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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


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The Nucleus Of The Horned Frogs (And Other Minutiae)

Raise your hand if you saw Osmosis Jones. OK, that's probably none of you. It was an animated move starring Chris Rock as a white blood cell who was trying to fight off a virus inside Bill Murray's body.

Does Nucleus Smith sound like he could have been Osmosis Jones's sidekick? Well, Nucleus Smith is a very real person. He's a senior guard on the Texas Christian basketball team. You just have to wonder what the guy's mom was thinking with a name like Nucleus. Unfortunately, his bio doesn't give parents' or siblings' names, so I can only guess. Osmosis isn't a bad guess for a brother. Perhaps his parents are Neutron and Proton? Put them together, you get a Nucleus.

***

Remember the story of the Phillie Phanatic's missing head? Well, it looks like the Phanatic finally is going to get his head on straight. Today, Philadelphia radio station WYSP got a call from a man who said he found the furry head. The guy said he was going to bring the head down to the station and turn it over. This dude, Bernard Bechtel, must be a few yards short of a first down becauese he showed up with the head, and naturally, the cops were waiting.

He's in possession of a notorious stolen object. What is he thinking, just announcing where he'll be with the Phanatic's cranium? So he's been arrested, and we'll see if it was actually him who jacked the head. If it wasn't, it'll be an interesting story as to how he came to acquire said head.

***

Yahoo! Sports assigns an ID number to each athlete in the major pro sports. This is for purposes of giving each of them a page. For example, Donald Brashear's is 817, and you can get to his page by going to http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/817.

Where am I going with this? The other day, the Sabres' Miroslav Satan scored four goals in a game, so I went to look up some stats on him. Guess what his ID number is?

If you didn't guess 666, which of course is the right number, you need to work on your grasp of the obvious. The real question is, did someone at Yahoo! have a weird sense of humor and assign that number to Satan, or are darker forces at work here?

***

When stories come across the wire at ESPN, they all are slugged with certain codes. For example, men's college basketball comes in under the slug "BKC." Olympic events are slugged "OLY." We also get stories in Spanish. Those about sports are slugged "DEP," for "deportes." Those about general topics (at least, I think that's what they are, my Spanish isn't too good) are slugged "GEN."

That made it kind of unfortunate when a story from Italy came across the wire in Spanish. The story, which I gathered was about Juan Peron and Evita Peron, was slugged "BC-EUR-GEN ITALIA-PERON SUBASTA."

Heh, heh. Genitalia. Heh, heh.

***

Remember that commercial that ran all the time last year that pitted an old Michael Jordan against a younger version of himself? It was a really cool concept, bringing a couple of people together who obviously never could compete with each other in real life.

Recently, there's a commercial that rivals that one in coolness. You see a boxer coming out into the ring with "Ali" on the boxer's robe, and you figure it's going to be Muhammad Ali. But it's his daughter, Laila Ali, who's also a professional boxer. Now guess who her opponent is.

Of course, it's a younger version of her dad, and the two start going at it, with Laila landing a shot on pops that makes him look at her with an expression that says, "Wow, where did that one come from?"

The commercial, which is for Adidas, ends with the tagline, "Impossible is nothing." Of course, this fight is impossible, but seeing the two Alis dance around the ring with each other is still pretty damn cool.

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