Sunday, May 27, 2012

The 2012 Giro D'Italia...

This race, the first 3-week grand tour of the year, was a crashing bore, and epitomizes what has gone completely wrong with professional cycling. I have no idea what is going on pertaining to the doping front, but something has happened to turn such a beautiful race into the homogenized piece of crap we've just witnessed.

 First of all, sprinters used to be a workmanlike group of "brutos" from various Eastern Block countries (with the odd Italian or Belgian ham-and-egger thrown in for the sake of diversity) who made their living doing the only thing they could do besides working in a textile mill or a coal mine back in the old country. They were usually not cut out to be domestiques and were too heavy to climb a staircase, so they OD'ed on testosterone and sat in the back of the bunch on the flat stages until some of their teammates dragged them to the front for their 45 seconds of glory. These cats fought it out like demons because failure meant no contract for the next season, so there was a lot at stake.

Even amongst these proletariat working-class grunts we had the stylish, elegant and supremely talented Mario Cipollini, who made sprinting a lovely affair to behold. Now that he's gone, we have British bulldog Mark Cavendish, the guy with the name that sounds like he should be running an Irish pub somewhere in Cork, Ireland. He's short, built like a stack of granite blocks with the looks to match, talks crap in a manner that is neither endearing nor comical, and has all the panache of a terminal illness diagnosis. To make things worse, even though he's the best sprinter in the peloton by a leap, he lost the sprinter's jersey at the Giro by one fucking point. Nice try there, asshole.

And don't tell me any of you were at the edge of your seats watching the exploits of American Great White Hope Taylor Phinney. This glorified track cyclist held the jersey for a few days in the beginning before his audition for the Ice Capades began in earnest. He crashed more times than the Facebook IPO in as many days, and wound up as just another anonymous rider gasping to see the end in Milan.

The mountain stages were a trifling affair, and I cannot recall any of the winners to save my life. In the end, the most compelling drama having to do with this series of interminably monotonous funeral processions was the conclusion of a farce that was in the making ever since this great race ended in 2005. José Rujano ingloriously pulled out of the race on stage 19, while having done nothing to distinguish himself in the only stages that were suited to his physique.

And don't think his team manager sat idly by while making excuses for him. Rujano's exit was followed closely by a well-deserved diatribe as only the Italians can mete them out-

 “Thankfully, his contract with us ends at the conclusion of the season,” Savio said. “I was the one who brought him to Europe and nursed him through the 2005 Giro, when he was third. After all of his problems, no one wanted to touch him. And then I gave him a second chance last season. After this, there will be no more chances. We are finished.”-Gianni Savio, team manager of the Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela.

 But wait, there's more-

 “He (Rujano) didn’t do a thing during this Giro. When he came to the start, he was singing to all the world that he was going to win stages, reach the podium, even win! My team doctor, who is a very serious man, told me that he saw no physical problems that would keep him from continuing. Rujano has a sore throat, but so do I! He said he didn’t feel good and simply quit.”

“We asked him, during the stage to Cortina, to demonstrate something for his pride. And what does he do? He finished more than 30 minutes back!” the exasperated Savio said. “We asked him again today to show his character. And what does he do? He quits.”

Rujano rode like a true "culi-cagao", disgracing not only himself but his country of Venezuela, desperate for good news aside from the impending death of democratically-elected pseudo-strongman Hugo Chavez. As one of the few cats capable of lighting the race up in the mountains, it became obvious very quickly that he was only out to disappoint. The slack was not going to be picked up by the likes of 2010 Giro winner Ivan Basso. I've yet to figure out why he even showed up to ride if he was going to put in such an uninspired performance. Definitely nothing like what he had done in 2007 when he stormed the mountains to the chant of "extraterritorial" from guys like Gilberto Simoni, but it's pretty obvious what caused such a disparity in his, um, ""form".

So the overall went to Ryder Hesjedal, a Canadian who didn't win one stage and sucked wheels and hedged his bets on the mountains long enough to take back the 30 seconds he needed to gain on eventual runner-up Joachim Rodriguez on the very last time trial into Milan. We as cycling fans have been royally gypped, and don't think the Tour is going to be any better.

You cannot call yourself a cycling fan and say with a straight face you are looking forward to the mano-a-mano clashes between these pack of Bowery Bums-Cadel Evans, The Schleck brothers,and Bradley Wiggins. What do these guys all have in common? No panache, no sense of urgency, no nothin'. I'd rather watch those bitches from "Mob Wives" screeching at each other than what's in store for us this coming July.

I can just imagine the Evans/Wiggo duel in the high mountains-talk about epic stuff for the ages. Two clowns trying to "consolidate" their positions while watching each other all the way to the line, with the obligatory "ATTACK" 500 meters from the line. And right beside them are the Brothers Schleck, whose moments of cycling derring-do have left many fans gasping at the side of the road from sheer excitement (insert sarcastic smirk HERE). 

I can't wait. It's going to be the best Tour in years. (Someone says this every year, and when they do, guaranteed it was because it was one of the worst). I'd rather go down to The Bowery and watch the bums race each other for a slab of salami and a pint of Wild Irish Rose than have to be subjected to another Tour without an in-form Alberto Contador making the race for everyone else. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My baloney has a first name...

