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Prepare for the Onslaught

This may be the last hours of sporting life as we’ve known it. Soon, very soon, a 500-foot-high Summer Olympic Games tsunami, now rocketing across the Pacific, will SLAM into San Diego, taking out newspaper sports sections and obliterating regular sports news on television.

The sports blackout will continue for 16 days, or about the length of time it took Germany to occupy France during WWII. It won’t be pretty.

Yes, I hear you. You want to know how you’ll survive a Summer Olympic Games tsunami, or a tornado, hurricane, and/or nuclear war. Step over here and listen up. Our federal government recommends a home shelter for these kinds of emergencies. Although one doesn’t normally pay attention to a bankrupt, this advice is sound as far as it goes. Unfortunately, the feds don’t say anything about how to pass time once you’re barricaded inside the family bunker.

Not to worry. I will arm you with the latest reports from Non-Olympic Sports World, enough to see you through the upcoming ordeal, and I’ll throw in a few brain-twisters to keep you occupied until the all-clear sounds. Clip and save.

First up, NFL Sports World: Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, has deployed experts to look for “suspicious” hand gestures in past game films. Goodell is worried that NFL players have been flashing gang signals during games. He’s vowed to identify, purge, and bring to justice gang-sign flashers. At first one thinks Goodell and his posse ought to ease up on the scotch. Then, one thinks that a white millionaire commissioner doesn’t know shit about what young men consider cool…or about gangs or hip-hop or what is fashion and what is real.

But this is simple-minded, obvious conjecture and overlooks the insidious brilliance of Goodell’s scheme. His maneuver is a diversion, a ploy to move attention from Goodell to the locker room. When you sit down and study game films, you’ll see that it’s Commissioner Goodell who’s been using public airways to broadcast criminal hand signals. Remember that TV head shot of Goodell sitting in the owner’s booth with Spanos? Did you see his right hand move up to adjust a pair of $3800 Moss Lipow sunglasses at the start of the third quarter? Well, you might not have noticed that Goodell’s pinky formed a German umlaut. I’ve consulted experts, too, and they tell me a pinky umlaut is a well-known Crips gang sign telling the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, that it’s okay to cheat this weekend, I’ve got your back.

I’ll break in here with a brainteaser: Who will bear Brett Favre’s love child, and will she free-birth?

From the World of Major League Baseball: “I’m tired of them. They’re tired of me. If the Red Sox are a better team without Manny Ramirez, they should trade me; I will not object.” The words of M. Ramirez, philosopher-king and BoSox left-fielder.

Brainteaser: Who Will George Bush pardon first? Marion Jones. Roger Clemens. Bill Belichick. The executive branch of government.

From the World of NASCAR: The fact that Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been around for 99 years, and the fact that Formula 1’s attempt to race at said track ended in humiliation when 14 out of 20 cars refused to participate due to the poor quality of Michelin tires doesn’t mean that three years later either track officials, NASCAR, or Goodyear should know anything about the surface of said speedway. It’s not their job to go rooting around dusty three-year-old archives looking for ancient news accounts about how Michelin tires blew up after ten laps on the track.

That was then. This is now.

Now, NASCAR has a new car type, hideously named the Car of Tomorrow (CoT), and the fact that it has never run at Indy doesn’t mean much since other cars have run there, and they didn’t blow their tires after ten laps. What’s the problem?

You say the CoT has about half the downforce as the model it replaced and a much higher center of gravity, which means right-side tires will be shredded after ten laps. Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you on that.

There were 11 yellow flags dropped during Sunday’s race, including six competition cautions ordering teams to putt-putt into their pits and change out tires. The flag was dropped every 10 to 12 laps — in fact, the race never went longer than 12 laps without an interruption. During what turned out to be lap sprints, drivers raced at about 85 percent of what fans were accustomed to seeing. Which caused 250,000 unhappy customers to boo. Which caused officials to seek malefactors and assign responsibility. Who’s to blame?

The answer was given at day’s end by Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race-tire sales. It’s “nobody’s fault,” Stucker said.

