Saturday, August 28, 2004

Can I say I smell a rat?

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but, as far as Marion Jones is concerned, something fishy is going on.

Flashback to the 1988 Olympics at Seoul. Ben Johnson tests positive for a steroid previously believed to be undetectable by cheating athletes and a panic runs through the entire competition; suddenly competitors are pulling out of events, or seemingly intentionally disqualifying at an alarming rate.

It seems like Marion Jones is intentionally botching her events. (I have run relays, and I’ve never seen someone go to so much work to botch a handoff) Marion Jones continues to play the martyr, but let’s be honest, only in our judicial system are you assumed innocent. In the real world, if it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Marion Jones ex-husband - albeit a slimey, sleazier guy never existed - said he injected her with steroids. BALCO said they sent her steroids. Her boyfriend and father of her child, Tim Montgomery, has been nailed for using steroids. How could Marion possibly be innocent?

Marion must already know that the jig is up with her involvement with the BALCO steroid scandal, and she wants to save herself the additional humiliation of having to send back medals. If this is at all true, we will have to come up with new words for selfish and self-absorbed to describe Marion Jones. How could a person intentionally ruin five other American’s chances for Olympic medals for the sake of protecting their pride?

Name that movie line:

“Her insides were a rocky place, where my seed could find no purchase.”

Saturday Morning Caffeine-Fueled Rant

OK, now we can add my suggestion – give-another-gold-medal-to-the-South-Korean-Gymnast - to my list of things, including my prediction of Olympics construction fiascos, Madonna’s career, the longevity of rap and Dr. Phil’s show to the seemingly endless list of things I was wrong about.

Apparently gymnastics is one sorry mistake ridden sport. In review, the guy whining about the judging mistake was way over-scored anyway and shouldn’t have won even with the extra point for the degree of difficulty.

The F.I.G. (Federation Internationale de Gymnastics) makes the C.I.A. look like the tightest run ship since the Constitution, Old Ironsides. The F.I.G. screws things up tighter than a Joan Rivers face-lift, and they send an annoying ode-to-passive-aggression missive passing the buck to Paul Hamm to save their bacon.

In case you were wondering:
If you want an explanation for the decline of U.S. Olympic basketball fortunes, look no further than the wild, deliriously happy dance celebration by the Lithuanian men following their win over our N.B.A whiners. The one and only time our players have probably ever danced-for-joy like that was after they signed their first shoe deal.

No kidding, there I was, working out on the bike at the gym - like the aerobic grinder that I am - watching the U.S. men’s hoop team mire in ignominy, when person after person, from teenagers, to senior citizens, would walk by, look at the score and make remarks that ranged from; “Who cares?” all the way to; “It serves those spoiled jerks right.”

Not exactly the nationwide heartache followed by the tragic rip-off loss-at-the-hands-of-the-crooked-refs of the 1972 Olympic basketball team. (My buddy Woody messing with the lights, is why they lost, by the way)

Good lord, get dressed
How about those nothing-to-the-imagination-track-body suits? Man. Not to put too fine a point on it, but, as a slightly disgusted heterosexual male, some of those guys look like they are packing a lunch.

Good thing they didn’t have those suits back when Edwin Moses ran. Even in those old school shorts – granted they had the Daisy Duke shortness thing going, at least they were fairly loose – Edwin still looked like he had a stowaway.

Were Edwin running today, the announcer would have a perfect segway:

“And here is Edwin Moses. Which reminds us, folks, “Anaconda 2” is now playing in a theater near you.”

Bar talk
What was your most hated pop song ever? The Seventies had some that were hard to beat. The song that went from good to worst, due to sheer over-play, had to be Elton John’s; “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

However, for my money, it was, without doubt, Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight.”

At the start of that summer, a hot girl I was seeing (By "seeing" meaning that horrible, smitten, puppy dog-like state before you know what you’re doing, if you know what I mean, kind of way) “broke up” with me before heading up to Michigan to be a camp counselor for the Summer.

Her ex-boyfriend also happened to be returning to the camp; every time I heard that nausea and diabetes inducing “Afternoon Delight,” I would picture those two going at it, all sun-burnt and sweaty in some musty cabin, probably named "Pine Cone," like a couple of bunnies on crack; it would make me rage with the kind of white-hot-hysteria that fuels Libertarians, serial murderers and soccer moms who are late for Palates.

But the song was kind of catchy, especially the way they rhymed skyrockets in flight with afternoon delight. You can really almost hear the Pepsident smile in their voices.

