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The only five-word phrase in the English language that can piss me off more, I think, is “Bush is a good president”. And to have it said twice in a span of twenty hours to me…it’s “Say Hello To My Little Friend” time.
The upshot of this is that the second time it was said to me, on Monday afternoon, it caused me to miss a connection in Atlanta. Instead of getting home Monday night at 11 PM, where I could have sat down, watched Raw with fast-forward as an aid, and knocked out a column for you and yours, I got home at 3 in the A F’n M. At that point, I was beyond Wet Dishrag and all the way into Welcome Mat On A Snowy Day. I chose sleep over the column, and I have no regrets about it. So I’ll try to do a little catchup today.
Death to the Airline Formerly Known As ValuJet. Don’t take AirTran anywhere, please. You’re better off walking.
THE SUPER BLOW
I didn’t catch the game, only the highlights when I finally got to my hotel on Sunday night/Monday morning. “Airport bar” is very low on the list of Ideal Places To Watch The Super Bowl for a reason, you know. However, it’s quite obvious that this was as fixed as the World Series or Dale Jr. winning at Daytona last year. I believe that the same party was responsible for this fix and the WS, and that was the White House. Reason for fixing the WS? Make everyone feel more sorry for Noo Yawk (easy to do for them; Mariano Rivera…one call in the middle of the night from INS…connect the dots). Reason for fixing the SB? Obvious. Promote the underdog, complete a feel-good story, and give another good connotation to the word “patriot” so that Americans won’t notice the freedom-destroying effects of the Patriot Act. The conduit was probably them playing on Kurt Warner’s born-again convictions and general nice attitude. Hey, give me fifteen minutes, and I’m sure that I can hook Enron into this.
That being said, everyone’s falling over themselves calling this game the greatest SB ever. From what I saw, nothing really happened until about the middle of the fourth quarter. This attitude is another example of something I wrote about last year at The Smarks: the tendency for fans to overlook a mediocre production when a hot ending is involved. It’s an extension of an old lesson I was taught as an actor: make sure your first entrance and your last exit are knockouts, and the audience won’t remember if you stink up the joint between those. That’s why I don’t overemphasize main events on PPVs and look at the entire card. A strong card can easily make up for a weak ending. A strong ending to a weak card depends entirely on your ability to fool your audience. Fortunately for the WWF, they seem to have their audience precisely calculated to be able to fool virtually all of them all of the time.
JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN KENOSHA
I did catch Bitchney’s Pepsi ad, though, and I just have one paraphrase to contribute: Cute. Cute in a stupid-ass way. Definitely not “1984” or “Herding Cats”, but adequate. Won’t make me switch over from Coke, though.
YOU CAN’T ONLY APPOINT JUST ONE
(I wonder if anyone’s going to get that reference…oh, what the hell, go for it)
So Enron got to appoint two very high-ranking people in DoE. Surprise. Big Ken resigns and decides to stonewall Congress. then only agrees to appear when he gets hit with a subpoena (thus triggering a Fifth Amendment festival)? Curiouser and curiouser. Everyone who told me that Enron was just going to quietly die, join the long line of people who need to apologize to me.
And now the Enron scandal is getting international legs. Prince Charles is getting smeared into this mess because his main charity took over a million bucks from Enron. The Labour Party’s links to Enron and Andersen are getting probed. So which country is next? I’d be willing to bet on Germany.
JOHN WALKER NOT CHARGED WITH TREASON, JUST LIKE I PREDICTED
They threw the book at the poor kid, didn’t they? The number of redundant charges in the indictment just shows that the gummit’s trying to make a point with him, throwing out anything and everything in an attempt to make something stick. However, I’d like to see the prosecution get a conviction on “using, carrying and possessing firearms and destructive devices during crimes of violence”. That way, I’ll start pushing for every WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veteran to get indicted just to point out how ridiculous it is to charge Lindt with that.
I don’t condone what he did, but the fact that he’s getting railroaded has to be addressed. Fundamentally, this comes down to yet another issue of whether sincere yet unpopular religious beliefs take precedence over “patriotism”. It’s similar to US government harassment of Quakers during WWI and Muhammad Ali during Vietnam. And still people want him to be charged with treason. The kid’s facing multiple life plus ten times six plus another thirty on top of it if convicted of everything. Isn’t that enough? Or will only blood suffice?
NEW ON FOX: CELEBRITY SHOPLIFTING!
Both Winona Ryder and Olga Korbut are making news for sticky fingers, it seems. Ryder pleaded not guilty to four felony counts yesterday, while Korbut still has to face her day in court. Ryder’s still as good-looking as ever, but it’s a real shock to look at the pigtailed darling from Munich thirty years ago and see how Mister Time has not been kind to her. My God, she looks like Rosa Klebb. And you wonder why the mail-order Russian bride business isn’t doing so well. Do you want to wake up to something that looks like THAT in thirty years? And speaking of the Olympics…
FIVE RINGS AND A NEUROTICALLY-PROTECTED TRADEMARK
Well, the Winter Olympics opens on Friday in Salt Lake City, and the security men have been practicing on the ninety-meter hill to provide true blanket coverage for athletes. The problem for Americans in regard to the Winter Olympics is simple: even when it’s held on our soil, we don’t care, because we’re not a big winter sports nation. We suck at most of the events and tend to concentrate on figure skating and (somewhat) on hockey. Luge and bobsled are watched heavily, but only to see crashes (it’d really become a hit if they promoted it as “NASCAR on Ice”). Let’s face it, to Americans, biathlon is a computer motherboard with two processors and the Nordic Combined is something that involves shots of Absolut and a big-titted blonde named Inga.
The Opening Ceremonies this year are going to be one of the biggest demonstrations of audience manipulation ever presented (even more so than U2’s halftime show at SB, despite the fact that they’ve been doing that same routine on tour). When you combine the ever-earnest Sting with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the events of September 11th, it’s bound to produce an emotionally-stirring but ultimately soulless and spiritually empty moment. It’s not going to be as nauseating-in-retrospect as the opening of the 1984 LA Summer Games (the Deificiation of Ronald Reagan), but it’s still going to be maudlin.
As for who gets to light the Torch, everyone keeps saying it’ll be the 1980 US Hockey Team as a group. That would be preferable to an NY firefighter or cop, but not as good as Ali at Atlanta, which was a true markout moment.
Let the games begin.
THE PIMP SECTION
Scott On Raw and PK On Raw. Deserving of more than a placeholder show to cover.
As for SimGolf, I fear that using the term “crack” to describe it is damning it with faint praise. It’s fun to design fairways that look like part of Watkins Glen or doglegs that look like Turn 3 at Talladega. I enjoy doing sadistic things like a single-space island green that’s tricked out, or doing a green surrounded by four home sites, or making sure a ball fades into a pot bunker. It’s a game that appeals to me on both the golfing side and the sadist side, and what more could you ask?
Flea On Excess. PK On Heat (originally credited to Mahaud, who has his Austin-Hart I Quit Match retrospective). Brower On Jakked. Cover the second-rank shows, and you get grouped together like this.
However, Cole gets a spot of his own for compiling together everything outside of the US viz. wrestling. It’s only fair; the poor kid deserves more recognition.
Ditto Nason and his indy updates. Give the kids some LUV, will ya?
Letawsky and Ask 411. Leave anger to the professionals, Craig, please.
E. C. is back with his latest. Brilliant, as usual.
New Memo To Daniels: If I can bitch about airlines, you can bitch about laptops. It’s perfectly fine. If we can find college basketball players using laptops on AirTran, we both can really go to town. You’re right about Flair/Goldust as a feud being more satisfactory from a smart’s viewpoint than Van Dam/Goldust will be. Van Dam did need something to do, though.
Note To Gamble: I’ve actually done the “No Internet, No Raw, No Smackdown” thing for a month. What you have to watch out for is the fact that after a month without wrestling, people might not want to start watching again. The WWF is toxic all on its own right now without the NWO, thank you.
Holiday Inn Express. I am a genius, and I did stay at one Sunday night. Great hotel karma; Cartoon Network on the box and I got room 316.
SOME FINAL WORDS ON RAW
Speaking of the WWF being toxic, another group that must get in line to kiss my ass would be the people who wrote me to say that Steph could never and would never book herself as a face in the whole thing with Trip. A pregnancy angle, guys? That was one of the few ways she could have pulled that off, and she went through with it. Yes, we know it’s fake (from both a kayfabe and real aspect), but she can always pull the miscarriage due to ring accident out of mothballs from when Terri used it with D’Lo, and thus guarantee facehood. Just remember that one of the things that comes with being a McMahon is the infinite capacity for self-delusion, and always bet on them utilizing it to do something mind-bending. Add that to the fact that Steph thinks she’s bulletproof as a writer, and you have a continuance of asinine activities surrounding her.
My pal BFM and his pal Dale say that the only way that the Vow Renewal will be good will be if every WWF superstar comes to the ring claiming parentage of the Fourth Generation Of McMahon (or is it fifth? I think it just may be fifth). It’d be great to see, except that they end this in a Flex promo, and that it just might backfire and complete Steph’s diabolical task of turning herself face.
As for who the father is, if anyone, I don’t care. It’s sad enough that they’re doing this angle in the first place without promoting it by such speculation. If the Internet Wrestling Community does a complete boycott after Smackdown about this topic, maybe we can send a message to the WWF that we’re fed up with such shoddy angles. The odds of that happening are so astronomical, though, that only a British bookie will take money on it.
AND NOW TO YOUR SMACKDOWN SPOILERS…
Screw it. I have to get to sleep. Besides, Grut always does spoiler-free stuff tomorrow anyway (the boy doesn’t read me, yet he wants to do a thing with me for his column…gotta love him, though, in a Dean Wormer-really-loves-the-members-of-Delta-House-type of way).
AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS THAT I ACTUALLY WROTE BEFORE ASHISH POSTED THEM BECAUSE I WAS WAITING ON SD RESULTS…
The Torch is reporting that Scott Steiner will be having a physical tomorrow for the WWF, at the fed’s request. I’d normally be bitching and moaning about the prospect of having Steiner back on my TV, but after HallNashHogan, everything else is sort of a dull ache, like complaining about a pain in your elbow when your spine’s been severed. I just can’t work up enough energy to bitch about Steiner right now. I don’t want him back too, and that’s all I’ll say about it.
WWA PPV tickets are still not on sale after being put on sale and being taken off sale. Savage is still not scheduled to appear after his falling-out with WWA management, and Steiner’s an iffy proposition (see above). In other words, this has become a 1999 WCW PPV, except for the tickets part. On the list of things I’d like to see revived, 1999 WCW is between hair metal and platform shoes for men.
Memo to those of you jumping on the Bischoff Bandwagon: Get off. There were enough people on it back in April 2001 when we rolled it out of the station. I’ve got a nice seat near the driver, and you can’t have it.
You’re Scott Hall. You show up in Vegas backstage and Raw and don’t make a good impression. Could it be that you didn’t make a good impression because you happened to be in a city that gives away booze as a perk and there’s no way you’re turning down free hooch?
That’s it for me. See you next week, and keep tuning into Grut and Flea for more.