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Honoring Our First Group Of Herbie Award Winners

February 6, 2009 - John Whittaker

One Monday night when I was in middle school, my buddy Todd, my stepdad, Todd's dad and I were watching Monday Night Football.

During a commercial, I went to the bathroom and, in the middle of taking care of my business, my stepdad comes running into the bathroom to throw up. We'd had some pizza and Pepsi (nothing that would cause someone violent stomach illnesses) so I was obviously surprised when someone came barging into the bathroom to puke.

It turns out that Teddy's dad had let a "slent but deadly'"that was so noxious, so insanely stank, so putrid, that it caused my stepfather, a man with a cast-iron gut, who could eat almost anything with no problems, who used to get hot wings at Andriaccio's with extra hot sauce because the restaurant's volcanic wings weren't hot enough, to toss his cookies.

It is in this spirit that I unveil our first batch of Herbies - given periodically to those whose performance or whose line of thought makes me want to toss my cookies. Congratulations to our winners:

  • Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker and Hines Ward. Congratulations for winning the Super Bowl during the same season in which you three combined to destroy my fantasy football team. Watching "Ben' drive his team down the field, after turning about six consecutive weeks of 6 point games in my fantasy season, was great. Enjoy that Super Bowl championship, you bungholes.
  • Manny Ramirez, who has turned down two contract offers that would pay him at least $20 million a year. Hey Manny, have you seen the economy buddy? What planet are you on. What reefer are you smoking? There are people in the country glad to be able to work at all, and you're turning down $25 million contracts. And ballplayers wonder why the public gets annoyed with them. I think Manny needs to take a job as a migrant worker on a farm in California, and then rethink the decision to snub the Dodgers' contract offers. Manny being Manny actually means Manny being stupid.
  • Anyone who thinks this year's Super Bowl was the best Super Bowl of all time. I'll grant you that the end of the game was outstanding. But, I spent most of the game telling the News Gal how bad the game was - how is it a good ending wipes out two hours of bad football? Penalties, sloppiness, bad coaching (amen to the Sports Guy for calling this one in Monday's Super Bowl column), no defense, no running game. I spent most of the third quarter reading Rolling Stones' cover story on Bruce Springsteen, for crying out loud. Let's calm down on the greatest game ever. And, yes, I can name five better games off the top of my head. It may make a reappearance in a future blog, and I'll do it if you really want.
  • Those ripping Joe Torre's book. What, exactly, did Torre say in the book that we didn't already know? Alex Rodriguez tried too hard to fit in to the Yankees clubhouse when he came over in 2004. Kevin Brown and David Wells were distractions. There was a lack of front office support for Torre by 2007. Carl Pavano was a wussy. These are all things we knew. There was no such outrage over Joel Sherman's Birth of a Dynasty, where he wrote about George Steinbrenner wanting Don Mattingly gone and tons of inside the clubhouse details that I'm sure made Kenny Rogers really happy (let's just say The Gambler isn't painted in a particularly flattering light). Nobody said a peep about Buster Olney's The Last Night of the Yankees Dynasty, which makes some people in the organization look like real boobs, George Steinbrenner included. And, I remember no outrage over Michael Holley's Patriot Reign, which tore apart the Patriots front office before Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick got there and offered unflinching looks at players, a few of whom were sent packing before the second Super Bowl championship because they were stupid. People need to settle down about Torre's book until they've read it.
  • Prosecution of steroid users in sports. We've been through the laundry list of problems in our country before, so I won't get into them again. I'd love to know how much public money has been used prosecuting Barry Bonds, who, while a sleazebag, liar and a cheater who has swollen to the rough size of a Navy destroyer, probably shouldn't be receiving the scrutiny he is now. Why are we taking five years to collect evidence and try this guy for perjury? Same with Roger Clemens and Marion Jones. Who cares. There should be a better way - no Hall of Fame, fines, make them go dig ditches, donate some of their millions to jobless relief programs, tattooing "Dunce Steroid User' on their foreheads, letting us all revert back to monkeys and fling poo at them, are just a few of the ideas I have. Maybe we make them spend a day cleaning elephant poo at their local zoo. What I do know is me, the American taxpayer, shouldn't be footing the bill for this.
  • To Syracuse fans who want Jim Boeheim to retire. What a bunch of morons these guys are. Your team has a coach who has won almost 850 games, a national championship, been to the Sweet 16 dozens of times and still recruits well. I'm sorry, but these same people forced the university to fire Paul Pasqualoni as football coach, and we all know how that worked out. You have a living basketball legend working the sidelines - enjoy it! The guy's a legend. Our team is better than 95 percent of the teams in the NCAA. And, does it get better than watching Boeheim stomp around like a 5-year-old girl when a call goes against the Orange? I didn't think so.
  • ESPN. I, like many red-blooded Americans, enjoy watching hockey. I even like the NHL all-star game - which is why it royally stunk when the game wasn't on my 200-plus channel cable system. How can you grow your sport when you can't find it on TV without buying a special package. Thank God for MSG, or I wouldn't be able to watch the Sabres either. And, for the most part, the Worldwide Leader has gotten rid of the third of its Big Monday games on the West Coast, which means I don't get to see some really entertaining WAC, West Coast Conference and Mountain West games as I'm falling asleep on Monday nights. Thursday's Portland-Gonzaga game was wildly entertaining, and more of those games should be on TV. Instead, you get your choice of 19 wrap-up shows with highlights you've already seen on SportsCenter, poker, NFL Live every night even if it's during the NFL's offseason, poker, Madden Nation, poker, college sports all-star re-runs, poker and repeats of NASCAR Now. How about showing actual sports - live sports, with announcers and players and everything. There is this place called the West Coast - I think it's in, like Mississippi - where the time is four hours LATER. We can show those games.
  • Governments That Can't Decide What They Want From Us. I love the fact that there will be an 18 percent tax on soda and sugary drinks as part of New York's budget, while, at the same time, the state wants to tax gym memberships. You raise taxes on drinks and cigarettes because those things are unhealthy, yet tax people who are trying to stay in shape. Let me know when you decide to tax the amount of poops I take in a week. I'm sure it's on its way.


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