June 3, 2011

Batting Practice, Bitches: The One with Lance Armstrong, Gay Athletes, Tree Murder, SNL, and Sukanya Roy

This is like CDTF's version of Hot Topics, minus Baba Wawa, Tracy Jordan's wife, that cranky conservative bitch, the menopausal liberal, and that Mel Gibson-loving reggae lady. An awkward setting, fueled by mutual animosity/adoration, where we tee up against softball topics and discuss things that do not matter in any way, shape, or form.
It has been an insane two weeks here at CDTF, but Amber, Carrie, Robin, and Jill are back on this gorgeous Friday to argue about sports, athletes, and life.  In the past, guest moderators have included La La Vasquez, Christina Aguilera, Brittney Griner, Jessica Biel, Laura Vikmanis, Pia Toscano, Samantha Posey, and Tiffany Burress.  But this week, the girls are joined by a very special host: Sukanya Roy. 
I am so happy to be here as the youngest woman to ever host Batting Practice Bitches. My name is Sukanya Roy, seemingly pronounced suck-on-ya, but as I like to tell my competitors, suck on this, fools. I am the proud eighth-grader who just won the 84th annual Scripps National Spelling in overtime. Although the week started with 275 spellers, only five of us were left and no one would screw up anything, and the final round just kept going and going, until I finally made “cymotrichous” my bitch.  For the record, because I am pretty sure that I am smarter than you all, the winning word relates to wavy hair. So try to use it in a sentence today.  When the contest was over, it was like way past my bed time, but the $40,000 in cash and prizes was better than the Tooth Fairy.  Since I came in 12th place in 2009 and 20th place in 2010, I was especially proud to have won; I only went through the entire dictionary twice.  But I was not even given a word that I doubted or had to guess.  So after meeting Ken Jennings and the spelling bee’s past winners, I thought I would come spend this b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, beautiful, morning with you ladies.  
Sukanya:  I remember when I was like three-years-old and Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France.  Yes, I have an excellent memory, not just for spelling words.  But what is going on with my former biking idol?

Are we witnessing the fall of Lance Armstrong? How do you feel about him and has your opinion changed at all?

Amber: As we know, I don't follow the sports. I knew that Lancie had some doping issues in his past, so being the professional researcher that I am, I got into a lil Wikipedia. What I learned was this: YOU CANNOT BEAT LANCE ARMSTRONG! THE DUDE HAD TESTICULAR CANCER AND WENT AND HAD A BABY! WHAT THE FUCK?! But for real, what the fuck? And you KNOW, he and his baby momma contacted Maury for paternity tests cause they were like, "WHAT THE FUCK?!"  All doping allegations and Tour de France wins aside, who IS he? Wikipedia said that he submitted to 24 unannounced drug tests, and NADA. Maybe there is a vast conspiracy to protect racing, which? Whatever. I don't care. My bike has a basket so I can put snacks in it. I just want somebody to explain the baby.

Carrie: I am not sure how I escaped the past decade being able to say this, but I don't really have much of an opinion of Lance Armstrong - recently or otherwise, 'roids or regs. I definitely support his work with cancer research but was sort of over the LiveStrong bracelets once they became like a "status symbol" in a weird way. I also blame the LiveStrong bracelets for every cause bracelet that has been distributed since then. WWJD? J. would not wear a weird rubber bracelet, dawg.
Robin: I don't think it's an actual new fall. When was the last time before these new allegations came forward that you thought about Lance Armstrong? I mean, I totally thought I predicted the fall of him when I saw his ex-wife on Oprah. Lance was totally a bitch of a husband to her, trying to control her everything. Then he tried to pull on my heartstrings by dating my girl Sheryl Crow (Tuesday Night Music Club was my first CD, followed by Ace of Base, The Sign), but then he brought us those dumb ass rubber bracelets and though I do love supporting causes, did we need to do it in rubber? Come on now Lance, I don't want to wear a tire on my arm. I don't want to wear yellow just to say fuck cancer. I just want to like wear the substances that I want and not feel like an asshole for not wearing rubber on my arm every day. So yeah, I haven't thought of Lance since I gave up rubber accessories and I really don't think most other people have (besides Carrie, Amber and my friend Rachel who is in LOVE with Lance. If I ever get invited to their wedding, I'll think about it again and probably write a guest blog post about it for you).