Here you go. See if you can decifer the clever double entendres and share the pain:

Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight
My motto's always been 'when it's right, it's right'
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day
And we know the night is always gonna be there any way

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
And the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting

Sky rockets in flightAfternoon delightAfternoon delight
Afternoon delight

Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite
But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might try nibbling
A little afternoon delight

Sky rockets in flight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight

Please be waiting for me, baby, when I come around
We could make a lot of lovin' 'for the sun goes down

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite

Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
And the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting

Sky rockets in flight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight
Afternoon delight

Aaaaaaaaafternoon delight!

Feel free to puke like you just ate an entire box of Hostess Ho Ho's washed down with a bottle of Tab.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Oh, so it’s gonna be that way, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers?

What would you say?
Illinois authorities are debating whether to press charges against the Dave Mathew’s band tour bus for dumping human waste through a bridge’s grating onto a tourist boat. In addition, the bus could also face the lesser charge of imitating “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell.

Can you imagine? There you are minding your own business and then 800 pounds of human waste comes raining down on you. It’s sort of like going to a Madonna film festival.

Not a good look
*The U.S. Women’s soccer team won the gold medal for the fab Five, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain, who have been playing since ’91. I don’t want to say the gals are getting older, but if Brandi Chastain wanted to flash her breasts after a goal, she’d have to take off her shorts.

The stands were nearly empty during the women Olympic gold medal soccer match. See what happens when you don’t allow the girls to pull off their jerseys?

Not quite the same
In a retiring-from-wrestling tradition, Bronze medal winner Rulon Gardner left his wrestling shoes at the center ring of the mat. And in a new Olympic tradition, after losing to Argentina, the U.S. men’s basketball team left their pride at center court.

As I said:
The U.S. Women’s soccer team won the gold medal for the fab Five, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain, who have been playing since ’91.

Here are some signs the soccer "Babe City" girls are getting older.

Their Granny underwear starting to poke out of soccer shorts

Flashing after a goal replaced with hot flashing after a goal

Entire team tested positive for Metamucil

Team meetings consists primarily of complaining about their children not calling enough

Practice cut short to watch “Matlock” reruns.

They repeatedly have to ask what the score is in those exciting 1-0 games

Instead of Gatorade, after wins, they drench their coach with Ensure.

And the final sign the U.S. Women’s soccer team is getting older:

Instead of heading the ball, they just want to cuddle.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

This just in:

Anyone who didn’t cry when they watched loveable Bear/ Saint Bernard puppy/ Norm from “Cheers” wrestler Rolan Gardner cry when he took of his shoes to ceremoniously leave them at center ring to retire . . . well, you need to get your wiring checked, is all.

Oh, now, you got’s to stops it like that, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Questions for the ages
*This Olympics has raised some questions: How on earth did the Greek hosts finish all that construction on time? How did the under-dog Iraqi soccer team perform so well? How does all that whore makeup stay on the synchronized swimmers in the water?

And he mumbles, just like a little girl
*Bob Dylan is going to release his memoirs in October. It’s interesting, I have an advanced copy. Here Dylan says;

“I’ll never forget the first tiiiiime, tha whamer mumble, wumble waddda whaa ewwww. ”

The book comes with its very own Dylan-speak translator.

Did I mention this?
*How about that gold medal beach volleyball celebration by Kerri Walsh and Misty May? They were so ecstatic, they hugged kissed and fell on top of each other. I tuned in a beach volleyball game and a “Girls Gone Wild” video broke out.

Poo stew
*I don’t want to say the presidential campaign is slimey, but the more I follow the campaign, the more I feel like the Dave Mathews band bus just drove overhead.

The Dave Matthews Band bus allegedly dumped 800 pounds of liquid human waste through the grating of a bridge and onto about 100 happy boat goers on the Chicago river. As if being a Chicago Bulls fan wasn’t bad enough.

The bad news for the driver is that he will probably be fired by the Dave Matthews Band; the good news for the driver is that “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell was so impressed by what he did, he will hire him for his driver.

Arrrrrr, me Matey
*British police arrested radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri on suspicion of terrorism links. Al-Masri has two hooks for hands and is blind in one eye. He will be charged with instigating terrorism and the lesser charge of badly impersonating a pirate.

No joke here, just a question
The Olympics has the Decathlon, the Triathlon, the Modern Pentathlon, the women’s Heptathlon. How come it’s the Marathon instead of the Marathlon?

I might have made this one up
*Things are getting set to get ugly in the Iraq militant town of Najaf; the military is threatening to send in the Dave Matthews Band tour bus.

Since you asked;

Oh, Olympics, what a glorious bad girl your are.

