Friday, March 1, 2013

The Whole 42 Letters: Sausage Bandits


A few days ago, someone absconded with the Italian Sausage costume and in typical Wisconsin fashion went barhopping with it on. Why he did it is the missing link of the story, but since I bet he was hanging with his guy friends I think he just took sausagefest a step too far. I heard he wanted to get toasted, but his friends convinced him he was already fried. 

Here's hoping he walked up to some girl and tried to pick her up by saying he was just looking for some buns. Or maybe he told her he'd give her the works (pickle included). There's a joke about Miller Park's famed Secret Sauce here but I haven't figured out how to word it yet.

Sigh... Yes, his name is Guido.

I vacillate between feeling immense pride in a quirky Wisconsin tradition such as the racing sausages (and Bob Uecker shilling for Usinger's Sausage) and even more immense shame that that race and people wearing hats that look like cheddar cheese seem to be the only thing people know my home state for. That said, below are my three favorite things about the sausages:

1. At Little League picnics, we had low-rent versions of the racing sausage costumes, and instead of sack races, we would race in those. I always loved that.

2. In an attempt to be more racially sensitive, the Brewers added Chorizo a few years back. He almost never wins.

3. Hideo Nomo was so enamored of the sausages that he used to don a costume and race in his off days. 

BONUS: Apparently Wisconsin news has B-roll footage of Guido, since he's missing but also in that screen cap. 

What's the most bizarre thing you've ever seen at a sporting event?

This actually transitions perfectly because I was at "Sausage-gate." I witnessed Randall Simon hit the Italian racing sausages with a bat as she ran by the visitors' dugout. I remember not quite being sure if I had actually seen that, but then learning that he got arrested after the game and ultimately ticketed for disorderly conduct (not assault because all she got was a scraped knee) and suspended for three games. I missed all the cool arresting though, because my brother Zach (who would have been 7 at the time) demanded we leave during the 10th inning of a game that I believe the Brewers won 2-1 in 12 innings. Yes I knew that without looking it up. I still haven't forgiven him for that. 

Would you have blown up the Celtics?

By blow up the Celtics, I assume you mean that trading at least one of Rajon Rondo, KG or Paul Pierce in order to sandbag the team's chances and get it in the lottery, since this team is not going to contend for a  title. That's good theory, especially because this team's window is probably closed, but I don't think the specific deals made any sense. 

The Celtics really only had one option of where to trade KG, who has a no-trade clause, and would probably only go to the Clippers. Unfortunately, even a terribly run franchise like the Clippers understood the leverage of that situation and an offer of Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan just isn't enough. Bledsoe is a promising young guard who plays Rondo's position and Jordan is, along with JaVale McGee, the epitome of the overpaid, unskilled, freakishly athletic big man. Trading KG for those two doesn't put the Celtics in a better position now or in the future (thanks to Jordan's contract). Trading Rondo is basically a no-go because you'd be selling low on him due to his injury.

Pierce probably could have gotten the largest haul, and would have made the most sense to trade since he's still playing at such a high level, but if ever there were a time for a team to remain loyal to a player, it's with Paul Pierce on this incarnation of the Celtics. He's not a long suffering superstar like KG was on the T-Wolves, but a key contributor on a middling playoff team. He's played his whole career on the Celtics, and the fans appreciate him for that. Obviously, Danny Ainge doesn't owe the fans or Pierce allowing him to finish his career in Boston, but I think barring a return of a superstar (which wasn't happening) it made no sense to trade Pierce.

What are the three top sports movies that every non-fan of sports must see?

The go-to best sports movie of all time is probably Raging Bull, but that movie has never really connected with me. Instead, I'll go with another movie with Bull in the title, Bull Durham. It's funny, raunchy, totally seems to get baseball (unlike most movies, I would believe the director is actually a fan of the sport), and Susan Sarandon isn't that annoying in it. I would also recommend Hoop Dreams, an excellent documentary on two underprivileged Chicago basketball prospects. Narrowing this down is really hard, because I love movies like Hoosiers or Remember The Titans. I'll go with the original The Longest Yard because Burt Reynolds and Ray Nitschke. My favorite 30 For 30 documentaries are Once Brothers and June 17th, 1994. 

By using the term "playing catch" instead of "having a catch," are we Wisconsin natives proving that we spend too much time at the bubbler?

I speak with pretty little accent (except for words with the "ire" sound, in which case my Wisconsin accent takes over), but I enjoy these little regional variations. For instance, people here say Ree-sees Pee-sees, instead of saying the word pieces correctly and also acknowledging that Reese has an apostrophe before the S. Some people also use a different order than rock, paper, scissors but that is but a needless bastardization of a classic childhood game. I also learned that some people say "catty corner" instead of "kitty corner." The first version just sounds like anywhere girls might congregate, AM I RIGHT FELLAS? I am happy the Bostonians generally know the word "bubbler," though.

Who would win the 100-meter dash in a Cartoon Olympics? Possible choices: Speedy Gonzalez, Ricochet Rabbit, Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote, Optimus Prime, Popeye (upon consuming spinach), the Flash, Superman, Horse (of Dudley Do-Right), Mighty Mouse, Pikachu, or some anime character I've never heard of?

I haven't heard of this anime character either so rest easy. Pikachu isn't actually the fastest Pokemon but from Googling "who is the fastest Pokemon" there seems to be a lot of disagreement over who holds the title. Wile E. Coyote is also clearly out because he could never catch up to Roadrunner. I want to go Speedy Gonzalez because we're kindred spirits as short guys who can sprint surprisingly fast, but I have to choose Superman. He actually turned back time.

What's the wallpaper on your phone right now? (I made a $5 bet with myself it's a puppy)

A puppy (with snow on his nose and wearing a sweater) is my desktop background but you would lose that bet about my phone. It's a picture I took in the garden at Versailles. Holy shit am I the worst.

If you were a professional athlete, would you rather have your career end due to injury while you're still at the top of your game, or get cut because you're old and no good anymore?

I would intellectually prefer to have an injury so I could always cling to the "if I just didn't get hurt" what-if. I would probably actually prefer to just get cut, though, because I don't want to tear my ACL or anything. That sounds really painful.

Which would scare you more to see in your house... a bat or a rat?

Depends on the size of the rat. If it's 1980s New York subway rat, then I'm definitely going bat. If it's one of those rats that's pretty much a mouse, I'd go bat. Either way, I'm shrieking like a little girl and running out of the room.

Did you see any of the Acadamy Award  Best Picture Nominees this year?  

I saw Django Unchained and loved it. I will probably see Argo and Zero Dark Thirty at some point, as well. 

How tall is Jon, actually?

Just a shade under 4 feet. 

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