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Several University of Utah football patrons decided to save themselves a long walk Saturday by parking at the Carmen B. Pingree School on Guardsman's Way, gladly paying the $15 parking fee since the receipt noted the revenue was actually a contribution to the school for special-needs students.

A parking attendant guided them to a parking place and sent them merrily on their on their way to the ill-fated Utah-TCU game.

After the Utes were drubbed 47-7 by the Horned Frogs, many of the weary fans returned to the lot to find parking tickets on their windshields from the Salt Lake City Parking Enforcement Department.

So, talk about a triple whammy. They pay $15 to park. Get a parking ticket. And all the while sat through a dismal football game where all the fans appropriately were wearing black.

"This is the second time this has happened this year," said a distraught Pete Nicholas, director of the Carmen B. Pingree School. "We've been doing this for years. It's a fundraiser for the PTA, but twice now the city parking enforcement people have come on our lot and issued tickets. Somebody must be trying to make their quota."

Nicholas said that when it happened earlier this year, the city agreed to dismiss the tickets that apparently were written by an overzealous, if not somewhat confused, officer. He said if the fans who parked in the lot have trouble getting the tickets dismissed this time, they should call the school and it will be taken care of.

The puppet masters • If anyone thought the Eagle Forum doesn't control the Legislature, they just need to look at the Senate Republican leadership race last week.

It appeared that freshman Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, was about to dethrone Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, with a wave of malcontents on his side.

One sure vote for Liljenquist was Sen. Chris "stamp out the gays" Buttars, who voted for Waddoups two years ago when he felt mistreated by previous Senate President John Valentine, but reportedly had soured on Waddoups after he was not rewarded with the Rules Committee chairmanship.

Liljenquist was counting on Buttars. But then Eagle Forum president GayleRuzicka stepped in. Several senators were called and warned by Eagle Forum soldiers that Liljenquist was "socialist." They were ordered to vote for Waddoups, who has been solid on most Eagle Forum issues.

That did it.

As one senator said in a post-script: Don't mess with Mother Nature.

Different strokes for different folks • Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts was doing an interview with ESPN700 sports radio host Bill Riley on Thursday when he was asked about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's crusade to go after the BCS for anti-trust violations.

Checketts said on the program that government should not get involved in sports, period.

That would be the same Dave Checketts who aggressively sought and received tens of millions of dollars in government subsidies for his Rio Tinto soccer stadium in Sandy.