Being big is fun sometimes — but victory achieved through overwhelming size is far less exciting (and maybe less virtuous) than an against-all-odds win by a plucky underdog. Hence my aversion to the steroidally enhanced and deeply pocketed New York Yankees as they field the best baseball team that money can buy. Likewise my applause for the late sportwriter Red Smith's remark:

"Rooting for the Yankees makes about as much sense as rooting for United States Steel."

But speaking of US Steel brings to mind a happier combination of big + little: stock market ticker tape symbols. Like a short-and-sweet domain name, in bygone days it was thought prestigious to claim a single-letter symbol for one's listing on the New York Stock Exchange. T has always been the telephone company, AT&T; Z used to be Woolworth but is currently unassigned; C was once Chrysler (now it's Citigroup) and S was Sears (now Sprint/Nextel); K has long been Kellogg; F = Ford.

And the 24th letter of the alphabet? It belongs to United States Steel. Hooray for Big X!

(Red Smith quote from the retrospective appreciation "What Would Red Have Thought, and Written?" by Terence Smith, New York Times, 25 Sep 2005; cf. NoblesseOblige (15 Jan 2000), TheZaibatsu (13 Jan 2002), BigAndStrong (27 Jul 2004), BaseballLibraryFan (29 Sep 2004), StillAlive (19 Oct 2004), DirectorOfOptimalPerformance (1 May 2005), ...)

TopicHumor - TopicEntertainment - TopicOrganizations - 2005-10-03

(correlates: SuboptimalPerformance, SupplyAndDemand, StillAlive, ...)