The nose knows
Giant odors, Cards of '48 and Blyleven's schnozz among this week's items of disinterest
In one of the technological marvels of our time, the Japanese have put together a website called Smell Club that pinpoints the source of assorted odors around the globe. Surely among the more than 160 nose-crinklers catalogued thus far is the stench of defeat, burnt cars, stupidity and trouble rising from the New Jersey Meadowlands since Sunday afternoon. Not only did the Giants' 23-11 defeat at the hands of their rivals from Philadelphia herald the return of the dreaded Giant Flatulence -- it was redolent of an invitation to the blues.
Apparently, New York's dispirited ranks in the locker room are pining for the return of big gun receiver Plaxico Burress once -- or if -- he climbs out of a legal well that now includes a lawsuit on the part of a Pennsylvania auto dealer who claims the gangly wideout welshed on a promise to do promotional appearances in exchange for a car that was returned in rough condition after some fun with -- wouldn't you know? -- shootin' irons..
No doubt, the Giants missed Mr.Gun-and-Done on Sun., but the sporting life is rife with cautionary tales about the woe that comes from giving talented players who are ultimately more trouble than they're worth third, fourth and fifth chances to stop behaving like selfish, disruptive meatheads.
Surely there's a free agent or draft pick out there the Giants can glom onto to replace Mr. T (for trouble) or an effective offense they can cook up with the ingredients at hand. If the ol' Dead-Eye is welcomed back, it says here it will be no later than mid-October before he's blowing off meetings and soiling the karma punchbowl, leaving the Jints to tear out their hair and chug the Johnny Walker Blue Label that Justin Tuck gifted to his defensive linemates before Sunday's game, according to Epistle Portal (see below) user Alex Conway of Hunter Public Relations.
Come to think of it, Eli Manning, the O line, kicker John Carney and the coaching staff all performed like they'd had a snootful of the stuff, too. Wonder if the Smell Club detected those fumes, too.
Cards from 1948
In honor of the Arizona Cardinals' Cinderella appearance in the NFC Championship Game, Getting Loose presents fun facts to know and tell from 1948, the last year the franchise's gridiron gladiators were spotted in a championship game. The Cards were based in Chicago and coached by Jimmy Conzelman that season. Quarterback Ray Mallouf propelled the pigskin for 1,160 yards and 13 TDs while the hydra-headed rushing attack of Elmer Angsman, Charlie Trippi, Pat Harder and Vinnie Yablonski terrorized even the most hardened defensive units. The Cards went 11-1 but lost 7-0 to -- guess who? -- the Eagles in the snowy title game [video]. Unless Al Gore is horribly wrong, snow probably won't be a problem this year.
Other notable doings from that year:
-- The Big Bang Theory was posed...and demonstrated 60 years later by Plaxico Burress in a New York City nightclub.
-- The House Un-American Activities Committee accused Alger Hiss of spying for the Soviet Union. Nearly 60 years later, Bill Belichick would be accused of spying for the Patriots.
-- The Cleveland Indians won the World Series by beating the Boston Braves, four games to two.
-- Scrabble was introduced. So was Israel.
-- Babe Ruth went belly-up.
-- Dewey defeated Truman and vice versa.
-- The long-playing (LP) record and Velcro were invented.
-- All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth ruled the pop charts while TV viewers sat riveted by Howdy Doody, Philco TV Playhouse, Toast of the Town, Kraft Television Theatre and Meet the Press.
-- Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Alfred Kinsey was released to a blushing and sweaty-palmed public. The first large-scale study of sexual habits, it contained stunning revelations about infidelity, homosexuality and other issues that would be revived 60 years later by Eddy Curry's limo driver.
Nose Hall for Bert
Had to admire Bert Blyleven's refreshing candor in the wake of his latest Hall of Fame snub. On the blower with ESPN's Mike & Mike, the 287-game-winner declared that he feels "like crap" and is having a devil of a time dealing with being shut out of Cooperstown yet again even though he ranks fifth on the all-time strikeout list and has a parcel of numbers that deserve a bust and plaque. While venting, Bert blew off all pretense of "political correctness" of the kind that Phil Rizzuto displayed during his 140-year wait for enshrinement, declaring that he's basically mad as hell and doesn't care who he torques off, even baseball writers who don't vote for him.
It seems to this space, though, that the Frying Dutchman fails to realize the real reason why he is being denied immortality: He was caught on camera picking his nose on the dugout bench and waving the greenie. Such bad form is never rewarded, and the reason why Greg Maddux's future enshrinement is in dire jeopardy. Blyleven's last hope is that the veteran's committee has a juvenile sense of humor.
Big brouhaha about the cloth square the New York Mets will wear next season to commemorate their first season in their new Bailout Park. The fashion police are up in arms given the dreadful dullness of the design, which resembles the logo of a certain pizza franchise. This space feels that the wild-eyed outrage is overblown given that the patch, while bland, will be hard to see and does not rank anywhere near such immortal monsterpieces of sports art as the New York Islanders' Gorton's of Gloucester fisherman, the Buffaslug, the Picasso Coyote worn by a certain NHL team in Phoenix in the '90s, or even the Oklahoma City Thunder's bucket-of-cluck logo. But the outcry isn't a shock in that the Mets seem to be having a devil of a time looking good these days.
Unfounded Rumor of the Week
If you keep your ear to the ground, you hear lots of juicy stuff -- footsteps, the rumble of trucks and cars and trains, worms singing, the shifting of the earth's crust -- though one risks brain damage by having one's noggin stepped on. Neverthless, this space continues to bravely sink low to bring you the dirt. This week, it's a hush-hush medical report out of Long Island that New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is actually made out of gingerbread.
DP, who was signed to a sagacious 15-year deal worth $67.5 million in 2006, has since had great trouble remaining on ice ever since due to two hip operations, two knee repairs, and a wobby groin to go with a pair of concussions. Now an MRI at Long Island Medical Center has revealed that DiPietro's physical composition is largely flour, water, ginger, molasses, baking soda and cinnamon, and that a recent attempt to secure his wonky leg with icing has failed. The battered, struggling team is now thinking about putting him on the shelf for the rest of the season while it tries to roll with former hero Dubie Dubielewicz, who is presently plotting his escape from Russia, where he went after the Isles told him to take a hike after last season. As always you read it here first ... and last.
The Epistle Portal
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Please keep in mind that Getting Loose is a nonprofit undertaking in which dignity, good taste and simple human decency is put in a big black box and covered up with dirt and rocks. The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author, unless he chooses to disavow them and pin them on someone else.