The ultra-conservative wing (who happen to be anything BUT conservative) of the Republican Party have made much about last week being the first time in American history where Caucasian births have been overtaken by non-Caucasian births. As one can well imagine, the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys of the world have been up in arms over this. Their poor country is being overtaken by hordes of illiterate, hyper-aggressive gang members who do nothing but drink malt liquor and commit crimes alongside their mindless ghetto hoochies who cannot stop over-breeding because they just loves them some food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, jiggetts and medicaid.

I think the reason "minorities" are having more babies than Caucasians in the US stems from the ineffective use of baloney as a deterrent to procreation. Here is how this debacle occurred-during the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, a scientist accidentally spilled a chemical called Kloron-9 onto a piece of rotten eggplant. The chemical reaction inadvertently created a rancid piece of super-crap that defies all logic.

 Consider these points-

1) Baloney is not a meat, yet it is used in sandwiches-but only in minority neighborhoods. When was the last time you were at an upscale deli and someone ordered baloney?

 2) It has no nutritional value whatsoever, yet children from underprivileged backgrounds who ingest this product on a continual basis (free lunch programs during the summer-we all know how minorities just loooove free stuff!!!) outperform their Caucasian counterparts in physical tests of speed, agility and vertical leap*. (*Google the NFL combine for proof)

3) Baloney is so relentlessly sturdy it cannot be digested by humans, yet it is served as a lunchtime alternative to real food.

4) Baloney cannot be contained. It dissolves plastic, melts glass and disintegrates any and all metals. This is why it must be packaged in a gelatinous sludge from another failed experiment whose idea was used by Hollywood screenwriters as the basis for “The Blob”.

5) Its unyielding properties allows a slice of baloney to be thrown like a Frisbee that can shatter a car windshield with relative ease and be utilized as insulation on all NASA flights into outer space. If one were to wear a face mask made out of baloney, one could successfully ward off an anthrax attack.

Scientists concluded that baloney is so toxic no human who ingests it on a regular basis would be able to procreate, hence the perfect contraceptive for all those pesky, over-breeding minorities. Scientists figured if they could somehow force-feed this new wonder product to the minority populations of the US, it would stem the tide of mindless minority breeding. But how?

They decided to work in conjunction with the Oscar Mayer meat company to sign non-compete contracts with all penitentiaries and inner-city public schools, both housing captive minority audiences with the ability to limit their gastronomic choices to the point where both prisoners and students would come to enjoy eating it.

The experiment backfired, because it turns out baloney only adversely affects those with no melanin in their skin. You could feed baloney to Tim Tebow all you want and it still won’t turn him into Cam Newton.

So now politicians are considering ways to have Mexicans, for whom overbreeding comes naturally, to populate the US as long as they maintain their Catholic, devoutly religious roots while simultaneously being despised and marginalized by US lawmakers and those who espouse a conservative illegal alien agenda. If any of this sounds hypocritical and loony, well, judging from the tone of the conservative agenda spewed by the Republican Party, I’d rather be full of baloney than full of shit.


Sorry about my time away. The reasons were computer-related. First off, I was trying to catch the Leige-Bastogne-Liege one-day cycling classic on the internet, and visited a recommended site. I was so anxious that I downloaded a viewer similar to Adobe as per the instructions (which I could have ignored and still caught the race, but those are some of the tricks played by such sites of dubious repute) that had a trojan in the scripts. Tried almost everything to remove it but fialed. FYI, this particular trojan is called

 I then took my hard drives to a friend's house to see if there was anything to be done, and when I got back the hard drive I utilize to store photos and films broke. I had to purchase another 1 terabyte hard drive and am currently in the process of getting the data transferred. Then my video card flames out when the fan cooler dies out. And no, I didn't get to see any of the Leige race... But there is lots to get into, so let's start on a positive note...

While laying around on Mother's Day waiting for everyone to get together to celebrate this most special day, I tuned into and caught the football match between Queen's Park Rangers (QPR) and Manchester City. I had no idea but there was a lot riding on this match. If Man City pulled it off, they would take the English Premier League Championship from Manchester United for the first time since 1968.

It just so happened to be the most awesome match I've ever witnessed. Man City managed to score two goals in stoppage time to take a 3-2 victory, sending their supporters and all of the blokes doing color commentary on television into an absolute frenzy.

Unfortunately, the video links to Argentine Sergio Agüero's stunning match-winning goal with 90 seconds left have been disabled so I can't post one up. But do try to catch the whole match somewhere if you can. Usually this blog is a forum to bust chops, but I have to give crredit to QPR for not only scoring two fantastic goals, but for hanging in so tough. I don't have adequate data on this, but it seemed that QPR spent at least 80% of the match defending their own goal from an absolute onslaught by Man City.

Their defense was absolutely gladatorial, but eventually even such an effort fell short against a team that not only won the Premiership, but lead the league in goals scored. This is why they were able to pull the championship away from Man U even though both teams were tied in victories. And Sergio will never have to pay for another meal anywhere his supporters are within shouting distance. Free pints for the rest of his life!!!

There is always an interesting side story to events like this if you are not a hard-core follower of the league. The striker who slammed the match-winning goal home, Sergio Agüero, is an Argentine wonderboy who turned professional for his country's Division-I league at the age of FIFTEEN. Not only that he is married to Giannina Maradona, the youngest daughter of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.

The couple had a son named Benjamin, who was born in Madrid on February 19, 2009. How's THAT for genetic engineering? This kid may or may not grow up to play this beautiful game of football, but it won't be for lack of pedigree, that's for sure.

Sergio and his wife Giannina-

Sergio and his beautiful son, Benjamin-