Byrned to a Crisp

Loganberry, Champs Sports and Punxsutawney Mel

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The Spectrum


It came to my knowledge recently that there is no such thing as an actual "Logan" berry. Auntie Rosie needs a brick dropped on her head ASAP, if she even exists.

I've been working at Champs Sports for the past year or so, and I have to say that it has been an exhilarating experience. Exhilarating as in I'd rather be strapped down and have shoe cleaner sprayed in my eyes than work there for another second.

But, I make due and manage to have some good times occasionally. Whenever a new Michael Jordan sneaker or Air Force One shoe is released we receive countless phone calls from people inquiring if we are selling it. Generally, we never get these new "joints" in, and the incessant calls become even more annoying than when the wrong voice came out of the wrong turtle on the Ninja Turtles cartoon. But, that's when the good times start to roll. Here's an example of a phone conversation.

Caller: Yo man, you get those new J's in?

Me: No, but we got the new retro Sam Cassell joints.

Caller: (Totally shocked and confused) Wha...what?

Me: Yeah, they're really awesome, they're magenta and gold with a painting of Sam Cassell's face on the front of the shoe.

Caller: (Clearly disgusted) Naw man, naw ... (Click, dial tone)

Good times I tell you! Another one of my favorite things to do involving Champs is prank calling the other employees when I'm not working and asking for obscure items like the Bill Wennington throwback or the new Popeye Jones swingman jersey. The befuddled responses are amazing.

Obviously, this is something you can do even if you don't work there. Just call up a Champs Sports, Foot Locker, or Finish Line and get your jollies off of asking for bizarre items like Alex Van Pelt stuffed animals or a life-size Rik Smits cardboard cutout.

Couldn't the brains behind the new episodes of "The Bachelor" have picked a better NFL quarterback for their bachelor role than the New York Giants backup quarterback Jesse Palmer? The guy is a scrub and I can think of about ten other quarterbacks that would have been much more entertaining.

For starters they could have taken New York's other quarterback, Kerry Collins, and gotten him liquored up before the shows to add more excitement. Or how about Philly's Koy Detmer? After he gave a girl the boot, he could have done his infamous "slap the wanker" dance.

We could really get into this so I'll just rattle off a few more. Jeff Hostetler (for the sake of his pornostache), Mark Rypien (count my potholes!), Warren Moon (if you win, I'll beat you), Jim Everett (don't call me Chris) and Billy Joe Hobert (I forgot to read the script, my bad) are just a handful of others that could have made this show a real classic. I need to be consulted before they try this again.

It's clear that a lot of people absolutely loathe the New York Yankees, and I for one am totally confused by it. This team has turned into a better sports-entertainment program than the World Wrestling Federation!

Just look at these two parallels. You have a deflated Jason Giambi looking like the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VIII after he quit the 'roids, and Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez's eventual grudge match for shortstop with the "no hitting each other's face" stipulation a la Shawn Michaels and "The Model" Rick Martel at Summerslam '92. The entertainment value here is high, people.

One of the most entertaining things ever had to be A-Rod turning the sports world upside down a few weeks ago when he took that ball to his pristine face. This story shook the very foundation of our nation, and tears were flowing across the country until we heard that A-Rod's bump would soon be gone from his immaculate mug.

Strangely, I saw more headlines about the A-Rod incident then I did when that bird slammed into Fabio's (the Fabio) face on a rollercoaser and exploded leaving nothing but blood and feathers across the model's grill. This is Fabio we're talking about here, could it have happened to a better person?

Now that I think of it though, imagine if the same thing happened to A-Rod. Oh boy, I think I'd fork over mega bucks and all the Tang in the world to see the footage of something like that happening. The guy would be mortified and his expression would probably be even better than my Grandma's when she watched the "Don't whizz on the electric fence" episode of Ren and Stimpy with me back in the day. And that was a look of pure horror.

I'm so excited, because it's almost that time of the year again! Oh yes, the NFL draft is right around the corner, which could only mean one thing. Punxsutawney Mel (Kiper Jr.) is about to make his annual appearance and come out of his hole to grace us with his creepy knowledge of college football players.

Seriously though, what is this guy's deal? His voice, greasy hair and insane knowledge about college football leads me to believe he is either an alien or a robot. I think they threw the Jr. at the end of his name just to try and throw us off the trail. Odds are that this creature can only answer questions regarding college football. If I ever get the chance, I'm going expose him by asking some basic knowledge questions like "Who is the president, what color is the sky or which Family Matters cast member appeared on Step by Step during TGIF's crossover phase?" Punxsutawney Mel is as good as done after I get through with him.

Once again, Glen Sather failed to get his high-priced New York Ranger squad into the playoffs and I could go off on him here, but I've made some terrible decisions as general manager of my DVD collection, so I'll let the guy slide this time. It's a hard job picking out talent for your roster, and people just don't understand that sometimes.

Sather thought that Pavel Bure, Jaromir Jagr and other such guns looked great on paper, something that in retrospect is clearly insane. But on the other hand, I thought that Gary Busey, Danny Glover and the Predator himself were a great collection of talent in Predator 2 before I purchased the movie for ten bones in Best Buy. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. We all make mistakes.

But not as big of a mistake as whoever's idea it was to put the Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson Variety Show on the air. Sweet mother of sanity, when will it end? Why can't they give us something we want, like the Jeff and Stan Van Gundy Variety Show or the surefire Bonzi and Rasheed Variety Show? Those would certainly be worth watching.

Oh yeah, and before I go, the Basil Car Dealership paid me to plug them here.

"Just, what, you're looking for ... Basil, BASIL! JUST GREAT DEALS!

If there is one thing I'll miss about Buffalo when I'm out of here in a month, it will be that jingle.