Friday, July 8, 2011

Foul Territory: Homer Crunchers and Carpet Munchers

By Jeffrey Boswell

* Carpet Muncher, or Serb and Turf, or Djoko Oh No. 1 — Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final on Sunday and assumed the ATP's No. 1 ranking on Monday. Djokovic dispatched Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, then knelt at Centre Court and shoved a handful of grass in his mouth. Tournament referees were amused by Djokovic's celebration, glad to see something foul going in to a tennis player's moth as opposed to coming out of it.

* Juuust a Bit Obvious, or One Would Think Someone With Adonis DNA Wouldn't Need Steroids — Charlie Sheen admitted he took steroids during the filming of the 1989 movie Major League for his role as hard-throwing rebel Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn. Sheen also claims he was injected by Jose Canseco in No Man's Land, an assertion Canseco vehemently disputed.

* Man of Devour, or Oriental Noogie — Joey Chestnut ate 62 hot dogs on July 4th to win the Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest for the fifth straight year. Chestnut's main rival, Takeru Kobayashi, ineligible for the competition due to a contract dispute, ate simultaneously in a midtown Brooklyn bar while the competition aired on ESPN. Kobayashi claimed to have scarfed down 69 weiners, a mark that, if recognized, would break Chestnut's record of 68. Chestnut was skeptical of the Japanese's alleged accomplishment, saying there are likely millions of people who have done 69 in a Brooklyn bar.

* Canadian Beacon— Toronto Blue Jays outfield Jose Bautista was the top vote-getter for July 12th's All-Star Game in Phoenix, getting 7.4 million votes. Bautista, who leads the league in home runs in 2010, leads baseball with 28 dingers this year, and recently homered off Phillies aces Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Bautista has remained humble, as his head, and not even his feet, have enlarged. Thankfully, he's a home run hero who's not on steroids, although as his gaudy numbers would suggest, he's tested positive for "crank."

* Hoop Dreams — The NBA lockout went into effect at midnight last Thursday when the league's collective bargaining agreement expired. Players and owners remained far apart on nearly every major issue, with neither side showing any indication of budging from their positions. It's the most "defense" seen in the NBA in years.

* Haye, Goodbye, or Wlad the Assailer, or the Judges Scored it 10-9 (in Unbroken Toes) For Klitschko — Russia's Wladimir Klitschko beat Englishman David Haye by unanimous decision in Hamburg, Germany, adding the WBA belt to his IBF heavyweight title. Afterwards, Haye claimed a broken toe suffered three weeks before the fight contributed to his loss. To prove his point, Haye showed his toe to reporters in a press conference, most of whom discounted his revelation, adding to the list of people in Haye's life not impressed with his swollen member.

* Dive Turkey, or Levet-athan, or Open Wound, or Shin Splint — French Golfer Thomas Levet, celebrating his win in the French Open, jumped into a lake at Le Golf National and suffered a small fracture to his shin. The injury forced him to withdraw from the British Open, ending his chances of becoming the first golfer to win the Open with one handicap.

* 14 and Counting, Very Slowly — Tiger Woods will skip the British Open as he continues to heal from knee and Achilles injuries that have already caused him to miss the U.S. Open. Doctors have advised Woods to stay off his feet, words the former world No. 1 was happy to hear, because everyone knows Woods loves a good "lay."

* Advantage ESPN, or Bristol Method — ESPN will televise Wimbledon next year, ending NBC's 43-year broadcasting run of the Grand Slam tournament. ESPN announcer Chris Berman has already started nicknaming tennis stars, such as Caroline "Woz Not" Wozniacki, Roger "K" Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga "'N Dance," Rafael "Guys" Nadal(s), Andy "Spare The" Roddick, Robin "Say It Ain't" Soderling, Vera "Warren" Zvonareva, Andrea "Teacher's" Petkovic, and Li "Sha Na" Na.

* Surely, This Defense Won't Win a Gold Glove, or Misremembrance of Things Past — Roger Clemens' defense team plans to argue that his personal trainer Brian McNamee blackmailed Clemens with manufactured evidence, with the intent to get McNamee a job. Clemens' defense team plans to assert "a lot of gauze" in their case, while the prosecution will counter with "a lot of gall" in their argument.

* Girls, Interrupted — The U.S. women's soccer team lost to Sweden 2-1 on Wednesday, their first loss ever in group play at the World Cup. The Americans finished second in Group C and advanced to face Brazil, led by Erika, Marta, and Christiane, in the quarterfinals. The U.S. beat Brazil in the last two Olympic finals, so they are quite familiar with their South American foes, almost as if they're on a first-name basis.

* She's Gotta Have it, or Mail Order Bridezilla — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams is suing former beauty queen Brooke Daniels for the return of a $76,000 engagement ring used in a marriage proposal through the mail. Daniels says she lost the ring, but an insurance investigation determined her father had the diamond. Michael Daniels said he plans to return the ring. That's good news for Williams, in that at least one member of the Daniels family plans to give it up.

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