Thursday, March 29, 2012

Classic card of the week

Jeff Kaiser, 1989 Fleer

Like me circa about an hour ago, you may think you know everything about former Major League Baseball player Jeff Kaiser. Sure, there are the jokes like, “No, not the composer and trumpet player Jeff Kaiser, who can be followed at—the baseball player, dummy!” Honestly, that joke is so cliché and hacky at this point, I won’t even go there.

What I am here to tell you is: set your ego aside for a second because, no—I don’t think you know everything there is to know about Jeff Kaiser, a.k.a. the Kaismeister. For example, did you know he was called the Kaismeister by his close friends and relatives? Oh, you did know that? Well guess what? You are a lying sack of doo-doo because I made that up. See? That’s what I’m talking about. Work with me here.

Let us begin.

DID YOU KNOW? Tied for lead in saves with Colorado Springs farm team…

Okay, yeah well, that is a bad example. I mean, everybody knows that. I don’t even know why they included this tidbit. This would be like a Bucky Dent card that began, “DID YOU KNOW? Hit home run that helped earn Yankees the win in one-game playoff versus Red Sox in 1978 …” IT’S ONLY THE THING HE’S MOST FAMOUS FOR. Sheesh. If you’re asking yourself questions like, “How many saves?” or “What year did this happen?” or “Who was the co-leader?” or “What?” then you should probably stop reading, because you obviously know nothing about baseball.

Came to Indians in 1987 trade with Oakland for pitcher Curt Wardle …

Okay, see here’s where it gets interesting. History remembers this as the famous “Wardle-to-A’s” trade. Only the most die-hard fan recalls that Kaiser was on the other end of this blockbuster. Kaiser came out of the Cleveland gates ablaze, posting a 16.20 ERA in three and a third innings pitched. Wardle, however, never pitched for the A’s. So who’s “Moneyball” now, Billy Pitt?

Set record at Western Michigan for season wins (10) as sophomore…

Why don’t you do me a big favor and go and familiarize yourself with the Western Michigan records books, m’kay? I think you’ll see a certain name plastered all over its pages. I don’t want to give anything away, but it begins, appropriately, with a “K.” It ends in “asier.” First name is “Jeff.” Played baseball. At Western Michigan. Ring any bells?

Okay, so I think I pretty much proved that you did not know everything there is to know about Jeff Kaiser. I’m glad you finally came around. Now, shall we check his pre- and post-All-Star break splits from the year (not given)? Yes, let’s!

Okay, so yeah. Before the All-Star break, he did nothing. Then he took a nap. Then after the All-Star break, he … wasn’t around, I guess? I’m wondering if this graphic, in this particular instance, was absolutely necessary.

Did you know?

You do now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Egg-straordinary circumstances; egg-straordinary measures*

Note: This column appears in the 3/29 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/30 issue of the Peoria Times.

People often ask us why we’re vegetarians as opposed to vegans. The honest answer is laziness. The well-kept secret of the self-righteous vegetarian is that giving up meat is not nearly as difficult as people think. And while we agree with veganism and wish we could be part of the club … I mean, c’mon. I have always maintained it’d be infinitely more difficult for me to give up cheese than meat, and while I’m fine putting cheese on my fake burger, I am not cool with putting fake cheese or (gasp!) no cheese on my fake burger. I have to draw the line somewhere, and my line is made of cheese.

Yet something happened over the weekend that nudged us ever so closer to the vegan side, and it has me concerned there’s no going back.

Like many Americans, I have frequently enjoyed eggs. Last week’s column was about eggs, which is something that just now dawned on me, and which has proven somewhat embarrassing, but whatever. Granted, eggs-as-food has always fascinated me. I can’t help but imagine the ancient caveman saying to his friend, in caveman-speak, “Dude, a thing just came out of that bird’s butt. Let’s eat it.”

I also remember when I was first informed about what eggs actually are. I was a teenager, and not to be all dramatic, but it shook the very foundation of everything I thought I believed in. Shudders went down my spine and I vowed never to eat eggs again. The next day my willpower proved futile against the deliciousness of the diner omelet. If you do not know what eggs are, please look it up on the Internet, as I will not be going into detail here, unless you count the following story.

