"Alright, I am in no respect an athlete. I tried baseball once as a kid. The other guys on the block allowed me to play once. I would be the pitcher. I told them I had no glove, they said it was unnecessary because they had aluminum bats (?). It was hardball, played in the street adjacent to my house. I threw one pitch as hard as I could. Somehow it landed on my own lawn. Pitch two. I wound up with all my might and flung it with my eyes closed. It bonged against a stop sign. An elderly couple passing in a car laughed at me. Pitch three, the career ender. I chose to throw slower to maintain control, it was a softy right over the plate. What happened next was the sound of a cowbell and a flash of lightning. When I came to, the Beatles had broken up and we were out of Vietnam . The ball was hit perfectly and the only thing that stopped it from making it all the way to Freeman Avenue was my right eye."
The above story is true. Mostly. My football and track experiences were equally as embarrassing. In the sports world I was born a natural spectator.
The Accidental Sports Fan,
All rights reserved.
"Would it help if I told you there was chlorine in the water bong?" (2-27-09)
Michael Phelps was spotted smoking marijuana. This shocking development rattled the hopes of every child looking to devote his life to swimming quickly. The very dreams of American youth are gone-there is nothing left to live for. ‘A guy who swims fast smoked a joint’ -Let the curtain come down on humanity.
< "Hey dude, I got like 7 or 8 gold medals or something. Pass the chips!"
This comes as no surprise to teammates; the Bob Marley music coming from his locker, the tie-dye Speedo, the Phish stickers on his swim cap. The only thing missing was a girlfriend with hairy armpits. One coach recalled the time Phelps dropped his gym bag and 250 Oreos spilled out. All the signs were there.
Where do you think he got the lung strength from? The guy can inhale a shot-put through a garden hose and hold his breath for 600 meters!
< Phelps sporting the world's largest protective cup.
The real impact has been made on his potential income, you know, that which makes professional sports professional. Kellogg was the first to cut him from a lucrative endorsement deal. They don’t need potheads staring at kids from their box at the breakfast table. That’s why Cheech and Chong were dropped. If Phelps were smart he’d shop himself around to a more focused market…Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, Twinkies, or any 24 hour diner.
The bottom line is that a kid (from the number of birthdays I’ve enjoyed he’s a kid) screwed up. Kids do that- that’s why they invented parents. The issue here is that this kid has been elevated to god-status and has been offered more money than he could ever spend. On top of all that he’s been told he represents the aspirations of millions of people.
He’s 23 years old.
A VIEW FROM...NEW YOKR?... (10-26-08)
Allow me first to apologize for having been away for so long. New York is wrestling with tumult and confusion as of late. I barely start writing when something monumental comes on the news, yanks me from my keyboard, drops me in front of the television and forces a beer into my hands.
It started not long ago when Brett Favre came to New Yokr. Then came the legislation changing the spelling of New York to honor its second team’s new quarterback; the Governor had no problem with the change as long as the pronunciation remained. (You should understand that the Governor of New Yokr is legally blind. There were questions raised as to the legality of his blindness and allegations that he was illegally blind and once had his seeing-eye dog towed and impounded. That proved false.) A new driver’s license is being considered here in the Big Apple for those who are legally blind to properly identify themselves. One idea is to have an embossed eye in a circle with a line going through it.
(A little back-story for those who don’t live here in New Yokr: The former Governor, Eliot Spitzer abandoned the position when news surfaced of his repeated liaisons with a prostitute [who it seems was not a spitzer]. He was replaced with a nearly blind man, Governor Paterson who admitted to infidelity in his own marriage. His wife also had affairs. Supposedly they even cheated on each other using the same hotel at the same time. This isn’t as hard as it seems when your husband can’t see you. Hell, they may have shared an elevator and he didn’t know it.)
Recently Brett Favre as a new Jet got his team to first and goal and ran three plays up the middle to show off his arm. A team of experts is investigating the consideration that the NY Jets’ quarterback helmets may be poisoned. They are considering boiling the headgear before each game.
