AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
Growing up, one of the biggest fans of pro wrestling was my grandfather, who at the time was one of the only people I knew who had cable television. Philadelphia had its own regional cable network, Prism, which in addition to functioning like a regular movie channel, was also the home of the Phillies, Flyers, Tommy Conwell concerts and Spectrum Wrestling. Every month the former WWF came to town for title bouts, and Prism would broadcast the whole thing. My parents were a little skeptical of me watching it (on the Prism matches, there would be blood), but as long as my demure, soft-spoken grandfather was watching it, it seemed okay.
One of the more memorable bouts we watched together was when then WWF champion Bob Backlund was putting his title on the line against George "The Animal" Steele, who, at the time, was my favorite wrestler. George Steele lost, and I was heartbroken. Later, It was rather surprising to find out that "The Animal" was, like, a science teacher from Michigan in real life and not some hairy freak who subsisted on a diet of turnbuckles. It's even more disappointing to find out that today George Steele has been brainwashed by Jesus.
But it seems Jesus picked the wrong wrestler to possess. After the horrible story of Chris Benoit came out this week, it's once again thrust steroids front and center, thanks to the afterschool special-like "roid rage" Benoit supposedly went through while choking his wife and suffocating his young son — who had Fragile X Syndrome no less. (One positive out of this whole ordeal: This pretty much gives a definitive answer to the hotly debated, bong-induced "Would you rather have Roid Rage Strength or Retard Strength?" question. Juice it is.)
Maybe, possibly ... eh, not a chance will this prevent other athletes from using steroids. However, hopefully those who do won't have as many roiling demons as Mr. Benoit apparently did. Some will. And I am hopeful that their families heed these warnings and plan their escape routes the first time Dad decides to throw the refrigerator on top of Mom to relieve a little stress.
So, this week I'm headbutting the computer monitor, showing off my tiny nuts and calculating odds on the next alleged steroid user to go all Benoit on their family's asses.
Let's go pop some back acne after this, uh, MORE.
Takeru Kobayashi: 3/1
Yeah. "Jaw ailment." Get out of here, you wiener-slurping monster. This is exactly the type of injury athletes seeking a competitive edge endure when their muscles outgrow their bones. I must have missed the Men's Fitness article about how eating 492 venison scrotums can give you eight-pack abs. Kobayashi's family gets to look forward to a Dawn of the Dead-style roid rage as their dismal fate: One minute, he'll be cranky about coming in second at the mayonnaise-eating competition and, next, he'll be attacking Sarah Polley in the bathroom. So it goes.
Lance Armstrong: 1/1
No, no, of course not! Lance Armstrong beat cancer because he has the heart of a lion! He has enough lung capacity to inflate a dirigible with his mouth! Fuuuuck you. This guy's urine could could burn through marble. Up until now, he's been taking out his depressive bouts by wolfing down margaritas with Matthew McConaghey, but it's only a matter of time before he's tying his ex-wife to a stationary bike with Live Strong bracelets, chopping up his children and then stuffing their remains in a fanny pack and depositing the remains along the Barton Creek biking trail in Austin.
Ed Hochuli: 2/1
Although technically not an athlete, Big Ed's enormous arms and veiny neck raise questions as to whether or not his superhero build is artificially enhanced. Of course it is. He can do butterflies all day, but there's no way a 60-year-old man can maintain as well as he does. Watch what happens the next time there's a controversial call which he's unfairly blamed for; his family will find him coming into their bedrooms while they sleep, having a whistle blared in their eardrums until they rupture, then having their gaping mouths stuffed with little yellow flags. Business. Given.
Tiger Woods: 1/4
Tiger's temper is legendary, and the more enormous he becomes, the more likely it seems he's on the verge of beheading a camera-flashing spectator with a 7-iron. So far his new family has cost him the Buick Open, and he's smiled through it. But watch what happens if a wailing baby and a needy Elin cost him the AT&T National. Which club do you think Tiger will use to chip his newborn daughter into a lake? I'd say a 9-iron.