So I’m making eggs for my family last Saturday morning. I have cracked three of them in the bowl and everything is going great. Then I crack the fourth one, and I am instantly, horrifyingly reminded of what eggs actually are. Let's just say it was like watching blood come out of an egg, because that is exactly what happened. My reaction is to stare at the massacre and gag. My wife walks by, says, “How are the eggs com-AAAAHHHHHH! Throw it out! Throw it out!” I threw everything away, including the bowl. I gathered my family around the kitchen and said, “Family, we were going to eat eggs. But instead we will eat nothing … for the rest of our lives.”

My wife was very concerned that we’d be reimbursed for the eggs, but that was after she had to be talked off the ledge of “suing the egg company,” although I do think “emotional distress” would have been relevant here. I went back to the grocery store later that day, receipt in hand. I did not bring along the remainder of the eggs, trusting they’d take my word for it. And I mean word literally, my plan only to say, “Eggs … bad,” and pray I wasn’t asked for more details.

The cashier understood. She then asked, “Did you want to replace the eggs?” a question I answered with a penetrating I-have-just-seen-a-ghost stare. She understood. “Are you ever going to eat eggs again?” she asked. “Not where I’m at right now,” I responded, my words trailing off as I looked up to the ceiling, fighting back tears.

I got my two dollars back in cash. “Is there a vegan aisle here?” I thought to myself. In my search I got distracted by some cheese, which I bought.

*I have been waiting five years to execute a horrible, egg-punned title. I’m scratching it off my bucket list. Alternate title was "Vegan yet? Not egg-xactly."

That time of the month.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Classic card of the week

Karl Malone, 1998 NBA Hoops

It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge that this, right here, is the last 1998 NBA Hoops card that I own. But let us never forget the good times we had, frolicking happily down the road of inane, nonsensical and uninformative street talk. If anyone out there has more cards from this series and would like to see them featured, please send them to me and I will do just that because I love this series of basketball cards more than I have ever loved anything in my entire life. But, if this is indeed the final installment, let’s make it count.

Let’s, as they say on the street, run a power move on them.

Run a power move on them.

“I don’t know what this means. What is a power move? Who is them?” These are things stupid idiots from suburbia would say. Ha, stupid idiots. Let me break it down for you. It’s like, hey, Karl Malone, do that thing you do where you finish a layup after contact, or belittle a subordinate in the effort of emphasizing your authority. GET ME A CUP OF COFFEE, POPEYE JONES.

Karl, you put the power in power forward.

Run a power move on them, Karl Malone, or should I say Karl Power, or is it Power Malone? You put the power in "power." Karl, your power is like the time that thing happened that was really powerful. Today’s Powerball number is 32, which is power forward Karl (Power) Malone’s number, who is a powerful power forward. Cat Power is an indie rock artist but also the name of Karl Malone’s cat. Pfft, jk; Power Malone doesn’t own a stupid cat. He has a pit bull named Power Pit who is very powerful and who also drives a truck.

27 ppg (third in league), and All-Defensive First Team too.

What the heck? That’s kind of like, a statistic and a somewhat useful piece of basketball-related information. Take a break, Nerdy McNerdison, and let’s get back to the realness over here, m’kay? For example, what size barricade would be required to stop this truck—Karl Malone is the truck—from driving the lane?

Going to need a big barricade to stop this truck from driving the lane.

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ‘BOUT. Mo fos gonna need to set up a barricade to stop Karl “Truck” Malone from driving the lane. Is that even legal, basketball-wise, to construct a physical barricade on the basketball court? I don’t know, why don’t you nerds go look at the “rule” book. It’s probably the same thing as Tiger-proofing a golf course. You just a build a wall or something near the foul line, force Power “the Karl” Mailman to shoot over the wall. Ball goes out of bounds. Nobody can get it, because of the wall. Delay of game. Five-yard penalty. Game over. Karl Malone = NUETRALIZED.

I hope you have enjoyed this basketball card about basketball.

Did you know?
You've just been power moved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wake up and smell the embarrassment

Note: This column appears in the 3/22 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/23 issue of the Peoria Times.

