Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, May 11, 2006

American idiot

Am I blogging too much today? I'm feeling slightly OCD when it comes to Under 30 blog today. Hope it's not bugging you.

Anyway, my good friend Tom Roz inspired me to comment on the latest media coverage of UW-Whitewater super super duper senior Johnny Lechner, who just decided to continue college for another year. In case you aren't familiar, Lechner is a 29-year-old student who has been attending college since, like, the Clinton administration. This has made him a minor celebrity of sorts.

Tom, who works for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, is a tad peeved that Johnny Lechner (you can't make a name like that up) is still soaking up the spotlight. Here's part of what he wrote on his blog:

Please. Someone tell me. What is the story here? Yes, I realize that "features" aren't meant to break new ground in journalism, but the way I see it, we have a guy who thinks he's a celebrity because he is making the conscious decision to stay in college when he doesn't have to. His reason? He's somebody at UW-Whitewater. He scores easy-to-bed chicks. Gets to do keg stands. Loves to sleep in a puddle of beer flavored drool. Blah. Blah. Blah. So what's next? Are we to celebrate the unemployed loser who has spent the last 12 years dropping spare change at the video arcade? Maybe there should be a feature on the jackass who neglects his 6-year-old daughter because he's been playing in three rinky-dink softball leagues the past 14 years while still dreaming of a shot at the pros? Or how about the dude who has slept until noon everyday for the last 10 years before watching porn until bar-time? Where's the freakin' story?

Full disclosure: I recently received a press release from Lechner promoting his totally awesome slackerdom, and suggesting a story. I deleted the e-mail almost immediately because the Lechner story has been so done to death.* But I don't fault The Journal Sentinel for doing it. Again. Obviously, Lechner is somewhat interesting. After all, we're talking about it, aren't we? I also like that Johnny comes off as pretty pathetic. (Though not as pathetic as this. Ugh.)

My favorite part of the story:

Michelle Eigenberger, an editor at The Royal Purple, said Lechner's celebrity image is deceiving.

Most students think Lechner is a loser, she said. They are tired of his celebrity stunts.

"It's getting old," Eigenberger said. "For the sanity of the rest of the campus, we want him to get out of here."

I also like this:

Lechner said this spring that he planned to use his graduation as an opportunity to finish writing the TV show based on his life.

So why did he decide to stay another year?

"I realized that if I went one more year, I could study abroad," Lechner said. "That's one thing I haven't done."

By study abroad, I think he means studying some place outside of Whitewater, like Platteville. Very exotic, dude.

*UPDATE: Turns out I didn't delete the press release. Here it is. Enjoy!

After 12 years. I’m finally going to graduate from college (because I have

My name is Johnny Lechner and I have been in “Higher Education Heaven” (getting the grades, throwing the biggest parties, falling in love once a month, and living the good life) since 1994 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The state of WI actually created a law (AKA: the Johnny Lechner Law) that forces non-traditional students like myself to pay double the tuition because I could have graduated years ago. Basically, I'm really just your average 'underdog' musician type who decided that I loved college so much that I didn't want to graduate. Unfortunately, unless I win the lottery, it appears as if my college adventure is finally coming to an end after 12 incredible memory-filled years.

If you’re interested in finding out more about my story, please check out

The site features a blog, outlines my current situation, summarizes the last
12 years, provides some great quotes and pics, and reaches out for help and advice.

Please pass my story (and website) onto anyone that may be interested in
it…and I’m here if you want to do anything with it yourself!

Johnny Lechner

A slacker with a press release! How aughties!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude needs to get a life.
BTW, you aren't blogging too much. Keep it coming! :)

2:29 PM  
Blogger mark said...

wonder if greg knew him. that was his school

2:31 PM  
Blogger Krista said...


4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picked up by AP

5:33 PM  
Blogger klhp said...


3:24 PM  

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