FanWatch: Copernic Enjoys Satire, UVa

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Jason Goodbody (Copernic) cheers on the Hoos with his sons in St. Louis.

At first glance, at least to outside observers, science and satire don’t have much in common. For long-time Virginia and fan Jason Goodbody, however, there is an obvious connection. Goodbody, known as Copernic around the message boards, should know. He’s been published as both a scientist and a satirist.

“I think they are complementary, at least the way I approach it,” Goodbody writes. “Writing humor and satire is a very scientific process. You are posed with a hypothesis, or the status quo. You poke and prod it, isolate it as you would a control, and try to find where it fails. Then you skewer it with the facts in a way that the observer has an immediate and unexpected eureka moment. That’s the moment where laughter comes in … or groaning.”

Of course, satire isn’t the easiest genre to tackle. As Goodbody notes, it has a long history from the ancient Greeks all the way to American writer Mark Twain. The Onion has grown in popularity over the years with its brand of humor too. The 1993 Virginia graduate likes the challenge that writing provides.

“I’ve always had thoughts in my head that made me chuckle but were highly inappropriate to say out loud in most circumstances. Combine that with a penchant for having strongly-held beliefs, I needed outlet before I caused significant distress among friends, family and coworkers,” writes Goodbody, who also coaches youth soccer and participates in boxing workouts. “Writing is hard, as you know, but writing humor is even tougher and so I also saw it as a challenge to keep my brain young. Satire has a long history and using humor to speak truth to power is a part of human nature. … It is designed to engage, enrage and entertain the initiated while drawing in the targets of the humor with hopes that their allies will turn on them. This is immensely fun to do.”

What else is fun for Goodbody? Cheering on the Hoos of course! After spending his days at UVa cheering on the likes of Chris Slade and Dawn Staley, Copernic continues to follow the Cavaliers from the Midwest. These days, he’s a big fan of Justin Anderson and the direction that the football and men’s basketball programs are headed.

Learn more about Goodbody in the latest edition of FanWatch!

  • Name: Jason Goodbody
  • Sabre Username: Copernic
  • Age: 42
  • Residence: St. Louis
  • Occupation: Sales/Marketing – Biotech
  • UVa Ties: Graduated UVa in 1993 with a degree in Engineering Science. Now raising two UVa fans (two boys, 10 and 13) in SEC/B1G country.
  • Distinctions: I’m both a published scientist and a published satirist. I was fourth author on an article in a bioremediation journal. Something about exposing bacteria to heavy metals. As I remember, it was a lead ion solution … not Black Sabbath, although that would be interesting as well. I’ve also written humor articles for a number of satire websites, most recently, The Chicago Dope (Editor’s Note: Click here to read the articles) with some pieces having been published in Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

The FanWatch 15

A lot of Sabre fans remember the signing day when Ahmad Brooks joined the Hoos.

1. Why did you choose your user name?

Years ago, when the internet was young and the World Wide Web was still cooling after its formation, I was reading a book about the history of astronomy and was fascinated by the work of Copernicus (Nikolas Kopernik). I dug the name and took it on as my moniker, knowing full well that it would be unique because very few others would think, or care, to use it.

2. What is your best Sabre memory?

My first memory is of the board losing its ever-loving mind when Ahmad Brooks committed. That 2002 signing day which included Michael Johnson, Kai Parham, Darryl Blackstock, and Brooks was insane and I’m convinced that there had never been a day up to that point, nor since, when WAHOOWA was expressed in all caps so often by so many.

3. What is your favorite Cavalier sport and why?

I don’t differ from a lot of Wahoos in holding a special place in my heart for both basketball and football. Each are just a year or two from being national powerhouses … and have been for quite some time. I suppose that’s why it’s so easy to get caught up in it every summer and fall. Each has the potential for being really special, especially with Mike London and Tony Bennett now on board.

4. Who is your favorite Cavalier athlete (past and/or present) and why?

I remember sitting in my dorm first year listening to Ray Savage being interviewed on the radio. While Savage himself was putting together an All-American season that year, he was raving about a 1st year player by the name of Chris Slade and how he would come to dominate on the Virginia defensive line. Man, was he right. Chris had back-to-back All-American seasons in 1991 and 1992. It was always a thrill to watch him play because it seemed like every tackle he had was behind the line of scrimmage or him enveloping a quarterback.

Justin Anderson has won over Virginia fans as a freshman.

But Justin Anderson may very well take his place as my all-time favorite. It is still early, but that young man is, and is going to be, something special. Justin embodies what Coach Bennett wants in his team. Skill, grit, versatility as well as class and sportsmanship. My kids take notice and love his demeanor and how he has become a leader despite being just a first year.

