Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hear The One About Ben Wallace's Afro Yet?

You know, before the post on Herald sports columnist Dan LeBatard yesterday, I hadn't paid much attention to him. Read his column occasionally was all. But I was inspired to check out his radio show on AM 790 yesterday for the heck of it. Talk about a guy with a voice for newspapers.

The man is silly as hell. I haven't heard so much giggling since the seventh grade when I used to feel up out-of-the-way-girl Jennifer under the stairs at the school gym.

But while I'm on the topic, I thought I'd share with you some research dug up by unofficial Pulp correspondent Sam Eifling. He went through LeBatard's columns and inadvertantly found that Dan has "a funny tendency to recycle some of his material."

(Yeah, that's the kind of thing New Times reporters do with their spare time. It's sort of sad and beautiful at the same time.)

Here's the examples, beginning with Ben Wallace's afro:

"Ben Wallace, all fast-twitch muscle fiber and cartoon biceps, might be the league's best defender. But Shaq dropped 36 points and 20 rebounds on his Afro in one Finals game last season when Larry Brown tried to guard him one-on-one."
* April 11, 2005

"It was less than 20 months ago that [Shaquille] O'Neal dropped 36 and 20 on the Afro of Ben Wallace, the league's best defender."
* Jan. 22, 2006

"Detroit doesn't have any answers for this O'Neal, as three-time Defensive Player Of The Year Ben Wallace learned recently when O'Neal dropped 31 on his Afro."
* Feb. 26, 2006

Mind you, that's in the space of about less than a year. As is the next recurring theme concerning the 1980 Olympic hockey miracle thing:

"The greatest and most moving upset in the history of American sports was a 1980 hockey game, and we don't even care about hockey as a country."
* March 20, 2005

"I don't want him (Castro) to even have the chance to feel the way our triumphant country did with the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team. That was only the biggest and most emotional upset in the history of American sports. And America doesn't even care about hockey."
* Jan. 21, 2006

"What is the most emotional sports event in America's history? The underdog United States hockey team defeating the Russians in the 1980 Olympics. That's a pretty staggering thing when you consider that America doesn't even care about hockey."
* March 5, 2006

Sam hastens to add that he'd probably be guilty of the same thing if he wrote all those columns and did all that ESPN and was babbling on the radio half the day at the same time. Only his tics would concern The Simpsons, George W. Bush, and "sexually based analogies."

Story Of The Day
Nothing left me awestruck today, so I'm going back a couple days to something I failed to mention: Fred Grimm's column concerning the voting process. A buddy urged me to post it and he was dead right. It's spare and powerful and includes this instant-classic line: "In Florida, real heroes just catch hell." I've seen more people crucified for doing the right thing in South Florida (Jose Touron and Lee Hillier are two that come immediately to mind) than I care to remember. Thanks Fred.

2 Comments:

Anonymous sam eifling said...

To pile on a horse that was dead when I first found it: The earliest hockey entry has a delightful misplaced modifier: "... we don't even care about hockey as a country." Some Americans are, however, partial to hockey the sport, just not so much hockey the nation.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Florida Pulp said...

Young Sam,

Your reporting instincts in regards to LeBatard have proven sound. I received classified information from a source that former Miami New Times managing editor Tom Finkel went through a year of LeBatard's columns in the early 1990s and found numerous redundancies of the same phrasing that was "embarrassing, grammatically incorrect, and/or indicative of some deep seated neurosis lurking within LeBatard’s cranium," according to the source.

Apparently, Finkel unveiled his findings in a backhanded "Best Of" item. It isn't to be found on the NT web site, a Google search, or Nexis, which unfortunately are the only avenues I know how to use for information.

Your mission, young Sam, should you choose to accept it, is to track down that Best Of item and bring it to fore.

Godspeed.

7:58 AM  

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