Saturday, August 21, 2004

Saturday Morning Caffeine Fueled Rant

*Make no mistake about it, gold medal all-around winner Paul Hamm is a tough guy; do not be mislead by the fact that, when Hamm talks, he sounds as if he had a horrific pommel horse mishap at puberty.

As of this drug test, Maurice Green is the 100- meter favorite, but why haven’t we heard anything about who is favored in the 100-meter backwards run? Or how about the 200-meter skip? Or the 400-meter crawl on your knees?

Well, that’s because, unlike the seemingly endless array of swimming events, track only awards those who go from point A to point B the fastest. It’s a good thing NBC has enthusiastic and knowledgeable announcer Rowdy Gaines instead of, oh, say me. If I were the swimming color commentator it would go something like this:

Well, Dan, it looks like everyone is swimming . . . again.”

The thing is like “Groundhog Day Goes to The Pool.” Synchronized diving for the love of Richard Simmons? Even Greg Louganis snickers at those folks.

The swimming medal goes to the person who covers the distance the fastest. Period. If somebody wants to swim on their back instead of doing the crawl, that’s hunky dory, just don’t expect to be talking to NBC uber-babe Melissa Stark after the race. And is there really that much difference between the 100- meters distance and 200-meter in swimming? On the track yes, but in the pool the difference is, well, kind of a wash.

Here are the events we - if I may- normal folks would want to see. Keep the 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle. Then we would have one long swim, like 5,000 meters, but out in the ocean. (Let’s factor some ocean critters in this thing) Maybe keep the 400 I.M. if you want to see those fancy strokes like the breast, back and butterfly.

After that it would be cool pool events. The Biggest Cannonball Splash. The Marco Polo Championships. The Farthest Underwater Swim. The Who-Can-Restart-the-Grill-Fastest-After- Getting-Splashed-By-the-Cannonball-Winner event. And, the pinnacle of water sports, the Who-Can-Go-Swimming-The-Soonest-After-Eating-Without-Drowning-From-a-Cramp.

Why, oh, why doesn’t anyone talk to me before they plan these things, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Momma’s little baby loves him his biscuits, biscuits, biscuits, I surely do, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Surro . . . what?
*John Kerry accused President Bush of using surrogates to "do his dirty work," an accusation Bush both denied and didn’t fully comprehend.

In response, Bush denied using surrogates, claiming he doesn’t even know any surrogates, but he has nothing against the fine country of Surrogah.

For his part President Bush said; “I do not use surrogates to do my dirty work. I have people other than me do it.”

No truth
*Best names at the Olympics? Canadian second baseman Stubby Clapp and his wife, Chastity. There is no truth to the rumor that, on their honeymoon, they wore “Clap on, Clap off” t-shirts.

Skimpy is what I’m saying . . .
*Have you seen the U.S. women’s Olympic beach volleyball suits? Do they come standard with a pair of tweezers?

I’ve seen eye patches that cover up more.

*Have you seen how low Michael Phelps wears his swimming shorts? There are plumbers yelling, “Hey, pull those drawers up, for crying-out-loud.”

*Congratulations to 16-year-old Carly Patterson on her all-around gymnastics gold medal. It must be weird to have a gold medal yet you still have to have your parents drive you around.

I don’t want to say that Carly is young, but when they gave her the gold medal, she tried to unwrap the tin foil to get to the chocolate.

They’re good at it, is all I'm saying . . .
*Aaron Peirsol won the 200-meter backstroke despite being temporarily disqualified by a French judge. When Peirsol turned, the French judge felt that Peirsol didn’t roll over to his back fast enough. But remember, militarily and historically, nobody can roll over faster than the French.

Oh, perfect
*Rodney King is becoming a rapper. King says he's got a CD in the works. But in King's case, CD stands for Car Destruction.

King’s rapper name is BMW-DUI.