Sukanya: Thank you, Robin; I am certain that everyone would love your guest post. But I am not sure who this Ace of Base is that you speak of…

Jill: I have already kind of spoken about this.  And I say, yes, wholeheartedly, we are witnessing the fall of Lance Armstrong. In 2004, I was in Paris for the final day of the Tour de France (god that sounded so obnoxious…as if I was an elitist Duke student or something) and I got warm fuzzies from seeing Lance make history.  I mean, he was a fucking miracle magician.  He survived cancer, he dominated his sport, he became a world champion and, in the process, he inspired millions. He also made Sheryl Crow relevant again. I was impressed.  But really, the only thing now separating Lance from Roger Clemens – my favorite hero-athlete turned douchebag – is that he is smarter.  Because not only are they both from the unfortunate state of Texas, they are both prolific cheaters. Lance is just better at it.  Roger went before Congress and blustered about wanting an apology; Lance writes strongly worded legal letters to 60 Minutes.  Roger says Andy Pettitte “misremembered;” Lance skewers any of his former teammates and repeats that he never failed a drug test (even without positive tests, there are too many damning witnesses who say otherwise).  Roger got his drugs from an accused felon; Lance finagled his way into footing our government with the bill. Regardless of style, cheating sucks.  It especially sucks when you have also cheated innocent people out of millions in donations based on the falsity that you are some freak of athletic nature.  So, yes, my opinion has changed.  I feel totally duped by my Live Strong bracelet.

Sukanya: I am pretty sure that I teethed on a Live Strong bracelet, so I find them fully functional.  Let’s talk about an athlete that we all can agree is amazing.

Steve Nash recently came out in favor of gay marriage in New York.  What sport do you think will have the first openly gay superstar and when do you think such a thing could potentially happen?

Robin: First off snaps to Stevey. I love him, always have (and the fact that he is Canadian is just an added bonus). But I love that he's like "yeah my team manager guy is gay, who the f cares?”). Anyway, this is essentially the question of what sport is the most tolerant. And with Mr. Bumble and Bumble Joakim Noah joining dipshit Kobe Bryant in Homophobeville, the NBA is definitely out. Even with Charles Barkley as your body guard, I just wouldn't feel safe with those assholes running their mouths. Hockey and football are just both so physical and while there is no doubt in my mind that there are gay NHL and NFL stars, I just think it would be hard for them to come out cause there teammates may be assholes and stop protecting them as to get too close. So yes, that leaves me with baseball. I sorta like the idea of America's past time being the first that is truly representative of America. I mean who will be the Jackie Robinson of homosexuality? Us Bostonians would totally cheer them on when they came to Fenway (or at least my friends and I would). And I am not big into sports clothing, but I would totally buy your jersey and I would even refrain from bedazzling it as to not make a mockery of something that I support. That is a HUGE sacrifice for me, so like come on now baseball, it's one, two, three strikes COME OUT at the old ball game.

Sukanya: Maybe we can all sing your song together later and film an infomercial. Because I kinda love it. Do you agree that it’s going to be baseball, Jill? 

Jill: I actually think we will have the first openly gay superstar in the NBA. Steve Nash's awesomely bold message is a testament to that. The MLB and NFL are far more conservative, and I feel like the celebrity culture of the NBA is conducive to a blockbuster announcement like this. When will it happen? Not soon enough. Undoubtedly, there are homosexual athletes already sharing the locker rooms and playing fields. I don't know if someone will feel comfortable enough to come out of the closet in the height of his career, in fear that it would irreparably harm it. Personally, I think it would be a brilliant business decision for the brave soul who first goes public. It will bring him fame and fortune, People magazine covers, SportsCenter profiles, new found celebrity status, and the opportunity to change culture as we know it. It will be crazy tough at times, he will be judged differently as a man and a player, and he will never be looked at the same again. But I also know that I, as well as millions of others, would look at him with a new sense of pride, admiration, and respect. A+ to Steve Nash for having the courage to bring this topic up at all.
 
Amber: First, big up Steve Nash. Second, does Johnny Weir not count? I feel like he maybe isn't MEGA enough, but he has a steroid named after him? But then he is SUPER bitchy. I would love love love some big, strapping, Gatorade endorsing athlete to come out. But only if he had never been married and had no kids, because I want it to be a full-on, dancing in the street, celebratory shenanigans. 

 
Carrie: So, Steve Nash is basically the coolest. Because my memory is for shit, I can't actually remember how this particular opinion formed in specifics, but I know every time I hear Steve Nash's name it is in association with some awesome story about how he's off being just like a regular dude, sticking up for the right things and not being a total arrogant prick. I'm sure he's not actually the reason the Suns had the Los Suns jerseys made up in support of Arizona's enormous and vilified Hispanic population, but his image in that jersey is what stays in my mind. So, what I'm saying I guess is, stay gold, Steve Nash. You're the man. Speaking of men... it'll probably be a soccer player. 

Sukanya: To be honest, I think it is sad that this is even still an issue in 2011.  You know what else is sad? Dead trees.   

What should happen to Harvey Updyke, and in particular, should he go to jail for the Auburn tree murders?