When I was a wild young man on the prowl – boy, do I sound like I am about to offer you a hard lemon candy and expound about; “Back in my day….” or what? – I developed a taste for the wild ones: Girls that were flirty drama queens, fun, and pretty, but, in my mind, so nuts they were safe from any potential heartbreak. Who in their right mind would fall for a Wild Girl? Well, as it turns out, I did, every time.

(See: Tom Petty’s great song; “The Wild One, Forever”)

After a couple weeks of gloriously saturated living, it was over.

Well, that’s how I feel about the Olympics. Just about when I am ready to ask the Olympics to not see other people, they announce they are leaving and won’t be back for at least another four years.

What did Ol’ Billy say? ‘Tis better to have loved and lost? I guess so.

But I could make Misty May a happy woman. Just let go of your tall teammate and walk away.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I may think I is the man, but Roman Sebrle is the man, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Athens had a 4.5 earthquake. Now it turns out it was really a 4.7 The FIG (Federation International Gymnastics) messed up the score.

Rulon rules
Don’t you love Olympic super-heavyweight champion Rulon Gardner? The guy is the perfect storm combination of a Saint Bernard puppy, a bear and Norm from “Cheers.”

That’s me
You know one of the things I love about the Olympics? It’s how I become an instant expert on sports I know nothing about, like diving and gymnastics. When I first turn it on, I am clueless; after five minutes I’m yelling;

“They took off a tenth for that? The judges are idiots.”

Girls Gone Wild, Athens Olympics
How about that gold medal beach volleyball celebration by Kerri Walsh and Misty May? They were so ecstatic, they hugged and then kissed and rolled on top of each other, and then they hugged again, and rolled and then kissed, and . . . I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

For a while there I wasn't sure if it was a gold medal celebration or a "Girls Gone Wild" video.

See if you can spot the hint
The New York Jets have signed Quincy Carter. The Jets really feel they have chopped out and sniffed a deal and that they have a line on a guy who won’t blow it.

Good luck
The September issue of Playboy features U.S. women Olympians. It will be interesting to see how they can figure out how to put the women’s beach volleyball players in even less clothes.

Dick Cheney is in favor of gay marriage. And not just in secure and undisclosed locations.

Since you asked:
What a stud Olympic Decathlon winner Roman Sebrle is. He is the man. And seemingly funny and charismatic as well. And how about that awesome silver medal winner Chris Clay? He was as much of a surprise as Tom Pappas was a heartbreak. (Obviously Pappas’s foot had been bugging him for a long time, but he had too much class to use it as an excuse. Too bad. When Pappas took off his spikes after pulling up in the pole vault, and his foot was already heavily taped, you’d think one of the brain trusts at NBC could have done the math)

But here is my question: how the hell do you pronounce Sebrle? If you over-do-it like Dwight Stones, it sounds like Chevrolet. Under do it, like Jim Lampley, and it sounds like Cybil. Either way, man, what I would give to be Sebrle’s agent right now: Buffed, handsome, smart, funny . . . there are so few of us.

Don’t get me started on Dwight Stones. He was the original prissy, annoying, egomaniacal track diva before Carl Lewis. (He made quite the fashion statements in the late Seventies with his Espadrille sandals and his shirts knotted at the chest. It was absolutely fierce)

How Stones grew such an enormous head without ever winning a gold medal is somewhat of an amazement, but I had the honor of seeing Mighty Dwighty in action up close when I trained at the same track as Prince Floppy at Long Beach State. God, what an insufferable schmuck.

First of all, the parking lot fifty feet from the track wasn’t good enough for his special-ness, Dwight. No, he had to pull his spiffy little shiny sports car on to the field next to the track. Once Dwight was over an hour late for an interview. He made the interviewer and the camera crew wait as he wordlessly jogged past them four times while warming up. Finally addressing nobody in particular, Mister Stones proclaimed:

“You may interview Dwight Stones for ten minutes on the high jump apron in thirty minutes.”

It was my first, first person witness of somebody addressing himself in the third person.

With the notable exceptions of Bruce Jenner and Dwight Stones, generally everyone I have met who was a big shot in track and field (Including gold medal decathlon winners Rafer Johnson, Bill Tomey and gold medal pole vaulter Bob Seagren) has been great. No matter what the level of accomplishment, track athletes generally share a bond that somehow escaped primma donnas Jenner and Stones. (I started smelling a rat with Jenner when he didn't even bother to pack his vaulting poles after winning gold in Montreal. It was soon obvious the Decathlon was just a tool to launch his infomercials and Village People movie appearance)

Either way, Roman "Chevrolet, Cybil" Sebrle could kick both of their over-coiffed asses.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

We in the Shizzle for Rezzle, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

It’s Greek to me
Decathlon World Champion Tom Pappas pulled out of the Decathlon with a strained foot. Ironically, Pappas is an old Greek word that, roughly translated, means: Boy, do my Nikes suck.

