Long before "extreme" became "X-treme", when you talked about "extreme sports", you were usually talking about daredevil motorcycle stunts, and if you were talking about daredevils, there was usually only one man you were talking about: Evel Knievel.
Evel Knievel was famous as much for the stunts that failed as the stunts that worked. The clip above is of his infamous leap over the fountains at Caesar's Palace, a stunt that resulted in him breaking nearly every bone in his body. His other failure of renown was his attempted leap over the Snake River Canyon on a specially-designed bike. I was one of the millions who tuned in to see if he could actually perform such a stunt, or if not, just how spectacular the crash and burn would be. Surprisingly, he escaped with only minor injuries.
Evel's last jump came in 1981, but his legendary feats and showmanship made him an icon. His death at the age of 69 is almost a surprise, because when you consider how many times he cheated death in the past, you'd think he would have kept on doing it forever. Oddly enough, his death comes only a couple of days after his name made headlines once again because of a lawsuit he'd filed (and then settled) against rapper Kanye West for trademark infringement. Evel always did know how to milk publicity for all it was worth.
EDIT: Taylor passed away from his injuries early Tuesday morning. A sad end to a life that had its controversies, yet appeared to be moving towards something more positive. While I extend my condolences to his family and friends, I still can't help but wonder why a man who had that many brushes with the violent side of life didn't feel the need to invest in anything to protect himself and his family from the possibility of violence. But for the grace of God, there could have been three dead instead of one.
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was in critical condition after being shot at his home in Miami early Monday morning. The incident is being investigated as a possible burglary.
While I join all those sending up good thoughts and prayers for Taylor and his family for a swift and complete recovery, one question keeps nagging at me as I read the story of the incident:
Doesn't this man have a security system in his home?
This is the second apparent break-in at his home in the past eight days. In the first incident, someone pried open a window, went through his drawers and left a kitchen knife on the bed. This time, someone came armed.
Sean Taylor is a Pro Bowl-caliber safety, a four-year veteran with the Redskins. This man is pulling in a more-than-decent salary. He has a home in a large city, where violent criminal activity is known to take place. He himself has a rep for getting into trouble, occasionally involving guns. If anyone needs some kind of security system in his home to protect himself and his family, it would be Sean Taylor--yet apparently all he seemed to think he needed was his trusty machete.
I can understand someone getting past a security system once, either by disabling it or because someone forgot to turn it on. However, if someone had broken into my home once already, I wouldn't be setting foot into that house until I was assured that there was something in place that somebody wasn't going to get past again. If I already had a security system and someone managed to get in the first time, I would be on the phone screaming bloody murder for someone to come to my house and find out what went wrong and make sure it didn't happen again. Hell, I probably would even upgrade what I had just to be sure I could sleep at night--but there's nothing I'm reading telling me that Taylor did any of those things, and that just boggles my mind.
I really hope I'm wrong, I really hope that it's just a detail that got bypassed in the telling of the story, but something just doesn't sound right about this.
No really, who does, because this is starting to get really ridiculous now.
#1 Ohio State two weeks ago were dropped when all they had to do was win out and they're going to New Orleans. They lost to the Zookster and were thought to be on life support, needing something short of a flat out miracle to change their flight plan from Pasadena to the Bayou. Guess miracles are in something of a high demand, because here's what's gone down since then...
- Then #2 Oregon loses Dennis Dixon for the year, then goes on to lose to the Swarm out in the Desert. Oh and in case any of you ADs are the least bit interested *Nebraska & A&M, ya might wanna take notice*, they have a Stoops of their own down there causing all kinds of chaos. Especially against Top 10 foes.
What? Not enough chaos for ya? It gets better.
- #6 Arizona State's in prime position to simply win out and hope for a few things to go wrong to cap off their nice run. Apparently, USC didn't get the memo that their title hopes are dashed and they are who we thought they were. So while most of you were downing your turkey and stuffing, they were stuffing Rudy Carpenter and making the Devils bow down to the Trojans. Guess nobody wants to be Pac-10 champ either.
Yet...here's the kicker that has me livid as an anti-Buckeye.
