What qualifies a person as a die-hard fan? For some of us in Chapel Hill, it’s hanging in with our team for what looks to be a disappointing ACC basketball season. But we have nothing on Jack Hege, who is profiled in an article in yesterday’s New York Times. Mr. Hege, 83, has been at all of the Daytona 500 races. That’s 51 races and counting. He’s seen it all–the racing on the sand that preceded the 500, aggressive bumping, flying fenders, and a few bad crashes. It sounds like he’s had fun. Mr. Hege’s story is included in The Weekend Starts on Wednesday: True Stories of Remarkable NASCAR Fans, just published by Motorbooks.

This time, bully ended up sadder Budweiser

“Typically, the inequality of economic power between corporation and parodist determines who prevails in trademark infringement lawsuits…. The weaker party — the parodist — is effectively censored and denied due process.

“An unlikely victor against a trademark bully was Michael Berard, who in 1987 was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Berard had designed a T-shirt [depicting] a beer can with a red, white and blue label — think Budweiser — but instead of grandiose references to great hops and barley, Berard substituted…   ‘Myrtle Beach Contains the Choicest Surf, Sun and Sand.’ Instead of ‘This Bud’s for You,’ the T-shirt read ‘This Beach is for You.’

“On appeal the judges found no likelihood consumers would falsely believe Bud had sanctioned the T-shirts…. Anheuser-Busch lost. But if Berard had known about the ‘Mutant of Omaha’ ruling [squelching a 1983 T-shirt protesting the nuclear arms race], he might never have dared to produce his innocuous T-shirt.”

— From “Brand Name Bullies” (2005) by David Bollier