I’ve had some embarrassing moments as a parent. There was the time our then foster daughter spit on her teacher at daycare. There was the time recently when our own daughter pointed in the face of the male cashier at Safeway and asked, “What’s her name?” And of course there are the many times I’ve been forced to leave the premises—church, restaurant, bank, playground, grocery store, party, Nickelodeon-themed show, whatever—carrying said child like a football, her screams gradually fading into the distance for the curious onlookers.

This is certainly not to say our daughter is more prone to such outbursts than any other 2-year old. Well, okay—maybe a little more prone. Still, a more recent outburst proved especially embarrassing, not so much because of how it went down, but where, and what it said about us.

I’ve documented our affection for a particular coffee place that also, apparently, serves donuts. We don’t eat there nearly as often as we purchase coffee from there, but sometimes on a weekend morning, before a day of errands, we’ll stop in for a bite as a family. Such was the case not too long ago.

We had found a good breakfast item at this location for our daughter. It’s called a “wake-up wrap,” and it’s simply a small egg and cheese wrap. It’s the perfect size for her, and she eats it. How she goes about eating it is something I will never understand, and the proportion of the mess she leaves behind as it relates to the size of the actual item is completely illogical. But she eats it, and that’s all we can ask for.

This particular Saturday morning she was in rare form. I’m sure other parents can attest, but we can tell the second we get her in the morning what kind of day it’s going to be. Is she quiet and smiling? Sigh of relief. Are all her stuffed animals on the floor, the bed is soaking wet, she’s half-naked and screaming for milk like a prisoner of war? Time to buckle down.

So we’re having breakfast and she’s already giving us a hard time. She had torn her wake-up wrap apart, eaten the egg and left the wrap. We were getting ready to leave, so we asked her if she was done, and she grunted yes. I went to throw out what she had left and she flipped out. This is my favorite mood, by the way:

“Do you want that?”


“Okay, I’ll throw/put it away.”

“NO I WANT IT!” (Said in horror movie voice, smoke coming out of the ears.)

And I mean she flipped out. The small place is packed and everybody is staring. My wife and I are scrambling to leave. She’s telling me, “Go, go, go!” like we’re on a military evacuation mission. I pick our daughter up to carry her out. As I’m heading for the door, she’s reaching for the table and screaming, “My wake-up wrap! MY WAKE-UP WRAP!”

I’m making a face to all the people I’m passing that says, “We really don’t come here that often. Honest!” They don’t buy it.

I was simultaneously proud that our daughter speaks well enough for her age to voice her angst at leaving behind a specific item on the Dunkin’ Donuts menu and embarrassed for the very same reason. I also felt the whole scene would have made for a great Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, and if anyone from their corporate headquarters is reading this, I will sign over the rights for a large fee. Or, coffee for life.

This did not, however, dissuade me from returning there, albeit at the drive-thru. The guy at the window handed me my coffee and, noticing the little girl in the back seat, waved and said hi. She waved back, smiled, and said hi, too. As I’m driving away, she says to me, “I love that man.” I said, “Me too, honey,” as I sipped my delicious coffee.

“Me too.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The chief of hankers

"I am going to blow my schnoze into this thing and then I am going to put it back into my pocket and then I am going to blow my schnoze into it again later."

This is the general thesis of the handkerchief-owner. Isn’t that amazing? I find it amazing.

I have had a bloody nose for the past three months because moisture levels in the atmosphere here are at a record low negative 30 percent, and I have found myself frequently imagining what I would do were I forced to resolve this matter via handkerchief. My conclusion is that I would not do that because that is disgusting.

I have always marveled at the ol’ hanky, mostly because of the paradox between its utter crudeness and how it also manages to represent some formal and high-status means of emergency nose-maintenance. Congratulations on your wedding! I have dressed properly for the occasion by exposing my handkerchief, see? Should my nose run, I will use this to wipe away the boogies. Oh my, I do apologize! I speaketh as though my four year-old is present! What I meant to say was boogers. Anyway, you look beautiful …

I will use almost anything to resolve a runny nose. Tissues, paper towels, a leaf, toilet paper. But the thing is, after I do this, I will throw that thing away. I will not store it on my person for future use. There are, to my knowledge, no other bodily orifices by which the means to remove stuff from are deemed reusable. Oh, what's that? That my Q-tipchief. It's like a butt-hanky for my ears. I mean, I love the environment and all, but c’mon.