- #1 LSU loses in triple OT AT HOME. It's funny to mention now, but I had a column I never finished shortly after the New Ball Coach beat The Sabinator a month ago. Looks like I won't have to worry about finishing it now, same way Les won't have national champion to put on top of his resume when he interviews *and if he has a clue, accepts* the Michigan job.
So now, common sense states the Border War survivor will become for the first time in its school's history the #1 team in the land as they head for a showdown against Oklahoma which did its part last week getting flat smushed by Tee Tech. Loser can take solace in the fact that this late into the year, we actually gave a crap that they played on a Saturday night and we didn't sleep through it as they await their BCS bid. West Virginia's the logical #2, but only if they can handle UConn, yet another school who didn't get the 'you are a basketball program' memo that just so happened to miss Kansas and Mizzou this year as well. So now folks in Ohio are still clinging to the hope that OSU might take their overrated asses down to the N.O. for yet ANOTHER national championship game. BAH. Why can't we throw Colt Brennan in this mix?! They're unbeaten. They haven't lost. :P Shouldn't they have an opportunity to take the crystal football down to the Aloha State? I'm calling play-cism. Play-cism damnit!
On this, "Black Friday" as millions push and shove to Christmas shop... I need to take time to give thanks on a sports front for certain things that have put a smile on my face. For starters...
- I'd like to give thanks to the Yankees. No, really, I thank them for giving me that 'Captain Save-A-Fraud' which translates into a real time Captain Save-A-Ho to laugh at. I'd like to thank them for shitcanning the manager that returned them to respectability on a national level by winning four World Series titles in his first six seasons. Luck to Girardi trying to top that. Congrats to them breaking the bank *predictably* to get a nonachieving bat back that will NOT help them in October. Shame they aren't giving out trophies in September, the Yanks would have title #27 by now.
- I'd also like to give thanks to the Knicks, even though those who were duped into buying season tickets probably aren't. I'd like to give thanks to them because simply put, when the Yanks aren't in play, it's great to see these clowns are giving me more than plenty to laugh at. I mean, let us chronicle the past few months in Knicks' history shall we?
First, they get caught up in a sexual harrassment trial which they lose but are actually too stupid to settle out of court to avoid the humiliation that comes with losing a SEXUAL HARRASSMENT TRIAL. Hold up. This is the same franchise that shelled out MILLIONS to the likes of Jared Jeffries, Allan Houston *as a fan back then, even I couldn't defend this*, Jerome James and so on...but couldn't pay someone to shut her trap to avoid the backlash that followed? Good grief, this stupidity has reached Beavis and Butthead levels.
Before that, they made a deal to get yet another combustible element to their team that "in theory" made them a player in the East...but come on folks. "In theory" didn't win no championships, last time I checked. Speaking of said combustability, Crapbury decided to take his ball and go home after finding out he was demoted. Follow me here, it gets real dumbass from here. He comes back to the team and damn near every man on the team not named Isiah wants him to sit. So he does...for all of about 5 minutes against the Clips. He plays the rest of the game and well, so much for team unity right? Honestly, if it weren't for this Knicks fan I work with, I probably wouldn't feel the need to bring this up other than in passing...but he continues to live on this notion that the Knicks are what they were a decade ago and that's just not the case. Now you've got fans chanting for Isiah to be fired in front of Commissioner Stern and Son of Dumbass, I meant Dolan. I'll get to this in-depth in a seperate column. Now...for some good things I'm thankful for.
Michael Vick has turned himself in to U.S. marshals today and will stay in jail until his sentencing in three weeks.
One has to wonder why he has chosen to go to jail before this week's Thanksgiving festivities. After all, Turkey Day is usually considered time spent with friends and family. If one is facing the possibility of spending extended time away from said friends and family, you'd think you'd want to wait until after the holiday to do so.
1. He's heard that the turducken at Northern Neck Regional Jail is to die for.
2. Mama Ookie is making her godawful green bean casserole again.
3. The thought of watching Thanksgiving Day football gets him all verklempt.
4. It's just not Thanksgiving without the traditional family dogfight before dinner.
5. The PETA people threatened to inflate him with helium and enter him in the Macy's parade.
Ya know, I figured I'd switch it up a bit here. Rather than get all ranty and what not, I'd write a song to commemorate jilted A-Fraud and the most storied contradiction...err, franchise reuniting. So set to the beat of the Jodeci ballad "Cry For You", Len Corleone presents...Pay For You.
