Programming note: Our beloved Emeritus is traveling this week. Whether it's by air or through space and time, he refused to confirm. In his place, I will be presenting this week's Ten Humans. Sort of.
I say "sort of" because, in a decision that was as baffling as it was poorly timed, this site's esteemed editor, Alejandro Jamario Daulerio, decided to invest the entire week's budget in bacon futures. Consequently, I was informed that we didn't have the funds available for me to write about ten whole humans, and that I had to limit myself to ten specific body parts instead. Even worse, I was told that Roy Halladay's aura of invincibility did not count as a body part. What is this, Russia?
In any event, here is this week's list. Apologies in advance to all you vestigial tail fans, but the news has been pretty quiet on that front. Unless my Google Alert feed has failed me.
Dikembe Mutombo's Left Knee. Specifically, its rupturing during last week's game against Portland. Even before Mutombo announced his retirement the following day, you knew his career was over. Which was sad, because you hate to see the career of any athlete, let alone one as likable as him, end with them being carried off on a stretcher,
gutterly warbling in agony. He was in so much pain, a young blind child sitting courtside was overheard asking, "Mommy, is Mrs. Chewbacca having a baby?"
Although it's not like a storybook retirement guarantees a problem-free future or anything. John Elway hung them up on top of the world, and even he's had his struggles with post-football life. At the end of the day, I'd be happy to go out the same way my dad did. He was fired after he was caught having sex on his boss's desk. The only thing I'd change is that I'd have someone else there with me.
John Daly's Wang. Did you hear? It's longer than the line-ups at the DMV! Or so wrote Rick Reilly (probably) in his 2004 book, Who's Your Caddy? [note: I thought we had already determined it was Faizon Love?]. In a recent interview, Daly expressed displeasure with this disclosure, claiming that when he (told? showed?) it to Reilly, it was supposed to be off the record.
I'm not sure who comes off looking worse in this story - Daly for the slightly unsettling cockiness, or Reilly for making it pubic. What I do know is that it is we, the giggling, unwashed massives, who benefit.
Whew. Just barely made the pun quota for a Reilly posting there.
Jay Cutler's Liver. Apparently, it's being put through quite the off-season workout regimen. The Bears say they aren't worried about it, which makes sense, considering their last legendarily hard-partying quarterback ended up in the Hall of Fame. I guess one cause for concern might be that Cutler is a diabetic, although admittedly I have no idea what effect excessive alcohol consumption might have on his condition. If only there was someone out there with an intimate knowledge of both football and diabetes, and who had no qualms about interrupting what up to that point had been a delightfully breezy conversation about all things football with a ten-minute soliloquy on this very subject. Does Peter King have a medical degree?
Karen Sypher's Eyes. We still know next to nothing about what may or may not have occurred between Sypher and Louisville coach Rick Pitino back in 2003. We know some of the details of the alleged extortion attempt that Sypher has been charged with, but as she hasn't been convicted of anything, it would be irresponsible to speculate about her guilt or innocence at this point in time.
But still...look at those peepers! I mean, come on! To paraphrase Tony Soprano, somebody dim the Manson Lamps! If the eyes truly are the windows to the soul, then all I'm saying is that someone needs to invest in a serious pair of blackout curtains before she gets in front of a jury.
Now excuse me as I cowardly slink away from any further comment on this subject (note: in case anyone is counting, Sypher's eyes count as two parts).
Susan Boyle's Voice Box. It's amazing. World class. She seems like a lovely person, and I, like most of the planet, really hope she goes on to have a very successful singing career. But I can't be alone in thinking that her appearance on Britain's Got Talent was just a little too perfect to warrant this level of hype. Now I'm obviously not saying it was staged, or that the judges or the crowd in attendance were in on it. But didn't we do this exact same thing with Paul Potts just over two years ago? And given how much attention he received, shouldn't we be expecting one of these "oh-my-God-how-can-something-so-beautiful-come-out-of-something-that-looks-like-that?" stories pretty much once a year?
Don't get me wrong, I love to be inspired as much as the next person. Case in point, I've probably watched the video of Mo Cheeks helping that girl with the anthem about 50 times, and it always gets me a bit misty. But I prefer it when my spontaneous moments of wonder aren't telegraphed by ten cut-aways to dismissive eye-rolling from the audience. And I'm betting I'm not alone. In fact, I know of at least one hard-hearted television writer who no doubt saw right through this slick piece of forced sentimentality and...
Well, that settles it then. Everyone start hoarding the Patchouli oil, I'll tell Barbara Streisand she's President.
Patrick Schuster's Arm. Later this afternoon, the 18-year-old high school senior from Florida goes for his fifth consecutive no-hitter. The U.S. record for consecutive no-no's by a high-schooler is six, and surprisingly, it's not held by Jeremy Stevens (hey-oh)! Best of luck to Patrick, and God help the kid who inevitably breaks the streak with a bunt single.
One question, though - what's the "don't talk to the pitcher" etiquette in this situation? I mean, if a pitcher's got a no-hitter in the fifth, his teammates are supposed to stay away from him. But what if the no-hitter continues over multiple games? Do they keep on ignoring him, even at school and at practice? Imagine how difficult high school would be if no one talked to you for weeks at a time. Why, I can only imagine that it would be horrible!
/bites knuckle, stifles wail
Let's move on.
Hulk Hogan's Mouth. Hogan supporters (formerly "Hulkamaniacs") are saying that his recent comment in an interview with Rolling Stone about "totally understand[ing] O.J." (when discussing his bitter divorce proceedings with his wife) was taken out of context. Good enough for me. After all, if there is anyone who deserves the benefit of the doubt on something like this, it's a hyper-emotional pro wrestler with a long, storied history of steroid abuse.
Seriously, pro wrestlers are the entertainment industry's version of the Kennedy family - the number of them that meet premature, tragic ends is disproportionately high. Is there an easier gig in the world than being the administrator of the WWE's pension plan? That thing pays out less than a Karen Sypher extortion target.
Karl Pilkington's Head. Look at it - it's perfectly round, like a f#####g orange. For my money, the Ricky Gervais series of audiobooks continues to be the funniest thing going, the brand new "Guide to...The English" being no exception. On a related note, I think at this point I have bought every single comedy album available on iTunes. If I had to rank them, I'd go with:
1. Patton Oswalt's Werewolves & Lollipops
2. Paul F. Tompkins's Impersonal
3. Todd Barry's Medium Energy
4. Mitch Hedberg's Strategic Grill Locations
5. Nickelback's Dark Horse
Who'd I miss?
Rick Ankiel's Moustache (In Memoriam). Just a thank you to Will for letting me fill in. He's back next week.