So the Jets put on throwback New York (old spelling) Titan uniforms, the green curse goes away, Favre brings pride back to New Yokr and what happens? Wall street collapses. I’m not suggesting there is a connection. The Jets get arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the game and the global economy crumbles, Lindsay Lohan becomes gay, they make James Bond a blonde guy, and the vice-presidential running mate says she’s the choice because she keeps an eye on Russia from her house while she does the dishes.
Is the sociopolitical landscape influenced by sports? Think about that while I run to the bathroom.
I’m back. The answer is “no”.
If the nation’s spinning out of control isn’t enough, new allegations of drug use surface in the NFL. A "water pill," Bumetanide, a loop diuretic (one that works in the 'loop of Henle' area of the kidney), decreases the amount of water retained in the body by increasing urination. This will cause the kidneys to get rid of water and salt from the body into the urine. You may have seen offensive linemen doing the pee-pee dance before a snap prompting a ‘false start’ call.
Bumetanide can also be used as a masking agent. This diuretic dilutes the urine, resulting in lower levels banned substances being excreted from the body. Other bodily excretions are also increased. This makes it more difficult to detect banned substances. The use of diuretics is easily detected in the huddle. Quarterbacks know immediately when the Center is using diuretics. The hand drying towel hanging from the center’s belt for the quarterback can sometimes hide the tell-tale signs of diuretic use. The NFL is considering having field officials randomly lift the towel during play to check for indicators on the center’s pants.
More to follow as this develops.
FAN-TASTIC! WELL, NOT REALLY (7-23-08)
New Yorkers are catching up with the rest of the nation’s football fans. Two of the New York teams, the Giants and the Jets are about to put the same chokehold on its ticket holders that other teams already have.
A little back-story first; The NY Giants called Yankee Stadium home for years. This was before they realized that a bigger stadium would translate into more seats sold (about 15,000). Fine. They claimed that the move to the Meadowlands would be no major trek since Yankee Stadium was 6.6 miles from Times Square, the hub of Manhattan, and the Meadowlands is only a third of a mile farther. Shit, we could walk that. Unfortunately, the Meadowlands can be found by New Yorkers after crossing brides or tunnels and of course, LEAVING THE STATE. Yankee Stadium from Times Square required a subway token. The Jets made Shea Stadium their home, reachable by car, railroad or subway…very convenient. They went with the Giants.
Alright, now they both called the Meadowlands their home. The stadium, bigger and farther, and again, not in New York wasn’t good enough. After some political wrangling everyone agreed to build a better stadium for both teams to enjoy. A few years ago the Jets came very close to building their own stadium on the west side of Manhattan over a vast plot of real estate. This is WALKING DISTANCE from Times Square. ONE politician shot down this plan feeling that a stadium was a bad idea even though it came with a guarantee of a 2010 Super Bowl and a gigantic amount of revenue for the city. It was understood also that New York would win the bid for the Olympics with the new stadium. Today the land is still undeveloped and Beijing (!) is home to the Olympics.
O.K., so the New York Jets and the New York Giants after leaving New York chose to make a newer stadium for themselves in New Jersey. The rumor is that tailgating, the Viking-esque ritual before and after each game will be ‘restructured’. I have joined these festivities on occasion and realized that this is 90% of the reason for making the trip to see a game live. People cook, barbecue, roast, drink, play football, Frisbee, watch other games on portable sets, listen to DJ’s, and just enjoy the general atmosphere of fan camaraderie on game day. The new stadium will provide concession stands for an “enhanced” tailgating experience, like an enhanced $8 beer.
Enough of all that. The reason for this piece is the announcement of the ‘personal seat license’. If you are the season ticket holder and want to remain so, you will have to pay anywhere from $1000 to $20,000 per seat to own the ticket. This is above the cost of the games which is also going up. The waiting list for season tickets that people have been on for decades will be all but eliminated. I know of a man who has five great seats. These tickets have been in his family since the ‘60’s. If he wants to keep them he’ll have to pay $100,000. This is part of the plan the Giants organization calls “reasonable and fair”. This will generate 300-400 million dollars for the team.
The Jets will soon be announcing their prices, rumored to range from $1,200 to $30,000 per seat plus the cost of the games.
