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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Monday, January 26, 2004

...And Pitching, Batting In The Ninth Position...President David Palmer!

Props to 24 for winning a Golden Globe for best television drama. I didn't start watching regularly until this season, but it didn't take much to turn me into a loyal fan.

In honor of the win, here's the All-24 Team. Yes, some of them are stretches. Sue me. I'd like to see if you can come up with anything better.

Norm Sherry, C, 1959-63
Hap Myers, 1B, 1910-15
Chase Utley, 2B, 2003-
Rafael Almeida, 3B, 1911-13
Angel Salazar, SS, 1983-88
Hank Bauer, OF, 1948-61
Andy Kyle, OF, 1912
Pedro Cerrano, OF, 1989-98
David Palmer, SP, 1978-89
Byung-Hyun Kim, RP, 1999-

Side note: while I was trying to come up with names for this team, I stumbled across perhaps the most unfortunate name in the history of mankind: Tony Suck. Even worse, he changed his name...he was born Charles Anthony Zuck. Don't believe me? Look it up.

***

In yesterday's column, I wrote about Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun carpet F-bombing a reporter who asked about why he didn't sign local product Ryan Gomes to play for the Huskies. I wrote the column from memory of the ESPNEWS report, so here are the exact details of the eruption of Mt. Calhoun.

The reporter in question was Dave Solomon of the New Haven Register, who asked, "Recruiting is hardly an exact science. What does Gomes do that blows you away now that maybe no one saw?"

Calhoun's reply, in part: "I f---ed up. I didn't take Ryan Gomes. Does that make you happy?

"It took 18 months to sell the kid to Providence. It has been written about. It has been talked about - don't shake your f---ing head - you asked a question. I'm telling you how I feel about it. I took Emeka Okafor and Caron Butler. They're not bad. I can't get everyone.

"We have 13 scholarships. When I saw him he was 6-5, 265-270 pounds. When he graduated, we took Caron. He then waited to get his SAT scores. It took Wayne Simone 18 months to convince - I believe that's his quote - to convince Tim Welsh to take the kid.

"I'm tired of talking about Ryan. I just said he's one of the best players in our league and starting to look like one of the best players in the country. I don't know what else I can say. If you want me to say I f---ed up, I f---ed up. Write it. I don't know how else I can answer it. You want me to say I f---ed up. For the fifth time, I f---ed up. So print it five times."

Again...through that entire tirade, he kept precise count of how many times he said he f---ed up. If only he had paid that much attention to Ryan Gomes's potential.

Thanks to the Hartford Courant for the exact info.

***

One of the perks of being a Disney employee is that I get to see the upcoming movie Miracle 11 days before its release date. The movie, about the 1980 U.S.A. hockey team's stunning upset of the Soviet Red Army team at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, stars Kurt Russell as the late, great Herb Brooks.

Look for a review of the movie in tomorrow's column. But be warned: I'm already anticipating that this will be my favorite movie of all time.

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