Jill:  Yeah, I don't know what to make of this. There is being a fan and then there is being The Fan, as in the crazy movie stalker dude a la Robert De Niro, signifying a break from reality. I think that partially happened here. Who the hell intentionally poisons trees simply to tweak a rival? What happened to good old toilet paper? As many times as I wanted to light UNC Law on fire, just to go out in a Cameron Crazie blaze of glory, I somehow refrained. But I sort of feel badly for this dude and I don't know why. His actions were ill-advised, immoral, irresponsible, and illegal. But jail-worthy? I think that's pushing it. Not to make excuses, but this wasn't an oil spill or anything; the only "person" hurt here was Mother Nature and she certainly won't be the one gangbanging him in prison.

Carrie: Oh lordy lord. Did you see his interviews after all this? Whew, that man is really probably not right in the head. Now, if I'm not already on record saying this, let me put it on record, "fans" are one thing, "fanatics" are another. I think that word comes from the word "lunatic,” so like, you do the math. Simmer down, it's a sports team. And what particular brand of crazy do you need to be to poison a TREE? Like obvi that tree never did anything directly to you, oh, aside from GIVING YOU OXYGEN TO BREATHE. I'm not advocating for him doing something similar to like a player or an opposing fan or anything, but for reals, a tree? Get a grip.

Robin: As you may have noticed in my past rants, I am way more into punishments where the "criminal" has to learn a lesson. So besides having to replant all the trees, I think Harv should have to not only personally apologize to every football player from Auburn, past, present and future, but to every person involved with Auburn. Yes, I know that means hundreds of thousands of people, but hello – I may not wear Birkenstocks (GROSS), but I am sort of a tree hugger, and like the idea of a man going hoarse over trees. 

Amber: I feel like Harvey maybe needs some institutionalization, but like, not prison? I feel like he's high on Alabama football and needs to detox and go through some serious therapy.


Sukanya: Clearly, poor Harvey needs some major help.  If anything, the guy has way too much time on his hands and needs to find, I don’t know, an arts and crafts class or yoga or something.  He needs to channel his frustrations elsewhere.  Not, you know, nature.  Let’s move on to a lighter subject… 

Last week was the finale of SNL, with Justin Timberlake as host.  If you could have any athlete host the show, who would you pick and what sort of skits would you put him/her in? 

Carrie: Of the athletes that have hosted the show over the years, Peyton Manning was by far my favorite. I think any guest host is best when they are playfully mocking their own image. Like JT in a sketch that got cut last week from rehearsal (speaking of fannnnnnatic), Peyton was able to poke at the dumb jock image in a way that felt like it was all in good fun. Also, I think it is critical for an athlete (who is clearly out of their realm in sketch comedy, so like it is an unfair expectation for them to be good and when they are even more amazing, because like, damn, is there anything they can't do?) to not break in their sketches. So in the end, put them in something that isn't going to make them fall apart. Honorable mentions to Tom Brady for his hosting gig and Carmelo Anthony for his recent cameos during Elton John's episode (completely lame, but don't get me started. Oh wait, I already got started about three hundred words ago...?) a couple weeks ago. 'Melo was game as hell and I was shocked.

Robin: The Red Headed Wonder himself, Brian Scalabrine. Although most people don't know my favorite former Nets AND Celtics players (two for the price of one--love me a good deal, especially in sports), the man has got SPIRIT, has red hair and knows how to make fun of himself. All important things for me when it comes to SNL. And I betcha he could do an awesome version of the new Beyonce song "Run the World," ala JT and Andy Samburg’s "Single Ladies". A Red Headed 6'9'' red-head dancing to Beyonce: worth the price of admission and the space it takes up on my DVR in perpetuity.

Amber:  Ok, my love of JT is well-known. However, I also have a deep, undying love for...Dwayne Johnson, AKA, the Rock. Something about his ambiguous ethnicity and muscles just DOES something to me. And you know what else? The SNL that he hosted was one of the funniest I've seen. And I know pro wrestling isn't a SPORT, per se. But Dwayne (said in the Whitley Gilbert voice) did play football at UMIAMI, I think? Let me go Wikipedia.

Sukanya: All I want is to be able to stay up late enough to watch SNL…

Jill: Well, Peyton Manning is probably my fave athlete to host the show. He seemed to strike a perfect balance between making fun of himself and awkward comedic timing - which was sort of precious. God knows some athletes are simply terrible hosts (Michael Phelps, anyone?). Regardless, the perfect host is someone who is comfortable in his own skin and with his past, regardless of reputation, and can roll with the punches. I think Shaq would be great and quite timely, with his retirement (Has he hosted? Probably); I would totally put him in a Kazaam skit. Someone like Johnny Damon or Charles Barkley, lovable pranksters, would also be entertaining. Nolan Smith would also be fantastic and would light up the stage. But really? The person I'd like to see most? Rex Ryan. He can bring along his foot fetish and sailor-like mouth. 

Sukanya: I don’t think my parents would want me to talk about foot fetishes, or half of the other things you guys brought up, so I think we should maybe call it a morning.  Thank you so much for having me and tune in next week! 


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