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This may be the last hours of sporting life as we’ve known it. Soon, very soon, a 500-foot-high Summer Olympic Games tsunami, now rocketing across the Pacific, will SLAM into San Diego, taking out newspaper sports sections and obliterating regular sports news on television.

The sports blackout will continue for 16 days, or about the length of time it took Germany to occupy France during WWII. It won’t be pretty.

Yes, I hear you. You want to know how you’ll survive a Summer Olympic Games tsunami, or a tornado, hurricane, and/or nuclear war. Step over here and listen up. Our federal government recommends a home shelter for these kinds of emergencies. Although one doesn’t normally pay attention to a bankrupt, this advice is sound as far as it goes. Unfortunately, the feds don’t say anything about how to pass time once you’re barricaded inside the family bunker.

Not to worry. I will arm you with the latest reports from Non-Olympic Sports World, enough to see you through the upcoming ordeal, and I’ll throw in a few brain-twisters to keep you occupied until the all-clear sounds. Clip and save.

First up, NFL Sports World: Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, has deployed experts to look for “suspicious” hand gestures in past game films. Goodell is worried that NFL players have been flashing gang signals during games. He’s vowed to identify, purge, and bring to justice gang-sign flashers. At first one thinks Goodell and his posse ought to ease up on the scotch. Then, one thinks that a white millionaire commissioner doesn’t know shit about what young men consider cool…or about gangs or hip-hop or what is fashion and what is real.

But this is simple-minded, obvious conjecture and overlooks the insidious brilliance of Goodell’s scheme. His maneuver is a diversion, a ploy to move attention from Goodell to the locker room. When you sit down and study game films, you’ll see that it’s Commissioner Goodell who’s been using public airways to broadcast criminal hand signals. Remember that TV head shot of Goodell sitting in the owner’s booth with Spanos? Did you see his right hand move up to adjust a pair of $3800 Moss Lipow sunglasses at the start of the third quarter? Well, you might not have noticed that Goodell’s pinky formed a German umlaut. I’ve consulted experts, too, and they tell me a pinky umlaut is a well-known Crips gang sign telling the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, that it’s okay to cheat this weekend, I’ve got your back.

I’ll break in here with a brainteaser: Who will bear Brett Favre’s love child, and will she free-birth?

From the World of Major League Baseball: “I’m tired of them. They’re tired of me. If the Red Sox are a better team without Manny Ramirez, they should trade me; I will not object.” The words of M. Ramirez, philosopher-king and BoSox left-fielder.

Brainteaser: Who Will George Bush pardon first? Marion Jones. Roger Clemens. Bill Belichick. The executive branch of government.

From the World of NASCAR: The fact that Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been around for 99 years, and the fact that Formula 1’s attempt to race at said track ended in humiliation when 14 out of 20 cars refused to participate due to the poor quality of Michelin tires doesn’t mean that three years later either track officials, NASCAR, or Goodyear should know anything about the surface of said speedway. It’s not their job to go rooting around dusty three-year-old archives looking for ancient news accounts about how Michelin tires blew up after ten laps on the track.

That was then. This is now.

Now, NASCAR has a new car type, hideously named the Car of Tomorrow (CoT), and the fact that it has never run at Indy doesn’t mean much since other cars have run there, and they didn’t blow their tires after ten laps. What’s the problem?

You say the CoT has about half the downforce as the model it replaced and a much higher center of gravity, which means right-side tires will be shredded after ten laps. Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you on that.

There were 11 yellow flags dropped during Sunday’s race, including six competition cautions ordering teams to putt-putt into their pits and change out tires. The flag was dropped every 10 to 12 laps — in fact, the race never went longer than 12 laps without an interruption. During what turned out to be lap sprints, drivers raced at about 85 percent of what fans were accustomed to seeing. Which caused 250,000 unhappy customers to boo. Which caused officials to seek malefactors and assign responsibility. Who’s to blame?

The answer was given at day’s end by Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race-tire sales. It’s “nobody’s fault,” Stucker said.

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