Supposedly the teams found it necessary to do this to help finance their new stadium.
The NY fans want to know why they ever left in the first place.
SOLUTION? GET A HAIRCUT…(6-19-08)
Recently The Associated Press reported that the NFL will decide whether to ban players from having hair protruding from their helmets. The rule banning long hair from the game was proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs. Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu was pulled down by his hair after an interception against the Chiefs by running back Larry Johnson.
The practice of a player letting his hair flow out from under his helmet met with opposition from some players as well as sideline staffers because the hair covered the players' names on their jerseys. Fans and commentators were displeased also. This was thought to be quickly fixed by having the players repeatedly shout their own names during a play. The result was clamorous and ineffective. To confuse their opponents, some players shouted names other than their own.
“They ruined it for themselves” complained one NFL receiver, “being chased down the sideline by a guy screaming ‘Nixon,Nixon,Nixon,Nixon…’ was annoying. Even if he did tackle me he wouldn’t get the credit.”
The rule being considered would not require players to cut their hair but would force them to tuck their hair into their helmets. This clearly will call for larger helmets. One such design by an official supplier to the NFL made the player look like the Great Gazoo.
A league official noted that the intent was to protect the players from being vulnerable to an unfair disadvantage. “It would be easier to tackle a man by yanking him down by something protruding from his body...that's why they wear cups.”
The new code would prohibit hair from jutting out from any league provided uniform. This mandate will therefore extend to the field officials and to the sidelines. A discrimination lawsuit is expected from all French cheerleaders.
The federal government is again stepping in to police the world of sports. Evidently, men who throw balls, horses that run in circles, and fast cars that go “vroom” are all the concern of the judicial framework of the country involved in wars, a health-care vacuum, an economic tailspin, and an immigration debacle as well as full-blown internal corruption.
Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat of Illinois, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, and Representative Ed Whitfield, Republican of Kentucky, called for an investigation and hearing regarding the unfortunate incident at The Kentucky Derby where the horse “Eight Belles” was euthanized on the track. The president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has also agreed to testify before a House panel investigating the effects of performance-enhancing drugs with horses.
The anabolic steroid Winstrol , legal in 28 of 38 racing jurisdictions, will be the chief focus of the investigation. You’ll remember Winstrol was first mentioned in the 1980’s when its use surfaced in Chess competitions. It was banned after a chess master jammed a pawn into his opponent’s eye after a cunning move. “Big Brown” who nearly won the Triple Crown last week is a known user of anabolic steroids. Originally the horse was injected in the stomach to look good for photo-shoots but that led to chronic use for performance enhancement. Rumors that his last place finish at Belmont was because of his embarrassment of his puny testicles are unsubstantiated.
The focus will soon switch to the immediate euthanization of the under-performing horse “Eight Belles” last month. Poor performance and the lost prospect for future competition is no reason for euthanizing. If that were the case we’d be stuck with Dick Cheney.
What if the horse racing world’s practice of promptly killing an under-performing athlete were to spread to the jockeys, or to other sports? What if it were to spread to the private business sector? What about the political arena? ...the artistic community?...the sports commentary society?...worse yet, the people who submit to online sports talk?
Excuse me, my doorbell just rang, and there’s a strange unmarked vehicle outside with government plates and a gun rack.
SHARKS LOOKING FOR SEAL...(4-27-08)
The world of water sports is cautiously watching the news about the recent rise of shark attacks. Every aspect of the genre from surfing and skiing to water boarding or just surf casting is affected.
Much blame has been placed on the tourist activity of shark watching where commercial boats chum waters to attract the predators. In doing so, the sharks are lured closer to the shoreline than they'd naturally go.
The other reason for the attacks is the simple notion that the shark can't easily distinguish human from seal. The shadowy image of a human is readily mistaken by the shark for its favorite prey.
It has gotten so bad that Seal has forsaken swimming altogether.
The rise in Seal attacks spiked in 1995 when his hit "Kiss from a Rose" took two Grammy awards. The ocean's man-eaters responded with deadly force. Some in the music business sympathized. "That song was horrible. It was a lousy choice for that Batman movie too. He may celebrate his awards with a trip to the Bahamas but he'd better stay out of the water."
