Seasons don't fear the reefer
Sports pot scandals drift on, geezer rockers' Super Bowl odds, and more items of disinterest
Quite the stink over Michael Phelps' dalliance with the wacky tobaccy. With The Fuzz in South Carolina all fired up to press charges, we have the usual role model hand-wringing and clacking of calculators in damage assessment mode as a pungent cloud drifts over Phelps' endorsement future.
Not surprising that the makers of such fine products as Omega and Speedo have emitted a relative yawn. Or that the IOC got an earful of his apology and issued a variation on "You pretend to be sincere and we'll pretend to believe you" -- though the USOC ordered Phelps to dry out for three months. We live in a time when Cheech & Chong are on a comeback and a walking pharmaceutical concern like Ozzy Osbourne is prized for his addled charm as he endorses cell phones and video games. Creepies, even Johnny Rotten has a deal to pitch cheese, yogurt and dairy spreads.
Sainthood is hardly required in the ad world, so maybe Kellogg Co. jumped the gun by booting Phelps, whose glassy smile could have adorned boxes of such beloved munchies as Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and E.L. Fudge double stuffed cookies.
Not to endorse the recreational use of substances that can alter the perspective of any right-thinking individual, but if all those who ever danced with Mary Jane were disqualified from public prominence, the lonesome wind would be about all you'd ever hear. One pro-cannabis website presents a rather lengthy list of famous hopheads, among them the father of our country. So one chooses high profile folks as role models at one's own risk, and if you need YET ANOTHER hunk of proof that great talent is no guarantee of anything other than great talent, here it is.
Athletes caught hangin' with Panama Red are, like standings, sports page fixtures. Pot scandals have been hot topics ever since Bill "Spaceman" Lee got fined $250 by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1979 for informing the press that he enjoyed the giggleweed and even sprinkled a little on his pancakes. In 1997, the NBA was allegedly floating in a haze of boo, and the 2002 Mets were suspected of being besitzed on Maui wowie when they finished fifth at a stupefied 75-86. In an echo of the Phelps imbroglio, pitcher Grant Roberts issued a profuse public apology when a photo of him sampling the herb was leaked by a wench he claimed was trying to extort him.
(As this space noted last week, no one of any note whatsoever -- not even Art Shamsky -- can do anything of even remote interest in the age of the internet and camera phone without the damning evidence being released to a dirt-fixated world.)
As for Phelps, this revelation -- whether he inhaled or not -- is merely seeds and stems in the big baggie of outrageous transgressions, and in a way it enhances his achievement in Beijing. A taste for the bong usually only produces a hacking cough, diminished lung capacity and a nice lethargy. In my high school daze, I knew a fellow who had the talent and ambition to be a major leaguer. Even had a batting cage in his back yard. He was out there every day until the ditchweed blew in. When last seen, he was cuddling a box of Ding Dongs and cackling uncontrollably. Be interesting to see if Phelps maintains his competitive edge or ends up chillin' and shillin' for E-Z Wider.
Fun little debate over at Rolling Stone about the odds on wheezing geezer rockers likely to land the next Super Bowl gig. The Who or what's left of them are 3-2 favorites. Bon Jovi at 2-1 makes sense, but no way the dirty old men of AC/DC (3-1) get hired. Angus Young, even at 54, is still too damned big on wardrobe malfunction (his strip tease during The Jack would ruin too many appetites at too many parties).
John Mellencamp (4-1) feels like a solid bet. (John Fogerty is another sufficiently crusty All-American act, but at likely longer odds.) Metallica at 5-1? Same chance as Ozzy/Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Cannibal Corpse, Preschool Tea Party Massacre, pirate-rockers Alestorm or the proverbial snowball in the devil's den. Van Halen (5-1)? One song into their set, they'd break up again. Guns n Roses (not on RS's list) would need 17 years just to show up.
Nickelback (5-1), Green Day (6-1), Foo Fighters (7-1) and Coldplay (not listed) are still too young, hep and/or edgy. So this space points its gnarled finger at The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Elton John or Billy Joel as the most likely nods. Bob Dylan has come up, but he's not quite what you'd call a high-energy act. Rod Stewart's turned into Alfalfa The Crooner. The Dead, Phish and Allman Brothers Band are a little too mellow, mannnnn. Ditto: Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Steely Dan or The Moody Blues.
With spectacle the order of the day, Pink Floyd was a logical if difficult get, but now that Rick Wright is playing The Great Gig in the Sky, pigs will fly before David Gilmour and his old sparring partner Roger Waters reunite. Kreaky old Kiss, however, could surely deliver the goods.
Other requisitely hoary longshots (our odds): The Police (15-1), Fleetwood Mac (25-1); Santana (25-1), Phil Collins & Genesis (25-1), Journey (100-1), Foreigner (100-1), Yes (150-1), Electric Light Orchestra (200-1), Deep Purple (200-1), The Kinks (250-1), Emerson, Lake & Palmer (300-1), Meat Loaf (350-1), Jethro Tull (500-1) and Detroit's most beloved act in the wake of their little Stanley Cup gaffe: Def Leppard (6000-1).
All The Rage
Unfounded Rumor of the Week
While the fighting debate rages in the NHL, those who enjoy a few flying fists with their ice hockey will no doubt take heart from this video, which our sources at The Pig 'n Gristle (a fine purveyor of spirits across the street from the league's New York HQ) assures is of the new hush-hush Goon Development Program.
"With the economy in the crapper, they got to do what they can to keep a big chunk of their audience happy and take a bite out of the MMA crowd," chortles our source. No doubt, the Islanders won't be pushovers for long...
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