Hoopla as Favre as the eye can see
NFL all-time distraction team, rugby's shame, Kane taxi's economic engine, more items of disinterest
With Brett Favre once again striding the gridiron and Michael Vick safely in the Philadelphia fold, we couldn't help but notice that Eagles QB Donovan McNabb made a bit of a pitch for securing the services of troubled wideout Plaxico "Big Bang" Burress.
A novel idea.
The recent Favre and Vick flapdoodles made us sit down and compile our all-time chemistry-queering distraction team, with a talented but controversial diva, malcontent, miscreant, jailbird, hothead, hotdog, flake, hard-partier or big time pain in the butt at each position. Now, before you raise your voice in protest, please be advised that inclusion here does not automatically mean the player is a terrible person. Mr. Favre's worst crime is simply refusing to go away after he says he's going away. The great Deion Sanders was merely a one-man media circus. Readers of a certain vintage will not recall Duane Thomas, but longtime Cowboys fans certainly will.
Everyone on this roster just has some sort of sideshow attached to his career (click on each name), so if some bold enterprising GM were actually able to field them all at the same camp, the media would blow fuses and football would be the last thing on anyone's mind.
QBs: Michael Vick; Brett Favre; RBs: Ricky Williams, Duane Thomas; WRs: Terrell Owens, Michael Irivn; TE: Jeremy Shockey; OL: Conrad Dobler, Erik Williams, J.D. Quinn, Jumbo Elliott, Kyle Turley; P: Todd Sauerbrun; PK: Mike Vanderjagt; KR -- Koren Robinson
DL: Warren Sapp, Tank Johnson, Mark Gastineau; LBs: Bill Romanowski, Lawrence Taylor, Hollywood Henderson; Brian Bosworth; DBs: Pacman Jones, Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, Eugene Robinson, Deion Sanders
Coach: Bill Belichick
A Bloody Shame
While baseball's macho culture runs amok, rugby's macho culture was given an egregious black eye when the coach of Harlequins admitted that his team used bogus blood to fake injuries in last April's Heineken Cup quarterfinal and gain a substitution advantage. Dean Richards resigned and was suspended by European Rugby Cup for three years. The team's physiologist got a two-year ban for helping to execute the ruse with a blood capsule. What makes this incident so shameful was not the attempt to cheat -- chicanery occurs in all sports and we tend to love our rogues as long as they stay off the performance-enhancing elixirs -- but that a rugby player -- a rugby player! -- would deign to feign injury with fake blood rather than intentionally wound himself with a small knife or blunt object and thus maintain the integrity of the sport's manliness. Tis a dark day indeed.
Girls Will Be Boys And...
On the subject of creative cheating, it seems questions have been raised about the gender of South Africa's Caster Semenya, the favorite to win the gold in the 800 meters at the world championships in Berlin. Apparently, the IAAF has actually gone so far as to start a little testing, which continues a grand tradition that dates back to the 1930s.
In one of the more notable past incidents, Soviets Tamara and Irina Press set 26 world records and became the first sisters to win golds at the same Olympics (1960). Oddly, their careers went pfffttt! when they neglected to appear for a little gender verification exercise in 1966.
Semenya was still in limbo as of this writing, but no matter what the final determination, you still gotta admire the human spirit for its dogged determination to skirt rules.
Kane Cab's Economic Engine
As the Patrick Kane taxi cab saga chugs its way to a conclusion in court, the young and newly-chastened Blackhawk has apologized, noting that he expects to take his share of barbs, jokes and catcalls about the incident for the foreseeable future. Well, the future is here, as pointed out by reader John in Detroit: "Thought you might like this; it's merchandise poking fun at Patrick Kane and his cab incident with the line 'Kane's a Hack'."
So let it never be said that positives don't come from even the most negative incidents. As the nation struggles with unemployment, the Kane incident is obviously giving rise to a cottage industry that has the potential to restore badly-needed manufacturing jobs to our staggering economy.
We see that Stephon Marbury is just the latest pro athlete to admit he partakes of Mother Nature in his spare time, a revelation that followed on the reclining heels of Charles Rogers' admission that he toked every day during his NFL career. This space weighed in on the spacey exploits of Michael Phelps last February, but it's still a source of some amazement that so many athletes, who are presumably on a 24/7/365 focused regimen of training and striving for peak performance, are fond of cuddling up with a weed that usually produces no more than a fondness for Oreos (or in Marbury's case, Vaseline), remaining prone and giggling uncontrollably -- which helps explain why Rogers' career with the Detroit Lions lasted only 15 games.
Unfounded Rumor of the Week
With vampires all the rage in TV, movies and literature, our tin ears in Tinseltown tell us that Brett Favre is slated to star in the new series Corpuscles Delecti as a 500-year old football player who continually rises from the dead to stalk NFL teams, spreading fear and loathing from the locker room to the stands.
"Not since Nosferatu has the genre had such an utterly terrifying ghoul," says our source, who got a look-see at the hideous, grizzled creature during a sneak preview in Minnesota this week. "Nothing can stop him -- stakes, garlic, silver bullets, shoulder surgery. Not even Buffy."
Sounds like must-see TV... to us anyway.
The Epistle Portal
Each week we expound on the wonders and benefits of the handy space-time sentiment delivery device to your right. Along with feeding this space a rich diet of Howlers, penny dreadfuls and platters of spam, the portal allows you the opportunity to do more than just sit there sputtering in righteous indignation. It also reveals our heretofore unheard-of levels of greatness! To whit, last week whilst discussing a reader's tart alert to an unfortunate typo in a previous column, we remarked that readers expect us at SI to "be diety-like: perfect and omniscient" to which reader Bob F. of Sandusky, OH promptly weighed in with: "It's deity (godlike) - you lose again."
Indeed. And it has been suggested by a colleague here in the SI.com command bunker that this space conduct a weekly "Find The Embarrassing Typo" contest in which a 10-pound Stilton cheese or a similar bit of valuable merchandise will be awarded to the purveyors of each correct submission. So while Getting Loose takes the suggestion under advisement, rest assured that we'll keep on pitching even though we always end up flat on our back and undressed like that poor old blockhead Charlie Brown.