The singer was often spotted standing at the water's edge with a tube around his waist but he'd never venture in past his ankles.
< Can't go swimming? Blame this guy.
Any swimmer who even remotely resembled the London born crooner was at risk. Thankfully, that number is very low.
The incidents waned in the years following the hit single but rose again when his association with Heidi Klum was publicized.
This evidently angered many species of shark. Marine biologists feel the dramatic difference in their physical appearance triggers the envy response not often seen in the shark. A similar occurrence was noted in 1993 when Lyle Lovett married Julia Roberts. That relationship ended soon after. One insider hinted that the reason for the divorce was that Lyle "just wanted to be able to go swimming again."
THE TRAVELING BOTOX SHOW...(4-16-08)
When Roger Clemens’s wife was found to have injected her abdomen with chemicals to ready herself for a photo shoot, she probably didn’t realize that she was on to something big. Beautifying injections may be doing a lot more than what we think.
Recent reports have shown that toxins found in Botox that are injected into the face may spread to the brain.
It seems that scientists injected mice with the anti-wrinkle agent and found that it soon spread to the brain, according to the Institute of Neuroscience in Italy .
The Chemicals in Botox were originally thought to completely breakdown after being injected.
This opens new doors, not in research, but in cosmetics. Marketing wizards clamoring behind the anti-wrinkle treatment’s new discovery were quick to point out how dramatically the wrinkles of the brain were lessened in only a few short weeks. “Why, just look at these results”, boasted an insider. “This subject’s brain looks like that of a woman half her age! Soon all the wrinkles will be gone leaving a smooth, kissable, baby soft brain.” Her male co-worker chimed in, “Her cerebral cortex is hot!”
< "Oh my Mrs. Clemens...what a lovely looking brain you have."
The occipital lobe and cerebellum were also noticeably younger looking.
“Ultimately we’d like to have the woman as a whole look and feel younger. This goes for her internal organs as well. Why dress up, go to a tanning salon, and have your teeth whitened when you know your pancreas shows your age? Laugh lines in the colon will be a thing of the past. The Botox treatments you’ve taken for a beautiful new you will also leave you with some very sexy MRI’s as well. When the Radiologist winks at you, you’ll know why.”
Plans are underway in research and development to see that if Botox is drunk as a shake or smoothee will it produce a more youthful looking stool. “This complete treatment rejuvenates the skin, the internal organs and the ‘product’ as we call it. We’re hoping to see a product like the one you’d find in a diaper. Our fingers are crossed!”
BANNED IN CHINA...(4-5-08)
As was stated this week in the Associated Press, deer penis joins turtle blood and angelica root on the list of items banned from the Beijing Olympics. Angelica Root, not the porn star, was always questioned by authorities for its energy producing qualities and now it lists amongst steroids and amphetamines on the list of drugs banned for Chinese athletes. Strict doping rules have ruled out these age old traditional Chinese concoctions.
Deer penis, which sounds like the beginning of a particularly nasty letter, is out also. This means the street side penis wagons that lined the stadiums will have to fold up their umbrellas and take their business elsewhere.
The restricting of deer penis, notorious for increasing blood flow, has dealt a severe blow to an already drooping penis industry. “This is going to be hard.” predicts a penis industry insider. “The penis business has stiff competition and now we’re getting the shaft.”
Coaches and trainers expect their athletes to sit down to a good deer penis before a match. A unique quality of the deer penis is that the same one can be a light meal or a very filling one depending on how it’s handled.
The deer penis sector of the market has taken a beating from animal activists recently. Radical extremists protested its inclusion in a recent parade featuring a balloon designed as one and attempted a mock castration resulting in a gigantic deflated deer penis draping over buildings and onlookers. “Just leave it alone!”, “Keep your hands off it!”, “Shame on you!” shouted the crowd.
The “Buck’s Schmuck” was poised to replace the other dietary phallic symbol, the hot dog, or wiener. A market campaign spearheaded by a local meat provider didn’t test well and met with lukewarm results. He canceled his company’s commercial blitz when weak numbers foretold a performance anxiety with apprehensive customers.
