March 30, 2006

One-Eyed Victor

Not long ago on this site we briefly discussed the man who nearly became a cyclops -- Villanova guard Allan Ray, who famously and gruesomely almost had his eye poked out during this year's Big East Tournament.

Now, more news from the cyclops world (and yes, for the record, I do consider anyone who only has one eye to be a cyclops; doesn't matter whether the eye is centered in the middle of the forehead or not): We have a Victor Page sighting. Remember this guy? High-flying lefty who played with Iverson at Georgetown in the mid-90's? Well, the years have been somewhat ruthless to Victor. Most notably, he took a bullet in the right eye in 2003 that has left him wearing an eye patch to this day.

There are about 57 cyclops jokes I can make here, but I'm going to hold off, because quite honestly, this is just a sad, and pretty compelling, story. This guy used to be someone in the basketball world -- I distinctly recall seeing him at ATL's Lenox Mall back in '96, and it was a big deal. I saw Victor Page today. Now he's a 31-year-old who wears an eye patch, unrealistically dreams of playing in the NBA and more immediately has aspirations of being fitted with a glass eye. I can't speculate on what Page might have done to get shot or what he may have done wrong over the years, but reading this story on him I legitimately feel for the man. And I for one haven't forgotten that though he is now a one-eyed has been, there was a moment -- however brief -- when Victor Page, basketball phenomenon, was something to behold.
-This just in: Leo Mazzone is officially entering his rebellious phase. First he scorns the team that made him famous, now he gets a tat. No need to panic yet, but if Leo walks out from the dugout opening day wearing a biker's jacket over his Orioles jersey, there will be clear cause for concern.

March 24, 2006

Follow the Tank

Have you ever done something kind of risky to attend a sporting event? We've all been there, haven't we? You really want to make it to that afternoon baseball game, so you cut out early from school or from the office, consequences be damned. You've got tickets to first round action of the NCAA Tourney, but you're scheduled to have gall bladder surgery, and you only live once, so -- you skip the surgery and despite the searing pain in your abdomen, you head to the games, have a spectacular time, and only suffer mild medical repercussions. It's all in good fun. Heck, I actually know a guy who missed the birth of his first-born child to attend an NBA playoff game. We're sports fans -- it's what we do. (As a side note, that thing about the guy missing his child's birth was a lie.)

The point is, we've all done something slightly edgy at one point or another in order to get ourselves into a stadium. And I'm sure we all think we're pretty hardcore for having done so. But the new king of high-risk sports attendance is a man by the name of Tank Carter. Think you're a dedicated sports fan? Tank Carter recently parlayed a six-month jail sentence for driving with an invalid license into a five year term just so he could see his brother (Steelers' safety Tyrone Carter) play in the Super Bowl. Now that's dedication. And quite fitting, I might add, that a man with such clear disregard for boundaries would be named Tank.

In case any of you were wondering, Tank Carter has no regrets about what he did. "It was the greatest game in my life," he says. So ask yourself this: What exactly are you doing at work right now? What Would Tank Do? That's right. Discard your mouse and rise up from your ergonomically correct chair, desk jockey -- there's spring training baseball going on!

-How about that UCLA-Gonzaga game last night -- unreal. Quite a collapse by the 'Zags. And while I'm sure the sight of J.J. Redick crying after Duke lost was therapeutic for many of you out there, seeing Adam Morrison cry was downright painful for this sports fan. I felt like gouging my eyes out with a spoon. I never imagined a man who looks like he stumbled out of a 70's-era porn van high on reefer could inspire any feeling other than geniune amusement, but I legitimately felt sorry for Morrison after that game.

-Self-promotion: My thoughts on Samuel Dalembert.

-And in case you missed last night's big NBA news, Phoenix just got scarier. Amare is back -- 20 and 9 in 19 minutes. And the Suns dropped 76 on the Blazers in the first half. If Phoenix comes up short of the NBA finals, I'm going to be angry. Say all you want about good defense and good fundamentals, but I will not be able to tolerate a Spurs-Pistons series. Give me Phoenix or give me nothing.

March 17, 2006

Nice Throw

Diehard readers of this site (of which there are approximately three) will remember the sad and disturbing yet undeniably comical tale of rugby fan Geoff Huish, who quite literally cut off his gonads to celebrate a victory by his favorite squad. Courtesy of loyal reader Frank G. Yak (who has taken over the dubious distinction of being the site's official provider of information regarding severed genatalia), things have reached a new level.

Wednesday morning on Chicago's Northwest Side, a man named Jakub Fik (no relation to Robert Fick that I am aware of) found himself in a confrontation with police officers and, having run out of knives to throw at them, he did what any of us would have done in a similar situation: He threw his penis at them. That's right -- when faced with the most daunting of urban challenges, Fik chopped off his wang (presumably with the very same knives he threw at police) and flung it towards his would-be apprehenders.

There are about a thousand jokes to be made here, and they're all too easy. I'll just say this: If nothing else, you have to give Fik credit for employing the element of surprise. Though he was naked and bleeding when officers found him, you can't imagine they were expecting to have a severed schlong lobbed in their direction.