I still haven't even figured out what happens to the full hanky. Where does it go ... the washing machine? I would prefer if your nasty hanky did not touch my underwear, thank you very much. And I am talking to myself when I say that. And that snot doesn't just disappear in the wash, right? Doesn't it just get mixed around to the point of invisibility and spread onto other apparel? I admit I don't have a great understanding of how washing machines actually work. Nevertheless.

Have you ever seen someone blow his nose in a handkerchief—and I mean go to town on it—and then shove it back into his pocket? Sure you have. What is your immediate thought? Mine is: I am never going to touch that person, ever. Not that the possibility of touching a nose-blowing stranger is always prevalent, but I do see a lot of nose-blowing in church, and people there are always trying to physically wish peace upon each other.

So, in conclusion, handkerchiefs are nasty and I cannot believe that they once existed and also continue to exist. Thank you for your time and attention.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back to school, like we never left

Note: This column appears in the 3/15 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/16 issue of the Peoria Times.

One of the mysterious realities of life is how little we change from grammar school, no matter how much we change.

Sure, we mature, gain perspective, grow physically and emotionally … all that crap. But when reintroduced to the classroom setting with a teacher and desks, we might as well be 10-years old again.

I was reminded of this over the weekend. My wife and I, as criteria for renewing our adoptive license, embarked on an all-day training session in Scottsdale. Is there a better way to spend a gorgeous Saturday than inside of a classroom learning about why kids are nuts? No way! One way that is certainly not better is “going to the zoo,” which is how our friend treated our daughter, texting us pictures throughout the day that weren’t meant to taunt, but did. At one point I found myself looking at a picture of my daughter happily watching the camels while a woman wearing a hat that was almost definitely purchased at a gas station coughed on my wife’s leg.

It truly is amazing, watching us revert back to childhood. My wife and I arrived in each of the two training sessions with enough time to settle in and find a good seat, but not so early to be thought of as nerds with nothing better to do. Whenever someone walked in late and disrupted the class, we would look at each other and roll our eyes. Who does this guy think he is? So disrespectful.

Our first instructor made the terrible mistake of allowing an open dialogue. There are few things worse than allowing the class to lead the discussion, because that discussion will inevitably go to nowhereland. Most of us entered the training with the philosophy of “get in, learn some stuff, get out.” The ultimate goal (besides learning, of course!) of each session is to get out early. Being sidetracked by the personal agendas of a few loonies was a frustrating deterrent to this philosophy.

Here was the average question heard throughout the day. Keep in mind that no one was really supposed to be asking questions. “Yeah, okay, I see what you’re saying about that thing. But here is my specific personal situation, that is in no way relevant to what you are saying, and which I’d like to mention not so much because I’m interested in your thoughts, but because I want the rest of the class to admire me or feel sympathy for me.”

The closer we got to what was supposed to be the end of a session, the more aggressively the rest of us displayed our exasperation at such questions. Why don’t you just remind the teacher she was supposed to give us homework, too? STOP ASKING QUESTIONS MY DAUGHTER IS AT THE ZOO.

None of this is meant to place myself on a higher plane, by the way, as I also reverted to my fidgety, unable-to-pay-sustained-attention-type self. I was constantly adjusting my seat position, stretching, and falling asleep for a split second and being jerked awake when my head slid off my hand. After a break during the first session, the guy in front of me brought sugar packets back to put in his coffee. I watched him slowly put 10 sugars in his coffee—ten! That is insane—and, mesmerized by this, managed to block almost everything else out. One of the main things I took away from that session was that the guy in front of me might have diabetes.