“The product never made it to the shelves. It was premature…embarrassing. Strangely enough the deer penis tested receptively with adults who had a few drinks and had Barry White music playing around them.” claimed an unnamed insider.
^ At least this deer's penis hasn't been banned in China.
HIDEKI MATSUI TIES THE KNOT!!! (3-28-08)
Newspapers around the globe today announced Hideki Matsui's big news. The New York Yankee secretly married a police sketch. In a display of the humor the Japanese are so famous for, Matsui said, "I don't know what her clime is but she sure stole my heart!" He then laughed wildly and asked the crowd if they 'got it'.
< The proud hubby shows off his beautiful wife.
This surprise marriage comes after a failed engagement he had with a courtroom rendering he'd been seen with for two years. This girl, Hideki states, reminds him of a chalk outline he dated as a teenager. "She's not as one-dimensional as you think" He added. He's shown here with her head. Reportedly comic book artist Stan Lee has been commissioned to draw the rest of her body. His penchant for voluptuous superheroes caught Matsui's eye. "Beeg boobs, beeg boobs" was the only request Matsui made of Lee.
We wish them well.
Still reeling from its recent accomplishments, designing a swimsuit and sending a Beatle song into space, NASA is continuing its proud roll of production this week with its completion of the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, or "DEXTRE", its robot. The massive working assistant will be able to handle giant tasks as well as delicate ones while hurtling through space at 15,000 mph. DEXTRE's appearance parallels that of a person, with a head, a torso and arms and whose upper body turns at the waist and shoulders. This is the beta version which is drastically different from the original concept. DEXTRE will no longer be able to shoot a death ray from its one eye at approaching aliens but will instead handle maintenance jobs and other tasks too dangerous for human astronauts.
" What we have here is essentially an enormous 3,000 lb. day laborer." With each arm nearly 12 feet long and able to handle over 1,300 pounds it would be able to negotiate highly for roofing work on earth, but would crush under its own weight.
This idea came to the Houston crowd when they were devising cool sounds to accompany the death ray aimed at aliens. The initial goal was to design a robot to do their work then put their new bathing suit on it. The controversy is already stirring around the fact that this will put tax-paying astronauts out of work and may contribute to over-crowding in single family homes when space towns get underway in the future. Northrop-Grumman may be tapped to design an inter-galactic lawnmower. Bush's "No Robot left Behind" act already allows for free medical care and education for any of DEXTRE's children.
QUITE A SIDE EFFECT...(3-14-08)
It seems the drug scandals that circle professional baseball won’t go away. We have barely woke our cleats from their long winter’s nap when already talk of drugs are on the diamond.
Mike Cameron of the Milwaukee Brewers is still suffering from his collision with Carlos Beltran three years ago and he’s seeking unusual treatment. He has applied for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from Major League Baseball using “Post-Concussion Syndrome” as an excuse to use stimulants for the 2008 season.
The Anti-doping agency is questioning this syndrome’s demand for enhancers.
Major League Baseball handed down a list of stimulants and enhancers which have been banned leaving only a select few drugs permissible for use.
Cameron’s doctor reviewed this list and concocted a ‘cocktail’ of stimulants aimed at relieving the pain.
His ingredients are as of yet untried and are considered in the first stage of testing.
Without FDA designation, MLB had no choice but to allow the stimulant cocktail. Cameron took three pills early in the morning of one game last week and emerged from the dugout with a splitting headache and a raging erection.
The bystanders were quick to notice. A hot dog salesman was fired after hollering out “get yer red hot Camerons” in the bleachers.
His ‘at bat’ was uncomfortable at best. The pitcher was distracted by the mast and threw a wild pitch directly into it. The ping like a blacksmith’s anvil surprised the crowd but Cameron didn’t flinch. The second pitch was clearly outside but was called a strike. Cameron was asked to stop playing when he turned to argue with the umpire and subsequently poked the catcher in the eye. He obliged and wanted to throw his batting helmet in disgust but he maintained composure and simply hung it on his pelvic stalk.
