Somewhere in the dark recesses of Canyon High, someone is making buttons.
One shows the backside of nine Ridgecrest Burroughs Burros. The button reads, "Burroughs over Canyon? Asinine."
One poses a question to the Saugus Centurions: "Beat Canyon? You would think Saugus would have more Cents."
The button maker is not a deranged journalism student hoping to make a favorable impression on the editors of National Lampoon. The creator is Dave Harris, the boys athletic director at Canyon.
"It started two or three years ago," Harris said. "It's something that's just kind of fun."
Harris, who has been athletic director for three years, uses the buttons as field passes for Canyon home games. His first creation appeared at the Canyon-Hart game three years ago but was not meant to be funny. "There was nothing silly. I think it just said, 'Hart versus Canyon, the Big Game,' " Harris said.
The buttons quickly took on an originality and became more popular. "I don't even know why I did it, but it kind of took off," he said.
Harris formulates a few ideas during the week and--with the help of Bob Vincent, the Canyon activities director--picks one for Friday. He used to photocopy, cut and paste letters and pictures to make the buttons but now he uses a school computer.
Usually the buttons involve the team Canyon is playing that week. They are almost always stumpers.
"They're great," said Canyon Principal Bill White, who has a drawer full of them at his house. "Part of the fun is figuring out the intent of the message. If you figure it out, you feel smart."
When Canyon played Quartz Hills' Rebels last year, Harris's button read: "Appomattox II, Oct. 31, 1986." For those who need a reminder of their Civil War history, Appomattox marked the spot of the Confederate surrender.
Well, maybe he was reaching with that one.
For Canyon's playoff game against North Torrance last week, the buttons had a picture of an envelope and read: "The Great Karnac says, 'Rip Van Winkle, Dean Martin and North Torrance.' "
"The answer was, 'Name a snoozer, a boozer and a loser,' " Harris explained.
Canyon Coach Harry Welch is a button fan.
"Over the last three years, he's had some of the most creative buttons I've ever seen in my life," Welch said. "He's a genius with that stuff."
But Welch's enthusiasm has been tested. "A couple of years ago in the semifinals, he had one showing four pegs with one peg still standing. It was saying three down and one to go," said Welch whose team had yet to win its third playoff game. "I got so mad at him."
But not enough to ask him to stop. "He has a lot of fun," Welch said.