Rick vs. Sammy

Everyone's probably heard about Rick Reilly asking Sammy Sosa to take a steroid test during a post-game interview. Reilly even went so far as to get the address of a local clinic. Well, Sammy went off on Reilly, so Reilly wrote a column in SI raising doubts about whether Sammy was clean. Reilly concludes the article: "True, it would take some large cojones [to get tested right away, without waiting for mandatory testing]. Of course, if these players are on steroids, they lost those a long time ago."
Rick Reilly is an a$$ for confronting Sammy like that, and a bigger one for then trying to come off as if he was the one wronged. Innocent until proven guilty, Rick. You should've learned that in grade school. That was a cheap publicity stunt which you're milking for all it's worth. Want to prove your cojones? Go ask the same question of Barry Bonds, or Mark McGwire if he were still playing. Then we'll see if you and your cojones fit in a locker room urinal.

Asian Invasion

First you have Japanese players like Ichiro coming over and leading all All-Star voting, then Yao Ming from China is the first overall NBA draft pick this year, and now 113 pound Takeru Kobayashi has won Nathan's Famous Annual hot dog eating contest for the second year straight. And not just by a little. He ate 50.5 hot dogs AND buns in 12 minutesm while second place contestant Eric Booker (400 pounds) only managed 26. There was controvery, though, as apparently Kobayashi heaved and coughed some of the hot dog back up (one of those acts that induces in observers the same reaction) into his mouth. Judges let him keep the title, though, and, amusingly, his margin of victory covered the spread of 20 hot dogs established by Internet gamblers.
Read the article--it's hilarious. Reads like an Onion article, except it's real. Among the more humorous excerpts:

  • Booker, spouting Zen-like strategy, reminding me of contestants in the annual Hands on a Hard Body contest: "I didn't want to suffer the mistakes I had last year, where I was looking around to see what everyone was doing. It was just me and the dogs."

  • Contestants are disqualified only if food is actually visibly regurgitated. "Footage captured by ESPN confirms that some hot dog slush did spill through Kobayashi's fingers and pieces of liquid bun spouted out of his nose, but footage shows time had already expired."

  • Now he knows how Lance and Sammy feel: "These (American) guys last year were yelling and screaming drugs, drugs, drugs," said Rich Shea, who noted that contestants accused Kobayashi of using muscle relaxers. "I was with him all morning, and I've seen no evidence of it. As the international federation, it would be our duty to bring drug testing into this sport, but there's just no evidence."

Kobayashi weighed 113 pounds before he began, 120 pounds afterwards. I would find this particularly disgusting if not for the fact that a bunch of friends recently held a wing-eating contest (part of the regular Tatonka Night wing-eating gathering established by Andy). That night, Dave ate 72 wings, Jason gained some 9 pounds in fat, chicken, and beer, and Jenny put away 45. I ate 30 wings once at the event. Eating a massive amount of food is less about the actual volume consumed than the extreme self-disgust and self-hatred (pity?) which results from harming your body like that. Short way of saying the mental fortitude required to do something like that is more impressive than the physical act of doing so.

Free smoothies for a year

Joannie ran the Chicago Jamba Juice All-American 8K today (she's training for the Chicago Marathon), and at the end of the race she won the grand prize in the raffle. Free Jamba Juice smoothies for a year. The mental picture that persists is Joannie posing for pictures with two people dressed as strawberries.