Sweat Smell of X-cess

The XFL is the best thing that ever happened to video stores.

True Story. One day my buddies and I were hanging around at the gym, shooting some hoops, playing dominoes and lying about our coaching exploits. Well, understandably, those activities can make a man powerful' hungry, so we went to get some grub. Pete Fajardo (who coaches freshman boys basketball at Salpointe) and I went to Subway.

We got sandwiches for everyone and then got this extra $1.49 Cold-Cut Combo as a joke for one of the coaches who used to eat them all the time back in college when that was all he could afford. As Pete and I headed for the car, we were approached by this guy who appeared to be stereotypically homeless. Smelled like dookie, bad hygiene, gait quite obviously assisted and/or hampered by some serious C6H12O6.

I hate to say it, but I virtually never give these people money. No way I'm going to help this dude get a drink or a fix. However, many is the time I have bought food for such people. If I'm going into a grocery store and they ask for money, I'll pick something up for them while I'm inside. This particular time, I was ready.

He walks up and says, "Could you guys help me out with a couple bucks? I'm really hungry."

I said, "I got the hook-up right here. I've got this delicious Cold-Cut Combo sandwich for you. I bought it for somebody else, but I'm sure he won't mind if I give it to you."

The guy looked at me and then looked at the sandwich. His eyes almost focused and then he said, "Naw, that's all right." Then he walked away.

Which brings me to the XFL. I love football. I love pro football and college football and high-school football. I love football practice. But when NBC and World Wrestling Federation honcho Vince McMahon offer up the XFL, I just have to say, "Naw, that's all right."

This stuff is bad. It's not clever bad or fun bad, it's just bad. The play on the field is bad, the announcing is atrocious, and all the sideshow T&A stuff that's supposed to keep the at-home drooler's mind off the fact that everything else sucks makes it completely horrible.

Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is part of the announcing team. He might have been able to con slightly more than one-third of the people in the Frozen Tundra into voting for him, but I think they each individually went into the voting booth thinking that it would be a lark to vote for the clown. They probably figured he'd get a few hundred votes and they'd all have something to laugh about while defrosting down at the local pub. (Local equivalent: Driven mad by the heat, Arizonans elect Ev Mecham.)

The Gov has a voice that sounds like he's gargling rocks. But that would be OK if, when he opened his mouth, he had something even remotely interesting to say. He's full of Oh wows and Ooh mans and not a whole lot else.

They shoot off fireworks, they pay people to sit in the stands, they utilize new technology to provide up-close views of the game. But what we get is so much less than the sum of its parts.

Perhaps most annoying is that they would cut away from coverage of the game to show chest-level shots of cheerleaders running up stairs. Real subtle. I mean, I'm as much a fan of female anatomy as the next guy, but you shouldn't have to get motion sickness from watching a football game. And I think as part of McMahon's plan to take over the world, he's currently attempting to corner the silicon market.

Or maybe he bought a controlling interest in Blockbuster and he figures if he puts this mess on Saturday nights, it'll send people screaming into the video stores.

All I know is that it's so bad, it almost makes me look forward to the start of baseball season. I said almost.

BEFORE THE START OF the basketball season, I wrote about high-schooler Catherria Turner. I predicted that the 5-foot-4-inch point guard would come out of nowhere and shock people with her all-around game. Well, she ended up surprising even me.

When the regular season came to a close last week, she ended up averaging 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals per game (an unprecedented triple-double) in leading her team into the playoffs. She had 12 games in which she scored more than 30 points, including a high of 47 at Sabino. And she did this despite being double- and occasionally triple-teamed all year. Not one team played her man-to-man the entire season.

To the surprise of no one, she's the 5A-South Player of the Year and if she doesn't make First-Team All-State, it will be an absolute crime.

Because she missed her junior year with a blown-out knee, she fell off the college recruiting radar screens. The University of Arizona didn't even give her a sniff. If Catherria decides to stay in the Pac-10, that might be a decision that UA coaches Joan Bonvicini and Denise Dove-Ianello will come to regret.

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! Don't miss the latest feature on KXCI Community Radio (91.3 FM). Premiering February 9 at 6 p.m. will be The Ska Box with host Zoe Anderson.

Admittedly, ska has never been my cup of tea. I've always felt that it was music played by guys who lacked the self-control to maintain a slow, churning reggae beat. But, it has its audience.

Zoe happens to be the daughter of City Councilman Jerry Anderson, but more importantly, she used to play basketball for me. She says that this week's show will be tightly formatted, but in subsequent weeks, she'll try to take requests.

Zoe Anderson--good basketball player, great student, super kid and soon-to-be Radio Goddess.