of the Big Ten championship.

Yes, competitors will be served shrimp bathed in the restaurant’s traditional, horseradish-laden cocktail sauce. This sauce is pretty strong – it is said to be prepared every morning by an employee who grinds the horseradish roots while wearing a gas mask.