Monday, July 26, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Thoughts from a guy who's wondering if there's ever been a normal athlete named "Ricky"

  • OK, so NCAA Football 2004 had ads for Sports Illustrated, Old Spice, and Nike. This year, they added adidas and Pontiac. Does someone want to explain why this game still costs $49.99, the same as every other game out there? (except for ESPN Football 2005 - they have to compete somehow)

  • Speaking of ESPN 2005, it's too bad they don't make it for Gamecube. With the whole Ray Lewis Madden thing, ESPN was at least worth a Blockbuster rental for me this year.

  • Also, speaking of Pontiac: My car - the Pontiac Vibe. The Official Performance Machine of the 2004 Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament? The Pontiac Vibe. Coincidence?

  • OK, I'm trying to like Joe Buck because of his father, but then he goes on for 10 minutes about how great A-Rod is because of that fight against the Red Sox the other day. First of all, the pitch hit him in that huge contraption he had on his arm. Ow, I'm sure that really hurt. Why do you even need that thing in the first place? Oh yeah, it's a mental thing that gives you a huge edge over the pitcher. No wonder you're so "great." Ray Chapman didn't die from a spitball to the elbow, you know. Anyways, after Rodriguez gets hit, he starts cussing out the pitcher on national TV. Way to be a role model to thousands of kids. Then, Jason Varitek was only doing his job, and you start cussing him out. Alex, if I had any respect left for you, it's definitely gone now.

  • Congrats to Lance Armstrong for doing it once again. Every year, he'll be a few minutes back after the first few stages, and every year, I'll say, "oh, maybe he won't get it this year." But, before you know it, he's in the lead. Every single year. You know, I can hate the Yankees, and Jordan, and Tiger Woods, and the Lakers, and John Elway. But I can't hate Lance. Shoot, the guy beat cancer. All he does is work hard, and he doesn't flaunt it. It's hard for anyone to hate him. Of course, considering Americans have basically spit on the French since the war thing started, I can see how he would be a symbol of France's US hatred, but even then, it's wrongly placed.

  • The Lindsay Lohan vehicle Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was released on DVD lately. Mini-Kanka has this one on his "must see" list, despite my sister Becky's protests that it's a "chick flick." Perhaps, I thought, my brother sees the new It Girl the same way creepy 45 year old "countdown til she's legal" do. No, he's only 13, it can't be. Then it came to me. Lindsay Lohan currently has the benefit of two images: there's cute, adorable freckle-faced Disney Lindsay, who keeps pumping out G-rated teeny movies. Then there's trucker hat, hanging out with the Hilton sisters Lindsay, which is the image that people like the Sports Guy go for. Let's hope mini-Kanka affection is more for the former image than the latter.

  • You may or may not have already read this article from Women's Wall Street, about a plane flight the author took where she believed she was witnessing a dry run of a terrorist attack. (I ran across the link at NDNation; I don't read WWS regularly.) In it, a group of Syrians make repeated trips to an airplane restroom, apparently building a bomb piece by piece. Well, it turns out their story of being musicians checked out, and calm observers noted that the Syrians weren't doing anything a normal group of friends flying together wouldn't do. In fact, according to, the author's concern was actually considered more suspicious than the activities of the musicians. Apparently, the flight crew was instructed to keep an eye on her. Since she was frequently signaling for the stewardess and inquiring about the air marshalls, it was feared that she herself was a terrorist, trying to gather information on the location of the air marshalls on the flight. Good good.

  • OK, so apparently I have no idea what I'm talking about. Ruth Riley is now back on the US Olympic team, replacing forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, who suffered, you guessed it... a knee injury.

  • A question for those who know more about football than I do: There are many complaints about cornerbacks being to small to compete with today's receivers (sub-6 foot vs. 6'2" plus). Yet, there are also many recruits who come in and are projected to be a wide receiver or a linebacker. Is there are reason why that isn't "wide receiver or cornerback"? Or at least "wide receiver or safety"? Is this a size issue, or a speed issue, or is linebacker for some reason an easier adjustment? Any answers?

  • For those of you who weren't "lucky" enough to see Summer Catch, the Cape Cod Baseball League is the premier college wooden bat summer league. It's only for the best of the best. Despite this, Steve Stanley managed to lead the CCBL in hitting for several years, and Brian Stavisky finished second behind Stanley in his final summer before going pro. This year, OF Craig Cooper and P Tom Thornton are playing in the league. Congrats to them. Of course, in addition to great baseball competition, they'll also be learning responsibility by working minimum-wage jobs such as cutting grass and the like. A "real" Cape Cod movie, Touching the Game, can be seen this Sunday at 5pm eastern on WGN.

  • Former ND pitcher Chris Niesel, now in the Indians organization, has been assigned to the Class A Lake County Captains. The Captains' stadium is an hour east of Lorain, so I'll have to check him out some day.

  • Best of luck to Rick Cornett, who will be undergoing surgery on his left foot due to a stress fracture.

  • Of course, the big news of the weekend was Ricky Williams's retirement. Why walk away in your prime? Well, Ricky's never fit anyone's definition of normal. His rookie year, he was quoted in Sports Illustrated that he wanted the Saints to move to Texas and sign all the linemen he played with in college. Not a very mature sentiment by any means. Then, there were the postgame interviews with his helmet on, which prove he's not a very outgoing person. There are the rumors of a failed drug test, but Ricky also claimed he just wanted to see the world (hey, he has the money to do it) and have kids, just like a normal person. The timing wasn't perfect, but why can't a man follow his dreams. Everyone has a right to feel jealous, since we don't have his talent, and he's just "throwing it away." But, there's no reason to be doing something when you're hearts not in it. Williams is also friends with running backs Robert Smith and Jim Brown, both of whom retired in their primes. After the Mo Clarrett situation, I might not have wanted to listen to Brown's advice. But, no one should call Jim Brown a poor source of advice before much more research.

A final reminder: as in the MLB, the KankaMatic trade deadline is July 31. All emails/KankaNation posts/whatever must be time stamped by 11:59:59pm eastern time on the 31st. Transaction Wire at its normal time, complete with the "trade bait all-stars."