Funball Sportacular!

It’s one of the most magical times of the year for sports fans. The NCAA Basketball Tournament looms, the NHL and NBA Playoffs are on the horizon, pitchers and catchers are reporting, the Barclays Premier League has entered the final stretch…our collective athletic cups runneth over. (That’s an unsavory image.)

So what better time for me to dazzle and amaze you with some incredible sports facts? None! None, I say!

(DISCLAIMER: for some reason, I have been unable to confirm the accuracy of all of these facts, but, you know…it’s the internet. They gotta be true.)


Soccer players run, on average, seven miles a game. This is largely because A) they are lost or B) they really need to use the bathroom but can’t find one.


Craig MacTavish was the last NHL player to skate without a helmet. The last player to skate without a protective cup was Andre “No-Balls” Parenteau.


“Perhaps my flowing locks will distract everyone from these brutal uniforms…”

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. played 2,632 consecutive games from April 30, 1982 to September 19, 1998. There is a fair deal of controversy surrounding this record, however, as for at least fourteen of these games, Ripken was supported “Weekend at Bernie’s” style between two other players who helped him “catch” and “run” whilst Ripken was semi-conscious.


85% of middle-school children will chuckle to themselves when the coach asks them to “Hand over the balls.”


Nowhere in the International Olympic Committee Guidelines does it mention anything about including bowling balls as props in Synchronized Swimming.


The first “hoops” in basketball were actually just peach baskets. The first “players” in basketball were pimply-faced white motherfuckers.


At 200 mph, NASCAR drivers in one second travel 293 feet, almost the length of a football field. (In other words, about half as fast as Barry Sanders.)


Barry Sanders deserves so much better than a ’99 Mustang.

Gatorade is actually less than .5% alligator.


Contrary to popular belief, at no point in history is it recorded that regulation NFL footballs have been made of frozen rhinoceros turds.


Horse racing enthusiasts are often said to be “playing the ponies.” This is actually a common misnomer, the result of a misspelling. The original phrase was “paying with peonies” and dates back to the days of the Great Depression, when unpaid gambling debts resulted in a funeral for the bettor, complete with a wreath of flowers.


Rugby balls were originally made of pigs’ bladders, and had to be inflated by human breath, which led to…Jesus, never mind. I can’t, because this is actully 100% true, and you can Google the rest.









Things You Might Not Know

Crazy couple of weekends, eh?  Crazy.  But good.  In the midst of all the running around, doing radio, writing stuff, and enjoying the bachelor parties of various friends, some things were pointed out to me that I thought I’d share with you.

1. My Eight-year-old captured two special Pokemon.

Also, one of them has evolved. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but since his Nintendo DS hasn’t been shut off for more than an hour over the last two weeks, I guess that’s something.  Of course, by the time this blog is published, he’ll have a whole stable of the little beasties.

I think it goes something like this, but hell, I'm a 43-year-old man.  What do I know about your goddam gigapets?!

I think it goes something like this, but hell, I’m a 43-year-old man. What do I know about your goddam gigapets?!

2.  “The devil to pay” has nothing to do with Satan.

I remember reading about this sometime during college, I think.  Apparently, in old seafaring terminology, the “devil” was the seam of the keel (the bottom ridge of the boat.)  To “pay” meant to cover in pitch or tar, some sort of sealant.  Hence, to “pay the devil” meant covering the keel in pitch.  Likewise, the expression “between the devil and the deep blue sea” was a reference to being “keelhauled.”  That was a nasty bit of punishment/torture wherein they tied a rope around your ankles, ran the rope under the ship from one rail to the other, knocked you overboard and literally hauled your ass under the boat, over the keel, and to the other side.  Sometimes guys lived.  Mostly they drowned.  While the whole thing was going on, the victim was said to be between the devil and the deep blue sea.  See?  Sailing is fun!



3.  You’re pronouncing “Dr. Suess” wrong.

No, smartass, we know:  his real last name was Geisel.  The dude used his middle name, Suess, as his nom de plume.  The thing is, he was of German descent, and pronounced it “Soice.”  Everyone got it wrong, though, and he eventually gave up trying to correct people.  He then died drunk, penniless, and indigent.  (I made up that last part.)

See?  It's a cat.  In a hat.  (No, eff YOU!!)

See? It’s a cat. In a hat. (No, eff YOU!!)

4.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.

But three lefts do.  (That’s also how people navigate downtown Ft. Wayne.)

As you can see from this handy image, Ewing street now has a stop sign.  Progress, people.

As you can see from this handy image, Ewing street now has a stop sign. Progress, people.

5. Frank Black from the show Millennium was named for the guy from The Pixies.

X-Files mastermind Chris Carter created this not-really-a-spin-off show, Millennium, which debuted in 1996 and ran for about three seasons.  The main character, played wonderfully by the creepy android Bishop, was named Frank Black.  Chris Carter named him after Black Francis of super underground subbacultcha rock band The Pixies.  Black Francis was actually Frank Black.  I also once read that Chris Carter’s last name used to be Black, but it got changed somewhere along the way because reasons.  I don’t know if that’s true, so I just stick with that Pixies thing.

Look at this fucking ROCK STAR.

Look at this fucking ROCK STAR.

6. I made up a new word whilst typing that last bit.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a piss-poor typist.  There are probably three different typos in this blog alone, not to mention gross abuses of grammar.  Hey, I type as I think, and my little digits can’t keep up all the time.  Anyway, I was typing “mastermind” when describing Chris Carter, and accidentally wrote “Matermind.”  I’ve since corrected that mistake, but have decided that “Matermind” is a great way to described someone who is borderline retarded and/or loves the comedy stylings of Larry the Cable Guy.  In a sense, “Matermind” is the exact opposite of “Mastermind.”  Feel free to use this new word with impunity.

Still a better movie than "Planes."

Still a better movie than “Planes.”