Of course, if my agency is reading this, I am just kidding! Everybody there was normal and I learned a lot. Stay in school, kids, or whatever.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Classic card of the week

Michael Chang, Sports Illustrated for Kids

It’s pretty safe to say I was the only kid on the block with a Michael Chang tennis card, which, obviously, gave me quite the confidence boost as I biked around the neighborhood in search of worthy adversaries and also my soul mate. “Whatchu know about Michael Chang?” was a common phrase I could be heard condescendingly tossing in the direction of an unsuspecting sucka, while the surrounding kids laughed at this person’s lack of Michael Chang knowledge and memorabilia. It’s also pretty safe to say I am now one of the few people in the world that owns a perforated Michael Chang tennis card, and that’s not to brag. Well, kind of. Sorry, haters.

Chang me.

In 1989, Michael became the youngest man ever to win the French Open and also the first American man to win it since 1955. He was just 17 years 3 months old!

First of all, exclamation point! Second of all, seriously, that is ridonk. A 17-year-old winning a Grand Slam event is absurd. And what the hell, America? You can’t win in France for 34 years until my boy Chang over here has to be like, “I am 17, but screw it—I’m bringing this trophy back to America, bee-otches.” That is embarrassing. But not as embarrassing as being France. I mean, how many times do we have to bail France out of war and mundane tennis competitions? I realize this happened 23 years ago, but eat it, France. Get a clue, Johnny Depp.

Truth be told, 17 for a tennis player is pretty much his or her prime. If you haven’t at least won a tennis tournament by the time you’re 7 it’s basically time to head back to the drawing board and consider a new career. That’s not to take anything away from Michael Chang though—I’m just saying his most notable achievement wasn’t really all that impressive or important.

Michael, who likes to go on fishing trips while on the tennis tour,

I am going to go out on a limb and say that Michael Chang was the youngest man to ever catch a striped bass while awaiting his turn to participate in a professional tennis event.

Michael’s dad came to the U.S. from Taiwan.

“Arrest him!” – Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Where and what is Taiwan?

Hmmm, excellent question, Sports Illustrated for Kids. I am unsure, since, although I subscribe to your magazine, I process information at a pre-school level. But let me use context to try and figure this out.

Taiwan is … on my shoulder and is … a parrot! No, no …

Taiwan is … in a toolbox and is … a screwdriver! No, that can’t be right.

Taiwan is … riding on a glacier and is … a polar bear! No, wait, I’m pretty sure a polar bear is just a polar bear. I give up. It looks like I will have to turn this card over …

Answer: It is an island located off the southeast coast of mainland China that is officially known as the (Nationalist) Republic of China.

Nice try, Sports Illustrated for Kids. You can’t patronize me with simpleton questions while also trying to bombard me with Communist propaganda. I SEE THROUGH YOU!

Did you know?
I did not stoop to the level of using the term Changsanity, for which I should be praised.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tanger Outlets to fulfill hopes, dreams of more clothes

Note: This column appears in the 3/8 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/9 issue of the Peoria Times.

When I was a kid, and before I actually ever went to one, an “outlet” was an entity of mysterious retail dreams. For the longest time, I was under the impression—because, I think, one of my idiot friends told me this—that the outlet was a place to find not only merchandise unavailable at its regular store counterpart, but also for considerably less money. The outlet, you see, eliminated the middleman. No more insane markups; these would be direct-from-the-manufacturer purchases. This was like a real-life infomercial, and I was never prouder to live in this land called America than when I spoke of the outlet store.

Finally, by my senior year in high school, I was presented the chance to go with some friends to “the outlets” somewhere in north Jersey. I think the town itself was called “The Outlets” because that’s the only thing people went there for. The streets were paved with jeans and the mayor was Tommy Hilfiger, some claimed. As if some dream had come true, I would actually be going to the fabled Nike outlet. I think I brought $25, and I had planned on coming home with three pairs of sneakers and some shirts.

Those certain disappointments in life that result from, as retrospect later proves, child-like naïveté become embedded in our souls, and this was one of those times. There was nothing for me to buy at the outlets for $25, and this was in 1996, when $25 was worth like $75. I bought a Cinnabon at the food court and lost the change when it fell out of my pocket on the car ride home. The outlets, by my estimation, were ten times more expensive than any store I had been to in my life. Also, my entire time there was spent being trampled by people who could, apparently, afford to purchase the merchandise, or were tying to steal it.