5. Who is your favorite Cavalier coach (past and/or present) and why?

I am and will always be a huge George Welsh fan. His string of seasons with 7 wins or more and ACC titles in ’89 and ’95 was something special. I loved his scowl and his cap-tossing and the respect he demanded from players and coaches alike.

6. If you could trade places for a day with any current Cavalier pro athlete, who would it be and why?

Chris Long , because being in St. Louis I wouldn’t have to move the family. Although I’d have to learn how to make a “G” with my arms after each sack.

7. What has been your most memorable Cavalier sports moment so far?

Trying to guard Heidi Burge (or was it Heather?) in Memorial Gym pickup games. There was also the 1990 UVa Clemson game where the Hoos finally beat the Tigers on their 30th attempt. I was there and remember the goal posts being torn down with time still left on the clock and fans trying to rush the field before the game was over. A student next to me got hit by a falling upright and I’ve long since convinced myself that he wasn’t permanently injured.

8. You’re the coach in this scenario: the Hoos just scored a touchdown to cut the lead to one (say 28-27) in the ACC Championship Game with less than one minute remaining in the game. Do you kick the extra point for overtime or do you go for two? Now, depending on your answer, picking from any Hoo in program history, who is your kicker or whose number are you calling to try to score the two points? Why?

I’m going for two. Marques Hagans is under center. He fakes a handoff to Charles Way who dives into a pile of bodies created by Ray Roberts. The play-action pass would have been unnecessary as Way easily bounds into the end zone but Hagans bootlegs to the right. Despite the pursuit by three All-American Florida State linebackers, the chants of a heavily Seminole-favored Tampa crowd, and Bobby Bowden screaming “That dadgum Biscuit!” over and over again, Hagans makes all three miss, stands tall-ish, and fires a bullet into the outstretched arms of Heath Miller who drags a foot before falling out of the end zone. Hoos win!

9. You’re the coach Part 2: the Hoos are in a tie game in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament with less than 10 seconds to go and you have the ball coming out of a timeout. Who, again picking from any Hoo in program history, are you going to for the last shot? Why?

I’m giving the ball to Sean Singletary . A 2-seeded UVa team is taking on Duke who barely squeaked into the tournament as a controversial 11-seed. Singletary quickly crosses half court and pushes the defender back into a pick that causes an unintended switch and opportune matchup against a slower Blue Devil forward. With four seconds left, $$ splits two defenders and drives to the basket. The Duke defense collapses but not before he pulls back with a fade-away floater over the taller defenders. The ball hits nothing but net as Singletary lands on the floor with one second left. Singletary is embraced by his teammates as he stares and points at a cameraman.Duke fails to score with a desperate 3-pointer as time runs out and all have the uncanny feeling like this has happened before. The crowd erupts and Coach K screams at fans who are rushing the court.

10. The Mount Rushmore question: Which four Hoos have to make UVa’s Mount Rushmore in your opinion? You can include Thomas Jefferson as an honorary fifth member too so he can keep his mountain slot!

Dawn Staley – From a numbers perspective, one of the most all-around dominating players in the ACC, male or female, ever.
Ralph Sampson – Gosh he was tall. May have to bring in some more granite so he could fit.
Chris Long – I still have images in my head of his Sack/Safety of Maryland’s Chris Turner. (Watch it here)
Bryant Stith – All-time leading scorer earns his spot.

11. Have you given in to the smart phone revolution yet? If so, what phone are you using? Do you have a favorite app that you’d recommend to fellow Hoos?

I’m an iPhone user and likely will stay with that due to shear dispassionate inertia despite pleas from my friends to “just try the Android, for all that is good and holy.” My favorite App is Summly. It algorithmically summarizes news articles for you. Plus, Yahoo just bought it from some 17 year old for $30M. Let that sink in. 17 years old … 30 million dollars.

12.What was the first concert you attended or what has been your favorite concert experience?

My first concert was the Allman Brothers while I was in college. Due to heavy exposure to second-hand smoke, I don’t really remember where it was, or who I was with, or even if the music was all that good. Given all that, I’m convinced it was my favorite concert experience of all time.

13.What was your first car and what do you remember about it?

1982 Silver Honda Accord – the battery connections would wiggle free when I drove gravel roads. By the way, gravel roads are not a great place to have your car stop working.

14. What’s your favorite book or magazine and why?

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Great mash-up of biology, geography, anthropology, and history. I’ve gifted it about a dozen times.

15. Your choice: Do you have a famous quote that you’ve always liked and why do you like it? OR What piece of advice would you give to current students/young people?

My quote from Robert A. Heinlein’s SciFi classic Time Enough For Love will address both of these.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

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