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Posted: Wednesday December 17, 2008 3:25PM; Updated: Monday December 22, 2008 10:51AM
John Rolfe John Rolfe >
GETTING LOOSE

Piercing developments

Giant flagged for use of hands, Rabbit runs with best name in sports and more items of disinterest

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If the tape ain't lying, Antonio Pierce (left) has been chasing foes and women -- without much success of late.
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

With the road to the Super Bowl now littered with Big Blue wheels, one of the principal figures in the Big Bang Burress nightclub incident has been wandering the gridiron in a thicker fog than the rest of the Giants. Antonio Pierce, under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, has seemed more than a tad off his game of late. In fact, the New York Post claims it has unearthed video of Pierce's last big play, and it came three weeks ago as the heart-and-soul linebacker tackled a comely wench in the West Side jiggle joint Head Quarters on the night in question.

Given that Pierce is married, a flag for illegal hands to the caboose went up and the entire incident is now under video review as the linebacker's lovely spouse has publicly stated that the masher in the game film is not her husband. For A.P.'s sake, that better be true or he's going to be on the business end of some serious hitting, and it won't be on the playing field.

A Rabbit by any other name

Tampa Bay Bucs defensive end Greg White made a stir this week by legally changing his moniker to Stylez G White, but unlike Chad Ocho Cinco, World B. Free or other notable inventions, some names are great right out of the box.

Take for example Wacey Rabbit, a proud product of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The small, fast and fiesty center for the AHL's Providence Bruins, a Boston Bruins farm team, recently brought to mind a famous scene from a Monty Python movie after he got his tail suspended for two games following a league review of his checking-from-behind major penalty and game misconduct on Dec. 13. One naturally assumes that he has a brother named Wascally Rabbit.

The world of sports has long been a garden of great, illiterative names, but among this space's all-time favorites you'll find: Mickey Klutts (infielder), God Shammgod (hoopster), Rollie Fingers (pitcher), Usain Bolt (sprinter), Jordin Tootoo (wing) and the unfortunately titled Dick Trickle (race car driver), who would have been a natural as a FloMax pitch man.

Oldest known objects

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Jamie Moyer (left) with Philly icon Connie Mack back in the day.
AP

Archaeologists in Pennsylvania are absolutely atwit with excitement now that Joe Paterno has inked a three-year extension to guide Penn State. This discovery followed Jamie Moyer's re-signing with the Phillies for two years. Paterno, who was recently carbon-dated by the university's science wing, was also in the news when part of his brain was apparently discovered at a dig near the University of York. The gray matter is believed to date back 2,000 years. Moyer, who originally came out of the Chicago Cubs organization during the Dead Ball Era, made additional headlines when a 140 million year-old spider web was discovered on him during his re-signing press conference.

Dawn of the Shoeper Bowl

In the wake of that little incident in Baghdad on Sunday, an enterprising sole in Brooklyn was moved to slide on over to the drawing board and concoct a prototype item that combines three of humanity's most beloved pursuits: football, casual footwear and hurling insults at political leaders. You don't have to be a pointy-headed member of media elite to think these babies will sell like Nicolas Sarkozi voodoo dolls.

Now tending goal, Your Name Here

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Everyman goalie Brett Leonhardt got vulcanized.
AP

If your dream is to crouch wobbly on ice skates while bloodthirsty, steely-eyed professional hockey players blast hunks of hard, vulcanized rubber at you, then Brett Leonhardt lived your dream last Friday. The website producer for the Washington Capitals was signed and dressed as the team's emergency backup goalie and was on the bench for 10 minutes of the first period against Ottawa. Though he didn't get into the game, he did face the firing squad during practice while continuing the NHL's grand tradition of installing just about anyone between the pipes (see: the current New York Islanders).

The most famous incident occurred in the 1928 Stanley Cup Final when New York Rangers coach Lester Patrick donned the pads at age 44 and went in after Lorne Chabot was conked in the eye during Game 2. Patrick shut out Montreal and the Rangers won in overtime. Chabot was back for Game 3 and the Rangers went on to take the silverware.

In 1942, World War II recruitment left Patrick without a goalie in training camp, so he was forced to employ a grain and cereal specialist named Steve Buzinski. The tiny, bowlegged Buzinski had some amteur netminding experience but became known as "Puckgoesinski" for his inability to keep rubber out of his net. He allowed 32 goals in his first four games, but was good at taking shots off the noggin, inadvertantly tossing the biscuit in his own basket, and falling down. "Buzinski spent more time on the ice than a mackerel in cold storage," a writer for the New York World Telegram noted. After nine games, the little sieve was booted to the team's PR department, so take heart. Your dream is attainable.

Better than watching paint dry

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Sundin in The Year The Earth Stood Still.
AP

Just when it looked like Spiny Norman and the good folks who congregate in the NHL Truth & Rumors section on FanNation weren't going to have Mats Sundin to kick around any more, Peter Forsberg rode to the rescue. In what has become the hot trend in hockey, aging stars are retiring or semi-retiring or just sitting around contemplating retirement while inspiring the media to subject the public to months and months of will-he-or-won't-he-come-back speculation while the public responds with scorn and fish-or-get-off-the-pot rants. Entire civilizations have risen and fallen in the time it took Sundin to decide to if he wanted to strap his skates on in anger again. Look for Forsberg to announce his decision around the time the sun burns out.

Unfounded Rumor of the Week

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Williams feels sting of the Commish's lash.
Getty Images

Taking pride in being your lone reliable source for absolute, hair-raising bushwah, we have it on good authority from someone who knows the feller who changes the sparkplugs in the Commish's big black Dusenberg that Gary Bettman will suspend Tiger Woods' caddie indefinitely for unseemly comments made about Phil Mickelson. For those of you who have been steadfastly ignoring it, at a recent charity supper in New Zealand, bag-hauler Steve Williams referred to Woods rival Mickelson as a crude euphemism for male appendage.

"I wanted it to be clear to the fans that this isn't something that we tolerate -- particularly fans with children who might have to explain to them what this statement was," the NHL's head man stated during a conference call with the guy who hand-tailors Sean Avery's pantaloons.

Expect to see Brett Hull take some heat while Williams joins Avery on the anger management counseling couch before the two resume skating in the AHL or possibly Russia's Kontinental League. As always, you read it here first and last.

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Congratulations. You made it through another edition of Getting Loose, the weekly literary event the Derry (NH) chapter of the Old Maids of the American Revolution has called "the ... most ... pointless... column... ever" for the third year in a row. Among this space's other considerable and enviable honors, the International Conference of Theologians hath declared Getting Loose "the most authentic near-death experience available."

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