It seems fans are getting fed up with the non-sports related elements of their favorite games and are showing this displeasure with “fantasy sports”. Here players come with ability and no headlines. We can be virtual owners and coaches with no concern for checkbooks and attitudes. Professional players have been dragging so much crap into professional sports that we have to resort to an imaginary league. Is it any surprise that the last Super Bowl was played in a stadium sponsored by a University with no athletic program and whose largest campus exists in cyberspace?
I looked into it.
A friend taught me the fundamentals last week. There was some confusion. I explained that my fantasy team involved the Radio City Rockettes and a case of cool whip. A correcting slap to the head and a reminder that it was sports related got me back on track.
< The Rockettes and cool whip. A winning combination for The Accidental Sports Fan. >
“Pick your player based on what you know of your choice, you know, physical attributes, stats, etc.” …a daunting task indeed.
Cyber leagues can be competitive and exciting. The popularity of fantasy teams is growing exponentially. Their video game counterparts are top sellers too. Will there come a time when we abandon the real-life headaches, scandals, rap sheets, indictments, and egos associated with the real thing?
Think about it, virtual hunting is on the rise. Today we can kill an animal in another state from our laptop. You don’t even need a pick-up truck or a rifle/penis personality defect. Virtual cars allow us to drive anywhere in the world and give the finger to all our global neighbors without ever leaving our zip code. Modern medicine already has the ‘virtual colonoscopy’ giving us the same results as the real thing without the romance.
Oh, yeah, my fantasy picks…
Let’s start with the position ‘center’. This is a hands down no brainer.
I pick Fred Mertz. The guy’s got a low center of gravity when he bends over and those big billowing pants pulled up to his nipples gives him unrestrained movement.
I’d like John McCain for a running back. He’s got those little T-Rex arms he holds
up by his ribs when he’s got a microphone so I figured he’d carry a ball protectively.
When George Jetson got hung up on that space age dog-walking treadmill outside his house he proved he was quite the runner. His legs literally turned into spinning circles. Wide receiver. Done. (I’ll get back to this later; I got to go…my friend looks like he’s going to hit me again.)
WAX ON...WAX OFF...(3-11-08)
It looks like the congressional saga starring Roger “quit needling me, guys” Clemens is coming to an end. His wife Debbie was relieved. When asked how she felt, the exhausted bride could only say that she was “shot”.
Rep. Henry Waxman has turned his sights on the Blackwater scandal. It seems tax evasion and questionable finance claims to the government top the list of offenses. When this information was brought before Rep. Waxman he pounded his fist on his desk and threatened “They’re not getting away with it!’ He then instructed the court to subpoena “every God damned Doobie Brother there is”.
< Former male model turned politician Henry Waxman.
He claimed he was suspicious when “those long-hairs” reportedly were “buying everybody drinks all round”. “How about some receipts?” He demanded. The diligent congressman promises to grill one Doobie in particular who allegedly “built me a raft and it’s ready for floatin’” to see if he claimed that vehicle for professional use.
Waxman warned that Blackwater reaches back to the 1970’s and for congress to be prepared for a long hard battle.
BRETT SAYS "SEE YA!"...(3-5-08)
Today it is reported that the great Brett Favre will call it quits after a remarkable football career.
The initial thought was he grew tired of people mispronouncing his name for 17 years.
"The “R” does come aftre the “V", he pointed out. “I kind of gets on your nevres after a while.” When told that his fans promised to say his name correctly if he plays another season he replied with a dismissive shrug, “whatevre”
It may have been the “same ol’ grind" syndrome some speculate. Nearly two decades of showering with men takes its toll on a guy. It’s fine to bathe with all your fellow employees after a long hard day if you work at Hooter’s, but the NFL? And almost twenty years of having your co-worker stick his butt in your face has got to wear thin. The clincher for Favre must have been last week at the Department of Motor Vehicles. While standing on line he realized he didn’t fill out the second half of his form and he had no pen. He drove his two hands between the legs of the guy standing in front of him, wiggled his fingers and shouted “BLUE WRITE!....uh, I mean, would you have a blue pen I can, uh, write with?”
< Brett Favre, rhymes with Cavre (which is what he did to defenses), waves goodbye to the NFL.