It’s a real puzzlement
*Sen. Edward Kennedy has been stopped at airports three times because his name mistakenly appeared on the government’s no-fly list of terror suspects. Gosh, I wonder how his name got in there so many times? Any ideas, President Bush? Hello? President Bush?

A sarcastically chagrined Bush said, “Oh, that’s a list of terror suspects? Shoot, I put his name in that “no fly” list ‘cause that Ted Kennedy's sharp as a tack. You, know, as in: there’s no flies on that boy.”

New credo
A French judge tried to disqualify Aaron Peirsol’s 200 backstroke gold medal performance, now the British are going to protest it, and now the Koreans are protesting Paul Hamm’s gold medal scores. This just in, the Olympic motto has been changed from Citius, Altius, Fortius to Weaselus Whineus, Complainus

Since you asked:

OK, so am I the only one who got mushy about Tyler's dearly departed Tugboat? It just was touching to see how a guy who dreamed all of his life of Olympic gold - although, as a kid it was skiing downhill dreams for Hamilton, not biking - to finally be pushed to that goal so as to honor his beloved fallen beast. A lifetime of dreaming for a medal that, in the end, merely provided temporary solice for man's heartsickness. Poignent? Anyone? Anyone?

Let me know:

Thursday, August 19, 2004

OK, so I got a little sappy about Tugboat. So shoot me. For my money that is the most touching story of this Olympics.

Last call, this time we mean it
Iraq's prime minister issued a last call to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Shi'ite militiamen to disarm and disband. Maybe it’s just me, but this al-Sadr has had more last calls than Glen Campbell at a Ted Kennedy fundraiser.


Check out Tugboat

And read this:
What it is, what it is, what it is, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Just wait
*In an amazing comeback from a fall, US gymnast Paul Hamm won the first-ever U.S. men’s all-around gold medal. And if you heard Hamm interviewed, if you think he is tough now, just wait until he goes through puberty.

Gymnast Paul Hamm recovered from a fall to clear the parallel bars and the high bar, and, if you’ve heard him interviewed, he soon may even clear puberty.

Gymnasts Brett McLure finished a respectable ninth in the all-around. And afterwards McClure passed the drug-test despite testing positive for Rogaine.

Badminton to the bone
*Britons Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms won the silver in the Olympic mixed doubles badminton title. The mixed doubles in badminton is significant because it represents the only time the male badminton players get to be anywhere close to a female.

Like the rowers toss of the coxswain in the water, or baseball players’ champagne shower, the badminton players celebrate with the post badminton match tradition of being hung from a locker-hook by their underwear.

Pulled by a Tugboat
*In a touching interview, a choked up Tyler Hamilton produced a little red dog tag and dedicated his cycling gold medal to his recently departed golden retriever, Tugboat. They then aired a clip from the movie “Old Yeller” and the entire press conference had to admitted to the hospital for severe sobbing-induced dehydration.

Since you asked (On the sappy side)

In this year’s Tour de France, Tyler Hamilton had to withdraw after a nasty fall due to a probable cracked rib and two severe contusions in his back. But those close to Tyler Hamilton – the same man who finished the Tour the year before over cobblestones with a busted collar bone – know the real reason that Hamilton withdrew was not because of any broken bone – something as small as a broken bone couldn’t stop Tyler Hamilton – no, my man Tyler withdrew because of a broken heart.

You see, Tyler’s best friend and constant companion, a golden retriever named Tugboat, had just died of cancer. Tyler could ride with a lot; Tyler could ride with searing pain; he could ride up the Alps with severe dehydration; Tyler could ride with mind-crippling fatigue, but he couldn’t ride without good ol’ Tugboat.

As someone who grew up thoroughly believing that the ultimate, be-all, end-all accomplishment would be to win an Olympic gold medal, it was a lesson in perspective; Tyler Hamilton’s gold medal, although a truly outstanding achievement by any measure, was, in the end, merely a temporary salve for a broken heart in honor of his best friend.

Good job, Tyler. Somewhere up there a furry golden tail is wagging like crazy. Great job, Tugboat.

