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Posted: Wednesday September 17, 2008 3:16PM; Updated: Wednesday September 17, 2008 4:41PM
John Rolfe John Rolfe >
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Oddball Items Of The Week
The Too Much Information Age
Airing his views
No doubt, you're plenty aware of the Unfortunate Saga of Chris Cooley. Perhaps you're among the fortunate who weren't mentally scarred forever by a glimpse of the Redskin tight end's best friend before it was hastily snipped from his blog. As accidental as Cooley's trouser press leak was, it underscored the splendor of the Information Age: you're very likely to learn more about your heroes than you really care to know. Thus, Cooley joins Jason "Golden Thong" Giambi as a frontrunner for this year's Too Much Information Award. Giambi's public admission that he dons a bit of gold lame lingerie when trying to bust a slump precludes you ever looking at the slugger again without "Ewwwww" whistling through the windmill of your mind. Same for thong-sharer Johnny Damon and his naked chin-ups disclosure of 2006, not to mention Mike Tyson's contemplated foray into performing in adult cinema. That one -- along with a profoundly unsavory mental image -- also brought us the squirrely revelation that he's smuggling a foot-long in his Fruit of the Looms. Apologies if this item has dampened your ardor for food.
The Amazing Pudding
A Black bomber
Now that Beijing's dust and smog has settled, it's time the IOC contemplates replacements for baseball and softball, which are joining the ranks of tug-of-war and fixed bird target archery as (perhaps temporarily) defunct Olympic sports. With all due respect to such current popular favorites as poker, spelling bee, hotdog eating and cup stacking, I nominate the humble pudding toss. The recent World Black Pudding Throwing Championship in Ramsbottom, Bury, England, won by Leon Taylor, 11, (junior division) and Adam Arthern (senior) proves that for sheer chest-clutching excitement, it's hard to top the spectacle of finely-tuned athletes chucking pig blood, fat and rusk (biscuit) wrapped in an intestine (your basic ballpark frank) while attempting to knock Yorkshire puddings off a 20-foot-high ledge. The sport is supposedly a descendant of an epic food fight between Yorkshire and Lancashire during the War of the Roses (1455-87), and that's got to appeal to the Nickelodeon generation as well as the hidebound traditionalists among us. But if pudding toss don't fire your thrill oven, perhaps this one will. A case can be made for the raw athleticism of the contestants in the recent European Pole Dancing Championship, and if the world loves anything, it's watching folks named Kowalski and Banachiewicz do the mambo with a gold medal on the line. Hey, ballroom dancing got a shot.
Best of the Worst
Bulgaria's slogan
The Mighty Ducks. The Bad News Bears. The 1962 Mets. The Detroit Lions. Some teams are just synonymous with defeat on a grand scale. Please welcome to the ranks, the Bulgarian Women's Ice Hockey Team that last week garnered much attention for losing 82-0 to Slovakia in an Olympic qualifier. Much was made of their epic thrashing, but lost in the smoking carnage was the not inconsiderable fact that Bulgaria had lost its three previous matches by such razor-thin margins as 39-0 (to Latvia), 30-1 (Croatia) and 41-0 (Italy). Now, that is an accomplishment, especially in international competition. So let us salute rubber-scented netminder Kamelia Drazheva and the rest of Bulgaria's hysteric squad for grinding it out through one hellacious puck barrage. One does wonder, though, if some kind of mercy rule might be in order next time.
Money, It's A Crime
The bailout to be there
As this space solemnly notes the passing of Pink Floyd's keyboard wizard Rick Wright to the Great Gig in the Sky, we present an item about the high-fidelity first class traveling set that thinks it needs a Lear jet. That includes the good folks at AIG, who with tin cup extended just landed a $85 billion federal loan bailout that keeps them from joining such fine financial destitutions as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns in the bargain or dust bin. The AIG move likely saved Manchester United from from losing its shirts. With corporate dough the lifeblood of sports, one wonders what will happen if the economy really tanks and more firms go the way of former naming rights giant Enron. Will companies continue to cough up big cake for luxury boxes and top-dollar tickets? Then again, your tax dollars are always available to save the day. You may not be able to afford going out to the old ballgame anymore, but by golly at least you're helping the well-heeled stay in business. Check out this sinus-clearing item about the funding for the New Yankee Stadium. Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie, indeed.
Paging Carl Spackler
License to groom
The groundskeepers at a luxury golf course in Gai, Austria apparently yanked a page out of a manual penned by Bill Murray's gopher-obsessed character from Caddyshack, reducing the fairways and greens to brown desolation by using a heavy duty pesticide they thought was fertilizer. No word if the gopher survived, but explosives would have been another nice touch. And, now let's conclude this week's proceedings with a sudsy little entry in the Sports facility Carnage Hall of Fame. Man, and they say baseball fans are messy.
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