The Decathlon is ten demanding track and field events contested over two long days. For those who are interested, Decathlon is an ancient Greek word that means; “Why didn’t I pick bowling instead?”

Two different opinions
*There is a controversy over whether Paul Hamm deserves his all-around gold medal since there was a mistake in the score. John Kerry said Hamm should throw the medal away and then try and re-claim it, and President Bush said; “What’s wrong with finishing second but being awarded the win?”

Not the race card, the test tube
*The press is making a big deal over the fact 400-meter gold medal winner Jeremy Wariner is the first white sprinter to win in a long time. That’s silly, everyone knows it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, it only matters that your steroids don’t show up in the urine test.

Since you asked:

Blessed is the TiVo. All hail the TiVo.

Thanks to my DVR device, I have not missed one second of the Decathlon coverage, which, by the way, compared to other Olympics, has been pretty good. Probably due to NBC’s lame plugging of Tom Pappas’s far-flung Greek heritage. Not only that, but I get to speed through all the Olympic stuff I don’t give a Blue-tongued Australian Skink about.

Go U.S. Women’s soccer. That will be awesome on Thursday. The final hurrah for Babe City.

Did you see how relaxed and fast Jeremy Wariner was in his 400 win? Believe me, I have been on both sides of that equation. The 400 is a lot like hitting off the tee. When you tense up and try real hard, it goes very badly very quickly.

Of course, for it to go THAT well – 44 seconds - requires amazing fitness, talent, training and technique. The Decathlon participants are amazing athletes and, granted, they’ve had a long hard day, but they are fast, fit and well-coached and they are coming in at around 47-48. Wariner is over three seconds faster than that.

But then, my man Bill Toomey ran a righteous 45 in Mexico City 1968 during his Decathlon gold.

Monday, August 23, 2004

This just in:

Rodney King is becoming a rapper. His rap name is Run DUI.

Rodney King wants to be a rapper, but he is having trouble finding a producer who will financially back his rapping; in fact, Rodney’s first song is titled; “Can’t We All Get a Loan?”

Oh, it’s on like it’s supposed to be on when it’s on, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Maybe not many voice-overs
*Despite his high voice, All-around gymnastic winner Paul Hamm can look forward to lucrative endorsement deals, especially from the representatives of the Lollipop Guild.

Have you seen her? Tell me have you seen her?
*Russia’s Irina Korzhanenko, who won the Olympic shot put last Wednesday, was stripped of her gold medal for testing positive for steroid use. Did you see this woman? In other equally shocking news, Donald Trump’s comb-over tested positive for hair spray.

Korzhanenko was so distraught at hearing this, she hurled her jock strap and cracked the wall.

Not to be mistaken
*The painting “The Scream” was stolen from a Norwegian museum. “The Scream” was a famous existential portrayal of anxiety by Edvard Munch. “The Scream” is not the official portrait of New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey.

One day
*The story of the Athens Olympics is the success of the Iraq soccer team, proof of what can happen when a team is released from the torment of a sadistic tyrant. The New York Yankees and Oakland Raiders can only hope and dream.

Since you asked:
It turns out a mistake in the scoring resulted in Paul Hamm’s All-around gold medal. An American gymnastic coach said the results should stand and compared it to an NFL game in which a referee’s mistake was detected later.

Yeah, it’s just like that except for one thing: it’s nothing at all in the world like that.

A ref’s single mistake would only be one of countless factors in determining the outcome of a football game. The one and only method of determining the winner of a gymnastic event are the judge’s scores. If there was a mistake – as there was in this case - then the outcome should be changed. The fairest solution is to give another gold medal to the Korean gymnast who was wronged. The other option is to take away Hamm's gold and give it to the Korean gymnast. We don't want that, now do we?

Go Tom P:
The Olympic Decathlon begins today. Various Olympic events have been compared my old event, the beloved Decathlon; the Individual medley swims are the Decathlon of swimming; the gymnastics All-around is the Decathlon of gymnastics. And the 2004 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team’s performance was the Decathlon of sucking.

U.S. Decathlon great Tom Pappas, win or lose, is an amazing athlete. His Decathlon performances would beat the top ten performances of most great NCAA division one entire track teams if totaled for a Decathlon score. How do I know that? Well, I don’t for a fact, but I bet it is true. Either way, the guy is amazing.

Hey, I never said my stuff was accurate. Hell, it ain't even funny a lot of the time.

Don't go changing to try and please us, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers.