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Cosmic Quote #42: Towel Day!

“42.”–Douglas Adams**

 

Yes, I skipped cosmic quote numbers 39,40 and 41.  The logical explanation for this is:  Douglas Adams was not a linear thinker, so why not honor him by thinking (and counting) outside the box?  The right explanation for this is: I’m one lazy lumpsucker–couldn’t be bothered to churn out the missing numbers before the big event.  Happy Towel Day!    (**For the uninitiated, “42” was the answer to life, the universe and everything in Adams’ A Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.)

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Cosmic Quote #38

“The Guide is definitive.  Reality is often inaccurate.”–Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

hitchhikerCounting down to the only true holiday on the Gregorian calendar–Towel Day!

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2nd Annual Poll: Funniest Names in the NFL Draft

“I call everyone ‘darling’ because I can’t remember their names.”–Zsa Zsa Gabor

(Note: this post also appears today on The Blog of Funny Names)

"Dahlink"

“Dahlink”

If you can’t remember the names of the following guys, you are ditzier than Zsa Zsa. Yes, it’s time once again for The Blog of Funny Names annual poll where you, the un-ditzy followers of this hallowed portal, choose the most outrageous and memorable of a bumper crop of  funny-named pro-bowlers-to-be.  The 2014 draft starts Thursday evening, so let’s get right to this year’s amazing nominees.

Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina–Right off the bat, we have our odds-on favorite.  How do you beat a guy with “clown” in his name who is likely to be the number one overall pick in this weekend’s draft? And his mother Josenna works in a Frito-Lay plant, to boot.  Josenna Clowney in a Frito-lay plant? Some people are just born to live on this blog!  Clowney is going to be tough to beat, but this next guy might just give him a run for the money.

Ha’Sean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama–This is almost too good to be true, and it’s almost unfair.  Guys with “Clown” and “Ha-Ha” in their names have a major advantage over everyone else.  They have “funny” embedded in their names!  We ought to give a special award to both of them and let everyone else compete on a level playing field.   Can you imagine the jokes if this guy had been playing back in the mid 90’s?  ” Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix” sounds like something Monica Lewinsky would have said at a senate hearing.

 
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB Georgia Tech–Please cover your mouth and excuse yourself when you say this name.  Gezundheit!

Purifoy--It's no wonder the NFL has banned head-first tackles.

Purifoy–It’s no wonder the NFL has banned head-first tackles.

Louchiez Purifoy, CB, Florida–Nope, this guy is not a former partner of the 1970’s R&B duo, James and Bobby Purify.  At any rate, with his hairdo, he looks more like a Conehead from the Saturday Night Live sketches of that era.

Xavier Grimble, TE, USC–Wait a minute–didn’t I already cover this guy in my post about funny names in the works of Charles Dickens?  This name sounds as if it came straight out of The Pickwick Papers.  And it’s appropriate that he’s a tight end, because Xavier Grimble would make a great moniker for a prototypical Dickensian tightwad.  (Note: there actually was a  Dickens character named Arthur Grimble in Nicholas Nickleby, but I think ‘ol Charles missed the boat. Xavier is just sooooooo much better.)

Honorable mentions go to:

  •  Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, with one of the most mellifluous of this year’s entries.
  •  Cyrus  Kouandjio, OT, Alabama, and if Cyrus isn’t as awesome as Cornelius, it sure comes close.
  • Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU.  Finally, somebody gets the first name Joe Namath or Mohammed Ali should have had.
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Virginia.  Wow, an apostrophe and a hyphen.  Too bad he will probably split the Xavier vote with Grimble.
  • IK Enemkpali, DE, Louisiana Tech.  Yes, he apparently spells his first name with two capital letters.  IK is short for..er–uh–something-or-other.

As an added twist to this year’s voting, write-ins will be allowed.    And they don’t have to come from the honorable mentions.  You can put in any ol’ name you please, as long as it’s an amateur football player.  Even your 8-year-old nephew playing Pop Warner is eligible because, hey, you never know.   You can vote as often as you like, but the polls will close one week from today.  So as the oft-quoted and unfunny Al Capone said, “vote early and vote often.”

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Timeout: Star Wars Day!?

“May the 4th be with you.”–some obnoxious jerk of a geek

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Star Wars Day?  It’s hard enough to get the world to recognize May 4th as “Baseball’s Millionth Run Anniversary Day,” without this insufferable nonsense.  About the only good thing about Star Wars day is the merciless fun that The Big Bang Theory made of it.  (See below)

 

Have no fear, though.  I will stretch my own May 4th fame to 16 minutes if it’s the last thing I do.  If you missed the history, here it is re-posted from the original.

“In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”–Andy Warhol

Bob Watson

The date was May 4th, 1975.  The place was Candlestick Park, San Fransisco.  And the man of the hour was Bob Watson of the Houston Astros,  who scored the 1 millionth run in major league baseball history.  Watson beat Dave Concepcion of the Cincinnati Reds by four seconds in a race around the bases from opposite ends of the country.  It was one of the most exciting early-in-the-season baseball moments ever.

To this day Watson’s name, and to a lesser extent Concepcion’s, is associated with that event in baseball history.  But there was another name in the news that was connected to the story.  He was  a 24-year-old local sportscaster from Westport, CT who used a first generation, eighty dollar electronic calculator to research and originate the millionth run contest, thus scooping all the professional statisticians and baseball journalists.  He went on a media tour to promote a “guess-the-player” contest sponsored by Tootsie Roll.  His picture and name appeared in wire service stories, in Sport Magazine and in the New York Daily News.  He appeared on television and spoke at press conferences alongside the likes of Stan Musial, Ralph Branca, Mel Allen and Bowie Kuhn.  He had 15 minutes of Warholian fame.   Then came oblivion.

The 24-year old whiz kid with the calculator was, of course, me.

I was exhilarated, excited and even euphoric;  then it was over.   And for thirty-something years the memory simply faded, almost to the point that it seemed to have happened to another person in

Millionth run center

The 1,000,000th run countdown center. That’s me talking to the gathered media as Stan Musial naps in the background. Check out my 1975 hair!

another lifetime.  It became just another forgotten footnote in the deep and illustrious history of our national pastime.  After awhile, I didn’t even care, so why should anybody else?

Then something funny happened.  Straight out the blue, nearly four years ago, I received an email from Kansas City Star sportswriter Joe Posnanski.

“Are you the Mark Sackler who originated the millionth run?” he asked.  “I’m writing a book about the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.  I want to include it and the events involving Davey Concepcion as an interesting sidebar to the season’s story.”

The next year, The Machine, Posnanski’s book chronicling a great season by one of the best teams in the game’s history, appeared in bookstores with a chapter on the millionth run.  After 34 years, somebody remembered.   My sister joked that I was getting another 15 minutes of fame.  My retort was that it was more like 30 seconds.

But then it happened again.  A few months ago, a gentleman named Timothy Gregg contacted me on Facebook to make the same inquiry.  Was I the millionth run originator?  Gregg, also a former sportscaster and sports promoter, now a digital media producer, was co-authoring the memoirs of Houston Astros TV commentator Bill Brown.  Of course, there would be a chapter on the millionth run in that book as well.  This time not from the Reds point of view, but the Astros.   This book–My Baseball Journeywas just recently published.  So fifteen minutes of fame is now fifteen minutes and forty-five seconds.   And counting…

If you are a baseball fan, both of these books are worthwhile.  Otherwise, stay tuned for more effluvia from my hopelessly cluttered cranium.

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