With you A-Fraud,
We've been worthless...
We may never win again...
Its been a month since you been gone,
And that's too long,
So come back home,
We won't win with you...
But we will pay you...
We will do what we can,
To have that bat in your nonachieving hand,
We're sorry we renounced you,
But we will pay you,
Gimme that bridge...
You know we'll never win with you,
And yet we'll overpay you,
We will pay you anything,
We're on our knees for you,
What did you think we'd do,
We don't know, we don't know
But we'll pay
A-Fraud we, will pay for you today
*Insert K-Ci's crying here over the sound of Yankee fans moaning*
A-Fraud we, will pay for you today
As a Mets fan, allow me to echo the sentiment of Red Sox Nation who said it best after Game 4 of the World Series...
DON'T SIGN A-ROD!!!
I get that the appeal to sign an overrated, glorified diva such as himself is an appealing one. I mean, you've got a new stadium you're moving in to within the next two years and all...but why? Why do it? Why make a move like this when there are others to be made and others that NEED to be made. Like, say for instance, getting another reliable arm to fill out the rotation. Or maybe getting some type of bullpen help and a possible replacement for Wags, who clearly wilted at key points a year ago. Seriously, I heard David Wright on Mike & Mike this morning and I know they're all going to say the right things just cause they have to...but I'm going to be extremely LIVID if I wake up one morning or come home from work to find out A-Rod's a Met next year. I swear on all
I love, if A-Rod's a Met next year, I'm not a fan of this team. I'm dead serious. I refuse to back a team that's willing to forsake winning just to get some putz who's going to fade away when the team needs him the most. There's nothing that can justify him being signed to this team that will make me 'okay' with this move happening. Anyway, if you want to get a big name to Queens, here's a suggestion.
I hear that some guy in Minnesota named Johan's has an arm and is trying to get a ring on his hand. He's willing to pitch in October and is definitely tired of losing. Ya might wanna make that team an offer so we can get him alongside Pedro and J-Maine.
President of the Can Coughlin Coalition
Fight Night with Jade: HBO PPV--Madison Square Garden
Let me get one thing out on the open right now: I hate Shane Mosley.
I hate Shane Mosley about as much as I hate Duke, Miami, the Dallas Cowboys and the Boston Red Sox, and all more or less for the same reason: because just about everyone else has them on a freaking pedestal, and they are all to some degree overrated.
It's not so much that Mosley isn't talented, it's just that I don't see how he manages to beat some of his opponents. Yes, he has quick hands, and still does even at the ripe old age of 36, but he's not necessarily a power puncher and he isn't always the dominant fighter in a match. In his first fight against Oscar De La Hoya, he took the decision despite the fact that De La Hoya had been the more aggressive and active fighter, and had set the pace throughout the entire match (and considering Oscar's tendency to fade in the late rounds, that's saying a lot). Oscar seems to have forgiven Shane, since Mosley's now one of his "Golden Boy" fighters, but I have not.
Ever since Vernon Forrest crushed him twice in a row, I have been waiting for more fighters to figure out what makes Shane Mosley tick, but other than a couple of losses to Winky Wright, he has been maddeningly successful. Tonight, Mosley challenged undefeated Miguel Cotto for Cotto's WBA welterweight title. Cotto has the power and the speed to beat Mosley, but his chin falls somewhere between glass and granite and he's shown in past fights that despite being unbeaten, he isn't unstoppable. Would Miguel Cotto make me a happy Mosley-hater or would Shane Mosley manage to annoy the hell out of me yet again?
I wrote about this over at the Flektor Development Blog, but the video itself is way, way too good not to share here.
I DO feel bad for the kid, despite the fact he's a Hurricane player (and probably a real scumbag), but at least he does have that one big touchdown pass to feel good about. It's not like they've got someone else they can put in his palce right now, either, so he's going to keep the starting job for awhile. Maybe he'll do better next game; crazier things have happened.
Still, it's a good thing I wasn't watching this game, because I probably would've wet myself laughing a la Nelson Muntz at Kirby Freeman's misfortune. And also I would've been laughing at the fact that he was named after a Nintendo ghost and the grandfather from The Boondocks, but that would've given me a chuckle anyway.