Breaking: UMass announces Guy Fieri as 2017 commencement speaker

By Morning Wood Staff

(Sandy Cheeks/Daily Collegian)

By James “Sad Dog” Mattis

The University of Massachusetts announced Sunday that restaurateur, Food Network star and internationally recognized frosted tips ambassador Guy Fieri will be the featured speaker during undergraduate commencement on May 12.

According to a UMass press release, Fieri—most famous for hosting the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”—will address a crowd of over 5,000 graduating students, in addition to their family and friends, at McGuirk Stadium.

“Guy Fieri is the personification of the American Dream,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in the press release. “What’s more American, or appropriate for college graduation, than inviting a speaker who inevitably appears on your television late at night—gorging himself on food you scoff and laugh at but secretly somewhat desire yourself—while you sit silently on the couch, trying to avoid anxiety-provoking reflections on your future, goals and ambitions?”

“He will invite UMass students to shoot for the moon and do the other things,” Subbaswamy continued, “Not because they are easy, but because they will allow them to seek their own Flavortown Casinos.”

Fieri began as a California restaurateur in the 90s, before rising to fame as the host of a number of series on the Food Network. First came “Guy’s Big Bite,” then, a year later came the premiere of his most enduring contribution to American television to date, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Serving as a beloved, charming and family-friendly look at local variations of American cuisine and the ultimate trigger of munchies for the stoners unable to remove themselves from the couch they’ve been attached to for the last few hours or so, who unwittingly make up a significant percentage of the show’s regular audience, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has come to occupy a unique space in American pop culture.

Fieri is also recognized worldwide as an icon and ambassador for frosted tips. Fieri has stubbornly adhered over the years to the hairdo, which had its moment in the early days of the George W. Bush administration. He has often been joined in this brave, rebellious fashion statement by his friend and fellow portrait of laid-back, Southern California not-quite hippie, not-quite surfer but not-quite bro culture, Steve Harwell from the pop-rock band Smash Mouth.

UMass students, for their part, seemed fairly enthused by the choice of Fieri. “I feel like he really represents us,” said Dex Tillerson, a senior sports management major. “He’s a total bro, all he wants is to just like listen to some Chili Peppers with the top down and have some barbecue, he’s not like a politician or something.”

Death Sessions, a senior Isenberg manager, also spoke positively of the choice. “I’ve always liked his show,” he said, before turning to his friend and saying “S*** bro now that I’m thinking about Guy Fieri, do we want wings?” Sessions and his friend deliberated over the decision for five whole minutes, using “bro” in every exchange, while somehow managing to incorporate their shared admiration for Patriots coach Bill Belichick into the conversation before deciding in favor of ordering wings.

“It’s what Guy would want us to do,” Sessions explained.

Commencement will occur rain or shine at McGuirk Stadium on May 12. Whether Fieri will actually speak, or will have “a change of heart” 35 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony, remains to be seen.

Editor’s note: This story is a part of our yearly April Fool’s issue, Morning Wood, all issues authored by “Morning Wood Staff” are satirical and fictional. 

James “Sad Dog” Mattis can be reached by shouting “If Corinne can’t win ‘The Bachelor,’ she should be representing us in Washington!” repeatedly at the Minuteman statue, ordering off of “The Secret Menu” at the new Hatch Cafe and accusing the construction workers on campus of colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to influence the recent SGA elections.