Issue July 3, 2007

Rumor & Innuendo

The backlash.
The reports have been rampant that superduperprep guard Tyreke Evans has secretly made an oral commitment to join his pal Samardo Samuels at Louisville. Evans denies it. The wags are saying, “Don’t listen to the kid, he’s a lock to be a Card.” My sources are saying the contrary, that the kid is indeed intent on showing that he’s his own man, and that the gossip is causing Evans to gaze more fondly at the Carolina blue sky.

The big smackdown.
Forget Kobe vs. Lakers, Tiger vs. Phil, Yankees vs. BoSox and Cards vs. Cats. The major smackdown this summer in the world of sports is the master Kobayashi vs. The-Kid-Who-Would-Be-King-Of-Competitive-Eating, Joey Chestnut. By the time you read this, you’ll know the outcome. Kobayashi is the six-time champ of the Super Bowl of the sport, Nathan’s Famous July 4 International Hot-Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.
In a qualifying event in Arizona, Chestnut recently broke the champ’s record of 53 3/4, by half-dozen franks on bun, downing 59 1/2 in 12 minutes. Then reports started leaking out about the champ’s mysterious jaw problems. Is it sprained? Is it locked? Is he making an excuse for a possible loss? Or is he sandbagging, as many of the sport’s experts believe?
Last Friday, Kobayashi confirmed to the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he’d be there on the Fourth. As I write this, the sports world breathlessly awaits the outcome. The two haven’t met since Kobyashi finished first and Chestnut placed in last fall’s Krystal Square Off, a hamburger eat off in Chattanooga.

The secret weapon.
I recently ran into a couple former Cardinal hoopsters from the ’60s at a Bats game. One had a great tale. He offered how, back in the day, he never figured out how the Cards could lose on the road at, say, Wichita and Bradley, and then handily thump the same schools in return matches at home. Until, years later, when a former teammate advised as to how he set up the other schools’ stars with willing ladies, who would “entertain” them at their hotel to the point of exhaustion the afternoon before the games.

BY SEEDY K
seedyk@culturemaven.com