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26 Hours of Thinking, ‘Are We There Yet?’

Times Staff Writer

Oliver Barton recently accompanied pro skateboarders to China to write a story for Transworld Skateboarding magazine. They loved the country. Getting there was another story:

“Having spent 26 hours imprisoned with a constant supply of recycled air that is laced with 6,893 different types of airborne bacteria brought from all over the globe by the other 200 passengers, they find the descent to terra firma to be an experience of rebirth that is unsurpassed by any religious event, sporting championship win or drug-induced hallucination.”

Boiling point: Barton added, “It’s claustrophobia at the epicenter of this type of flying anxiety, not losing all engine power and crashing into the side of the mountain; after all, there’s not much suffering to be scared of when it comes to dying in a plane crash -- at most, you might have a split second to recognize you’re about to lose your life before the ball of fire that’s powering its way up the aisle broils you to a crisp at 80,000 degrees.”

Pity the poor soul who had to sit next to this man.

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Trivia time: The New York Yankees were in every World Series but two from 1949 to 1964. The Cleveland Indians (1954) and Chicago White Sox (1959) were the American League representatives in those two. What did they have in common?

Order on the court: NBA official Bob Delaney was formerly a New Jersey state trooper who worked undercover in a fight against organized crime. Notes Slam magazine:

“All of which is worth keeping in mind the next time Phil, LB or one of the Gundys try bullying him into a makeup call. Having faced down real-life Tony Sopranos, Bob ain’t really sweating these sideline gangsters.”

Scary: In time for Halloween: The Moss Mask, a plastic replica of Randy Moss’ head, including a Velcro-attached afro the now-Raider receiver wears during the playoffs, is on sale at TheRealRandyMoss.com. Price: $49.95.

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Optimistic: Told by Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that since 1990 more than 95% of teams that started out 0-3 have failed to make the playoffs, the Raiders’ Warren Sapp responded, “Well, I guess we’ve got a 5% chance.”

Silver lining: The Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley on the Cardinals’ 0-3 start: “A brief memo to the Cardinals: Pack a little more resolve, and leave a couple scouts behind for [Saturday’s] big game at Sun Devil Stadium [between Arizona State and USC]. The way things are going, you’ll soon have your choice between Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.”

He’s no Max: On Luan Kransniqi, who was vying to become only the second German world heavyweight champion, being knocked out by WBO champion Lamon Brewster, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times said, “Pass the Schmeling salts.”

Trivia answer: They had the same manager, Al Lopez.

And finally: From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: “Lance Armstrong’s Labrador puppy, Rex, is recovering from heart surgery. In an upcoming exclusive, the French daily L’Equipe accuses Rex of ingesting performance-enhancing dog biscuits.”


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