Time to roast some Weenies | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Time to roast some Weenies

Column by Rick Chandler, Tribune correspondent

It’s late August, which means it’s time for the annual Weenie

Awards, that gala event in which we here in this column get all dressed up to honor the biggest hot dogs in professional sports. There are many, many candidates this year, and a whole new separate category just for ice skating, so if you’ll all find your seats we’ll begin.

First, the rules. To be eligible for a Weenie, an athlete must exhibit idiotic, self-indulgent behavior not normally encountered in the civilized sports world, such as running to the middle of the field at Texas Stadium and spiking the football on the star, or divorcing Brooke Shields. Non-athletes are also eligible, as long as their actions are sufficiently stupid and/or pointless.

Here are our Weenie winners:

NFL: Steve Spurrier, Washington Redskins. In his first preseason at the varsity level, Spurrier’s team is 4-0, averaging 37 points per game, the most

since the Duluth Eskimos were a dominant franchise. But there are no BC points to be had here, Steve — that fourth-string defensive back you just beat for a touchdown will be breading shrimp at Long John Silver’s a month from now. Here is our prediction on the Fun ‘N’ Gun offense: The fun will be completely gone by mid-September, and by Halloween Redskin fans will want to use the gun to shoot themselves.

BASEBALL: Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants. Since moving to Bonds’ No. 3 spot in the order about a month ago, Jeff Kent is hitting .390 with 12 homers*. Bonds had always refused to vacate the No. 3 slot, and had to be removed from it by force, just as he will refuse to extend his career — and help the Giants — by moving to first base next season. How about instead of a baseball glove, they erect a giant hot dog in left field at Pac Bell Park?

BASEBALL FIRST RUNNER-UP: Jay Arsenault, Vacaville. The Giants fan emerged from a massive bleacher pileup, bloodied but unbowed, with Bonds’ 600th home run ball clutched in his paw. He says the souvenir could be worth as much as a million bucks … but wait! On Tuesday a judge issued a temporary restraining order, saying that the ball may not be sold. It seems that Arsenault may have promised coworkers before the game that if he caught the ball, he would split the proceeds. Look for Donald Fehr to somehow work this matter into the ongoing strike negotiations.

BASEBALL, SECOND RUNNER-UP: Andrew Diaz, Harlem Little League. After his fourth-inning home run gave his team a 3-2 lead over Aptos, Calif., in a Little League World Series game, Diaz waved at the ball with his hand while running to first, and did an exaggerated, slow-motion lope between third and home. The ESPN announcers were appalled at such showboating, but had to cut the criticism short due to all the commercials.

EXTREME SPORTS: SlamBall. Basketball’s answer to Frisbee-catching dogs involves two teams of three players each, playing a version of basketball with trampolines built into the playing surface. This activity barely held our interest during halftime at the Clippers game, and now it’s a sport. Go to any SlamBall web site for message board entries such as: “SlamBall Rox!” Seeing this recently on TNN made us long for the bygone glory of the XFL.

OLYMPICS: The Russian mob wanted to fix a couple of events at the Winter Games, so they did what nations have done since the beginning of Western civilization: they got the French to surrender. Italian and U.S. authorities say reputed Russian mobster Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov influenced judges to assure gold medals for the Russian ice dancing team and the French figure skating team. But instead of keeping quiet about it, he Russian mobster bragged on the phone for months afterward, assuring his capture through wiretap evidence. If we had been reduced to fixing ice dancing competitions for a living, the last thing we’d have done was admit it to anyone. Good luck in prison with that story, Alimzhan.

HOCKEY: Stanley Cup tradition. Your team wins the playoffs, and what do you do with the trophy? The long-standing tradition in the NHL is that players from the winning team take turns with the Cup, showing the thing off. The Cup turns up at bars, at the movies — we even saw one photo of a player toting it on a jet ski. Note to NHL: knock it off. The Stanley Cup is not a lawn gnome that you stole from someone’s front yard. Sheesh.

There you have it, the 2002 Weenie Awards. Please enjoy the post-Weenie reception, and drive safely. Thanks for coming.

* = Numbers may be totally made up.

— Rick Chandler’s interactive sports column, Capacity Crowd, can be found at NBCSports.com.

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