Some questions:

Is there a genatalia-severing Hall of Fame? And if so, are Huish and Fik first ballot inductees?

What would it take to arrange a made-for-TV meeting between these two in which they retold in graphic detail the frame of mind that led them to tread down a road only history's stupidest males have wandered?

Is anyone else aware that according to the doctor who reattached Fik's penis, if a severed penis is put on ice soon after the severing, the chances of a successful reattachment are actually pretty good? Good to know for those of you looking for an innovative and shocking new party trick.

And lastly:

Why exactly do I find this so entertaining?
-Somehow I just now saw the video of Allan Ray's eye injury for the first time. I had no idea how close he came to becoming a cyclops. If someone ever poked out my eye on the basketball court, I'd make like Jakub Fik and peg it at them.

-This doesn't exactly pertain to sports, but it does involve some remarkable ninja-like feats of athleticism, which always merits a mention on this site.

-This has exactly nothing to do with sports, but it is too entertaining to ignore.

-Shameless plug of the day: Check me out on My thoughts on Steve Nash's MVP candidacy.

March 16, 2006

Good Evening, Jerome

Okay, so I'm a few days late on reporting this, but did anyone catch the Knicks-Nuggets game the other night? One of the great performances of this NBA season from Jerome James. The lumbering (and by lumbering, I mean "fat, overpaid and out of shape") Knicks' big man got a start in place of injured Eddy Curry and went completely berserk with 11 points in the first quarter, then promptly signaled to the bench to be taken out of the game because he was so tired. Larry Brown declined and made him stay in the game. Crowd was going absolutely wild. Possibly -- no, definitely -- the high point of the Knicks' season thus far.

-So is there some kind of sporting event going on today? I know everyone's picks are already in, but here is my Final Four: Texas, Kansas, UConn, Ohio State. I tell you this not as a means of showing how enlightened or wise I am as an NCAA tourney prognosticator; I actually am informing you of my picks so that you know right off the bat that at maximum one of those four teams will reach the Final Four. Me picking them was the absolute kiss of death. I am terrible. You'd think with things being so random every year I'd hit the jackpot one year, but no. Sorry to ruin the suspense.

-I'm pretty sure I've eaten at this Waffle House, though to my recollection I was never robbed there at gunpoint.

-On a recent subway ride, heard a PA announcement in which the dude said that a "C as in Chelby" train was approaching the station. For those of you not versed in NY subway lingo, they often announce that a "B as in Bravo" train is coming into the station, or what have you, which I understand obviously. But Chelby? What kind of name is that? Does anyone know a person named Chelby? What is a Chelby? I want answers. (For the record, "You need to find something more interesting to write about" would indeed be an appropriate response here.)

March 07, 2006

Touch 'em All, Kirby

Way back in the day -- when Osh Kosh b'Gosh and Ghostbusters t-shirts were en vogue (well, at least in my mind they were) -- there was a guy who worked at the old Gulf gas station near my house. Name was Hal. In my family and I'm guessing in many more, Hal was known for his never-failing ability to deliver a single piece of bubble gum to me and/or my sister every time my parents stopped to buy gas. For all I knew about Hal, he could have been a beastiality-practicing member of the NRA, but at the Gulf station -- on his field of play -- Hal was a gentleman.

One day, as most people do when they can work no longer, Hal retired. And I had little time to lament the loss of my reliable source for bubble gum before I found out, only about a week later, that Hal had died. The lesson I took away: Some people's jobs alone keep them alive.

I bring up this anecdote not as career advice for any of you considering taking a hiatus from your current occupations, but because it reminds me quite a bit of what happened to Kirby Puckett. Like Hal the gas man, as soon as Kirby's livelihood was gone, he fell apart. Stocky became pudgy and soon ballooned to bloated. Once covered-over legal troubles became magnified. Without baseball, Kirby Puckett ceased to function properly. And regardless of what Kirby may have been to you -- your boyhood hero, the guy who killed the Braves in 1991 or just another deeply flawed sports star -- there's something quite tragic and hopeless about what happened to number 34, the once vibrant fireplug who became an emblem for deterioration.

But then again, perhaps there's a positive way to spin this -- maybe we should all hope to be so lucky as Hal or Kirby, to find that thing that keeps us alive no matter how quickly or spectacularly we flame out as soon as it's gone. There was a time when I thought that one thing was NBA Live '95, but then I stopped playing it and didn't die, so that can't have been it.

And now I'm rambling, so I'll get to the point:

R.I.P. Kirby.

-On that note -- the OCC has returned from exile. Just so you know: I no longer write about funny things. Only death and scandal (see below)

-This just in: Barry Bonds may have done some very bad things. Has this saga started to take on a surreal quality for anyone else yet? With seemingly so much proof that the man cheated, yet no sign of repercussions coming his way, it's almost like he's invincible. Or at the very least he's a cyborg. Honestly, I've lost all sense of perspective in this case. He's dodged so many damning accusations that I have no sense of how anyone's going to prove anything or who to trust for that matter. But I will say this: These latest allegations sure are specific. And disturbing. I now will never look at Barry Bonds the same way again for about the 100th time.