Cue the song:

He danced for those at minstrel shows
And county fairs throughout the south
He spoke with tears of 15 years
How his dog and he traveled about
His dog up and died, up and died,
After 20 years he still grieved

“Mr. Bojangles”

I think I'll take my two beasts, Kasey and Wrigley, to the park for a well-deserved Frisbee toss.

Monday, August 16, 2004

You better Lex yourself before you wrecks yourself, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

In a shock, the “clean living Stone” drummer Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer. They think he’ll be OK, hopefully. Of course, calling somebody the “clean living Stone” is like calling Jeb “the smart Bush.”

Scream Team
The U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team said their huge loss to Italy before the games was a wakeup call. What they didn’t say was, after the wakeup call, they hung up, swigged another honor-bar mini vodka bottle and rolled back to sleep until the maids came in to clean up.

Most of the top NBA players didn’t compete for the US because they were afraid of an anti-American terrorist act, and, boy, were they right. The remaining NBA player’s Olympic loss to Puerto Rico was a terrifying act of anti-Americanism.

How low is it?
Attendance at some of the Olympic venues is low. In fact, at one point, the attendance at the gymnastics venue was so low, the events had to be stopped and declared a Montreal Expos game.

Putting the Ew into New Jersey, you persons
Since announcing he is gay, James McGreevey has declared the entire state of New Jersey in a national state of emergency queer makeover.

There are going to be some makeovers in New Jersey now that Gov. James McGreevey has declared he is gay. For example the Holland Tunnel will now be named the Netherland Passageway; the New Jersey Turnpike will be the Garden State Thoroughfare, and the town of Fort Dix, well, that will stay the same.

In one of his first acts as governor since announcing he is gay, James McGreevey has sent the New Jersey town of Rahway an emergency shipment of lubricants.

Like a sieve
Christina Aguilera announced she has removed all of her piercings. Sadly, after diving into a pool Christina emerged leaking like evidence from the Kobe Bryant defense team.

Since you asked:
Talk about unfair. Poor Charlie Watts. Keith Richards hasn’t spent a waking minute without a smoke or a cocktail in his life, and he had a heroine addiction the size of Turkey and yet he still runs around jamming on stage with his shirt off. Yes, his face is a little craggy, but so is John Kerry’s.

Has anyone else noticed a certain medical phenomenon? After somebody goes clean, that’s when they get sick. Look at all the people who smoked, quit and THEN got lung cancer. How about the ones who quit drinking, like Mickey Mantle and David Crosby, and THEN got liver cancer?

Now, I’m not a doctor - and I don’t play one on T.V. – but even I can figure this one out: the body, almost no matter how nasty the physical habit, can adapt and fight along. But once it is in that fight-along-mode and the thing it is fighting is taken away, booze, or smoke, or whatever, then it breaks down.

What am I saying? Bad habits will probably catch up to you sooner or later, but why rush the process? Like I always say, all things in moderation including, from time to time, moderation.

Not that we needed anymore proof
Even though we knew that NBA players are spoiled brats (See: Kobe Bryant) it his hard to imagine why more top players didn’t play for our Olympic team. While tens of millions of Americans can only dream of participating in the Olympics, these guys get a paid vacation across Europe culminating in a stay at a seaside Mediterranean resort. Oh, and there is that whole honor-of-representing-your-country-in-the-biggest-sporting-event-in-the-world thing, yadda, yadda, yadda, yeah, whatever.

That tears it, I have watched my last NBA game. Unless a cool team makes the playoffs, that is.

As for the Cubs, I have decided to take my medicine early. It's over. Well, it's not over, over, but it's over. Don't get me wrong, if they do make the wild card, I am still and always with them all the way; I'm just saying, for my own psychological good, I am assuming their season is over. If there is a pleasant surprise, than I am all for it, as always.

But it's over. Damn, and Wrigley Field looked so damn cool last year with the bunting and the red leaves in the vines.