Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Andy Grabia: Sports Prophet

I was looking at some of the writing off of my old blog, and stumbled upon a little conversation that Abboud and had about popular culture. Within it, I came across this, and I can't help but share.
Abboud: If Cam Neely had stayed healthy, would he a) still be playing today, and if so what would his production be like?, and b) how many goals would he have scored throughout his career?

Grabia: For some reason, I don’t like this question. That, and the fact I have spent at least an hour thinking about the first two questions, means I am going to give a very short answer. Neely would have retired in 1999 after getting caught in a bizarre orgy-ring with R. Kelly and Rick Tocchet. His production would have been steady over that period, but never again at the 50 goal clip. I would predict an average of 32 goals a season. That would have brought his total up to 491, tied for 36th all-time with Jean Ratelle, and 31 behind the great Patty Verbeek (how is this guy not in the Hall?).

On the down-side, with Neely still playing, the Bruins wouldn’t have picked Joe Thornton 1st overall. Instead, they would have picked Dan Cleary with the 10th pick in the 1997 draft.
If you replace R. Kelly with Janet Gretzky (now there is a thought), I was pretty close.

This one is also sports related, so I will share it, too.
Abboud: If you had to go into a championship game with either Marv Levy or Bobby Cox leading your team, who would you pick?

Grabia: Now this is a good question. My immediate response is Levy, because I hate the Braves. But any guy who can put up with Jane Fonda and Ted Turner for that long deserves some respect. Plus, I bet you he has gotten drunk with Ric Flair at the Great American Bash. Throw in the fact that Levy, with god-damn Frank Reich as starting quarterback, orchestrated a 32 point comeback on my Houston Oilers (Moon’s QB rating was 147.5 at half-time) to win the 1993 AFC wild-card game 41-38, and I am stuck with choosing that choker Cox.
Abboud, in typical fashion, has never answered any of the questions I sent to him. So let me try this again, with two of the sports-related questions I asked him.

1) Which is the best Wrestlemania? I vote for III, as it featured three amazing matches: Macho Man vs. Steamboat, Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs, and Hogan vs. Andre. Actually, it had four amazing matches. Don't forget King Kong Bundy, Lord Littlebrook & Little Tokyo vs. Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver and Haiti Kid.

2) Is the line combination of Kelly Buchberger, Theo Fleury and Mike Keane the greatest in the history of junior hockey?

p.s. Avi, you still haven't given the answers to the baseball questions you asked over a month ago.


At 5:25 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Ha, I had totally forgotten about this. I'll give it a shot.

1) Jeez, this is tough. I feel like I should pick something else, but when I went through the old Wrestlemanias, it struck me how few of them were great shows from top to bottom. Or even good shows. So if nothing else, I guess Wrestlemania really is the Super Bowl of wrestling - it's always hyped, but rarely delivers.

For example, Wrestlemania III had a great Steamboat-Savage match, an epic Andre-Hogan battle, though the match itself was pretty average, and the classic retirement match between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Adorable Adrian Adonis. The rest of the show was pretty meh. Though it did have those awesome carts to shuttle the wrestlers to and from the ring.

Wrestlemania X was my initial choice, with two legitimately great matches in the Bret vs Owen Hart battle, and the Ladder Match with Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels, the first Ladder Match on a major show. But the rest of the card stank.

Further compounding things is the fact that the best two matches of all time (Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage at WM VII and Bret Hart vs Steve Austin at XIII) were the only highlights of otherwise terrible shows.

If I had to pick one, I'd go with Wrestlemania X, since I actually watched it live on Pay-Per-View.

Honorable mentions go to Wrestlemania XX, because I had a blast watching it in the basement of Scholars, and Wrestlemania 2000, because it featured Stephanie McMahon in her prime (read: pre-boobjob).

As an aside on Wrestlemania III, my roommate has a friend who attended that show. He's also traveled around most of the world, and will graduate with a Law degree next spring, but I find the fact that he attended Wrestlemania III about 100 times more impressive than either of those.

Also, how stoked am I that Saturday Night's Main Event is making a comeback this weekend? I don't even watch wrestling regularly anymore, but I will definitely be watching that. I may even post about it.

2. No, only because I'm pretty certain that they were also the 3rd line for the Dallas Stars circa 1999.


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