Today will be the last rant I write for a couple of weeks. My long-suffering wife and I are off to visit Kenya and Tanzania to observe the wildlife
of the area. Today's rant will be a hodgepodge of items I've had on file for a couple of days waiting for an appropriate way to incorporate them into
the rants. Since we're off to see lots of animals, my first comment pertains to canines. The Westminster Dog Show is over; they have fumigated
Madison Square Garden and it is once again available for NY Knicks games. So the question is this: Did the dogs just leave the Garden or did the dogs
just return to the Garden? Enquiring minds...
I'm sure you've heard by now that the Kentucky Derby has a corporate sponsor. Yum! Brands - the folks who cook up those gourmet treats at Taco Bell,
KFC and Pizza Hut - will be the corporate sponsor of the race. Hot on the heels of that news comes word that Pamela Anderson will boycott the
Kentucky Derby - which she has been to all of twice in the past - and is predisposed not to go to the state of Kentucky ever again. Anderson is an
animal rights activist whose particular pet peeve (Am I allowed to use the phrase 'pet peeve' with regard to an animal rights activist?) is the way
the KFC folks treat chickens. Said Ms. Anderson:
'Like most people, I don't want to support cruelty to animals, whether it's forcing horses to race for our amusement or scalding chickens alive for
our plate. We have to be more evolved than this ... I'm not surprised that KFC is sponsoring the Derby. It's greedy companies using poor animals all
the way around.'
Memo to Pamela Anderson:
1. Horses racing in the Derby are not treated cruelly; if anything, they are pampered even more than attractive female movie stars who are willing to
be seen in 'revealing attire'.
2. Any company - or a restaurant - that cooks chicken requires the chicken to be dead. Therefore, KFC is no better and no worse than any other
'chicken cooker'. I guess you picked them to boycott because that would get you more attention than if you boycotted Mama's Best Home Fried Chicken
Diner in Sleepyville. (Please Ms. Anderson; note that I resisted the temptation to call that imaginary town Hooterville... )
3. With regard to your threat never to go to Kentucky again, I can hear hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians saying in unison, 'From your lips to
By the way, I asked some of you yesterday to go to the World Wildlife Federation website - www.worldwildlife.org...
-- to vote in
their 'March Madness' tournament for the world's favorite animal. I said I wanted the yak to make it into the tournament and was trying to 'stuff the
ballot box'. A few of you responded that you went there and voted - but not for the yak. Come on folks, I don't ask you to do lots of difficult
stuff here. Go to the website; vote for an animal; and include the yak on your ballot. Let's make 2006, the Year of the Yak.
Albert Belle has been out of baseball for five years now; I know that because he was eligible for Hall of Fame voting this year. But he is back in
the news; and for Belle, that is not a good thing since it cannot involve any baseball exploits. It seems that police arrested Belle and charged him
with stalking his current girlfriend. Obviously, these are only charges and the judicial system will eventually sort out what happened here, but this
is another in a long line of antisocial behaviors that Belle has exhibited in his lifetime. I'm not going to take the time to try to reconstruct his
aberrant behaviors but from memory I recall that he was suspended from baseball for instigating a brawl and I believe he was suspended a second time
for using a corked bat; he threw a baseball and hit a fan who was heckling him; he has at lest one DUI incident that I recall; he threw a baseball at
a photographer on the field during pre-game warm-ups and I believe there was an incident where he threatened/chased kids near his house on Halloween.
It would not appear that Belle learned in kindergarten to play well with others.
With Quin Snyder out as the coach at Missouri and with Mike Davis stepping down at Indiana and with a few college jobs sure to open at the end of the
year due to retirements or poor records (Temple? Providence? Oregon? Kentucky???), will any AD/college president be putting in a call to Bob
Huggins? Has he been gone from the public spotlight long enough to have repaired his image? Just asking...
There's going to be a lineup change at CBS. Armen Keteyian will leave CBS Sports and go to CBS News where he will become 'Chief Investigative
Correspondent' for a new investigative unit within CBS News. It must have been those incisive and probing questions Keteyian posed to coaches as they
left the court/field at halftime that brought him to the attention of the honchos at CBS News. You'll now be able to see Keteyian's reportage on the
CBS Evening News with Bob Schieffer. Somewhere, Edward R. Murrow is weeping...
In the golf world, the new President of the Executive Committee of the USGA is Walter W. Driver Jr. Honest, I wouldn't make something like that up.
I wonder if the USGA has a place on its staff for Mariners' pitcher JJ Putz when the time comes for him to look for another career.
The NBA heads to Houston for the All-Star Game - fortunately I'll be leaving the country at the same time - and its weekend of excess, overblown
'events' and debauchery. Next year the All-Star Game will be in Las Vegas where excess, overblown 'events' and debauchery happen 24/7/365. In light
of the so-called gambling scandal involving the NHL at the moment, one of the things that sets the gambling moralists all atwitter is the phantasm
that unsavory characters might get access to inside information on injuries or things like that with regard to games. That alone is a horror scenario
sufficient to make it clear that gambling is evil. There are two words to describe that nonsense: Horse hockey!!
Look at the NBA where the Sacramento Kings are owned by brothers who also happen to own a hotel/casino in Las Vegas. If there were ever a situation
where 'inside information' could be funneled to bookmakers, this would be it. They've owned the team for more than a couple of years now and I don't
recall the FBI and various other law enforcement agencies leading the Maloof brothers on a 'perp walk' for the TV cameras during that period of time.
And you know they would if they could...
When Michele Kwan withdrew from the Olympics I heard several people compare her to Dan Marino. Great talent, great career no Olympic gold medal/Super
Bowl ring. Pardon me while I yawn.. Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News took that line of thinking in a slightly different direction:
'Kwan - she's like the Buffalo Bills in sequins, right?'
Finally, on the subject of Olympic figure skating, here is a line from Elliot Harris in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times:
'...if Olympic figure skater Fleur Maxwell of Luxembourg (she is her country's lone representative) had been old enough back in the day to have
married 1955 Washington Senators utility player Juan Delis, she would have been Fleur Delis.'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...