End-of-the-year leftovers-the good, the bad and the unusual

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOE KLEINSASSER
As we close the curtain on another interesting year, I’ll share one of my top resolutions for 2006. I’m going to do my best to subscribe to the 12-step chocoholics program: Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate!

  • In the news of the weird, competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi swallowed 67 hamburgers in eight minutes to win $10,000 and retain his title as Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Champion. The Japanese contender fended off San Diego State University engineering student Joey Chestnut, who was tied with Kobayashi at 60 burgers with 37 seconds left.

    Chestnut said his failure to dunk one of the 2.5-square-inch burgers in water slowed him.

    The event was sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. I didn’t know such a federation even existed.

    I was surprised to learn that Kobayashi only weighs 172 pounds. I don’t know if that’s before or after eating the 67 burgers.

  • In the “coach moving up the ladder fast” department, former Tabor College football coach Tim McCarty was named an assistant coach at Kansas State.

    How much different do you suppose his income tax returns will look next year compared to the one about four years ago?

    If McCarty was able to recruit good student-athletes to play football at Tabor when the Bluejays were the bottom of the barrel in the KCAC, I would think he could recruit Division I level student-athletes to a strong program like Kansas State.

    I wonder how many requests Coach McCarty will get for free tickets to a KSU game?

  • In the “He said that?” department, the following is attributed to former football star O.J. Simpson: “The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start to the top.”
  • Basketball coaching legend John Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
  • George Will said, “Football features two of the worst aspects of American life: violence and committee meetings.”
  • I’m not sure this is news you can use, but scientists confirmed men are dirtier than women by spying in public restrooms, as one-quarter of men left without washing their hands. In contrast, 90 percent of the women did wash up.

    The worst hygiene was at Atlanta’s Turner Field baseball stadium, where 37 percent of men left the bathroom without washing, and 16 percent of the women did.

    I can’t help but wonder who carries out this kind of research?

  • In the “Let’s Play Two” department, the football program at Northwestern College in Minnesota made history this fall by playing two games in one day. In a seven-hour time span, the Eagles defeated Trinity Bible College 59-0 in the afternoon before defeating Macalester College 47-14 in the nightcap. The Eagles traveled only 6.5 miles to play the second game.

    If you wore a Northwestern uniform and didn’t see any playing time that day, your future as an Eagle isn’t too bright.

  • In the “What is This World Coming To?” department, earlier this year a T-ball coach near Pittsburgh, Pa., allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn’t have to put the boy in the game, according to police.

    According to the Associated Press story, the coach was accused of offering one of his players money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball.

    Witnesses told police the coach didn’t want the boy to play in the game because of his disability. A league rule requires each player to participate in three innings a game.

    “The coach was very competitive,” state police Trooper Thomas Broadwater said. “He wanted to win.”

    We don’t keep score in Hillsboro T-ball games. That’s probably a good thing.

  • Extreme sports now attract more interest than some traditional team sports. The most popular extreme sport: inline skating, which drew 17,348,000 people last year, according to the American Council on Exercise’s FitnessMatters newsletter.

    That’s more than participated in basketball and tackle football combined.

    Also in the top 10 were skateboarding and paintball. Paintball participation has grown 60 percent since 1998 to 9.6 million participants last year.

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