I was reminded of my childhood outlet experience when it was revealed recently that the Tanger Outlet Center will be built next to Westgate City Center. Regardless of my own personal aversion to outlets, this is, I think, good news. The outlets will reportedly bring with them up to 900 retail jobs, and many feel as though this will provide an economic boost to Westgate itself.

The reason Westgate needs an economic boost is because not many people were going to its retail stores—evidenced by, ya’ know, Westgate’s foreclosure—but now more stores will be nearby, so … yeah. According to various economists whom I have not actually spoken to, the economy is down not because people don’t have money, but because people don’t have enough places to spend the money they don’t have. Surely, many locals have said, “Westgate is alright, I guess. But call me when they build something next to Westgate that is like Westgate but with more stores. Then I’ll go.”

The Tanger Outlets will undoubtedly relieve the immense local pressure for more apparel. It probably won’t help the struggling Centerline District, or the Coyotes, or the locally unemployed who are overqualified to fold shirts, but still. It will help. Because that is what people are saying.

Although it may not help me, personally. I am 33-years old and still cannot afford to shop at outlets. I shop at Kohl’s. On the rare occasion I find myself at an outlet store, I go immediately to the clearance section, where I might purchase a t-shirt so that I can say I participated in the process. God bless America.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Classic card of the week

Willie Randolph, 1980 Topps

Willie Randolph never got enough credit. I mean, from me he did. But not from you guys. You guys are jerks.

It wasn’t Willie’s fault he had to share the limelight with the Greatest Baseball Player in the History of the Universe, or Mr. May, or Rickey being Rickey (man, how did those teams suck so bad? Oh yeah, pitching). All Willie did was go out there everyday and play second base and … boy, how awesome was Donnie, amiright? I miss him so much.

Even when he was managing he didn’t get enough respect. When the stupid Mets collapsed in 2007, everyone was like, “Blame Willie! What’s up with Willie? He’s just sitting there! Willie should do something! Willie!” and I was like, “Hold up, morons! The Mets are stupid! It’s not Willie’s fault the Mets are stupid!” This is a sentiment that was later proven correct, thus redeeming Willie, even though he had already been fired a long time ago. Now Willie is the third base coach for the freakin’ Orioles, and it’s like, LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO WILLIE! I don’t think anyone on the Orioles has even reached third base in six years.

For instance, in 1980 Willie Randolph posted a .427 OBP, (not coincidentally) led the league in walks with 119, stole 30, and had a 133 OPS+. That’s a sabermetric dream right there for a second baseman, but nobody really cared because by ’84 Donnie was like, “Screw this, I’m gonna post three consecutive seasons of 156 OPS+ or greater.” And there was Willie, getting on base. I mean, how do you think Mattingly drove in 145 in ’85? It wasn’t because Willie wasn’t getting on base, ya’ know. Geez, Donnie was the best.

But, if other people proved unwilling to give Willie Randolph the recognition and respect he deserved, at least he could take pride in his heritage.

Yeah, so apparently, Willie Randolph scored a lot of runs and also is white. We’ve covered this before, but I think I will mention it again and again until everyone who was misrepresented receives reparations from Topps.

1974, postgame ceremony on field, Thetford Mines

Emcee: And finally, after such a great season, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize our fantastic second baseman, Willie Randolph, a white person, who set an Eastern League record with a 103 runs scored! Willie, come up here and get your home plate!

Willie Randolph
: Dude, I am black. And what the hell am I supposed to do with this plate? It’s looks like someone just wrote “103” on it with magic marker like five seconds ago. Can I get a plaque or something?

Emcee: Ha, ha, good stuff. Another round of applause, everyone, for Randy Willdolph, the pride of Quebec!

Did you know?

The Mets are stupid.

Arizona's linsanities

Today, Channel 12 here in AZ, in an attempt to capitalize on the linsanity craze that peaked like three weeks ago, ran a segment called, “Arizona’s Top Five ‘Linsanity’ Moments.” Indeed, it would be mega-interesting and newsworthy to unveil the Valley’s top five occasions that were most similar to when an Asian-American basketball player began playing basketball really well in New York. There was no way this wasn’t going to be completely dumb, but it somehow managed to exceed expectations.

No. 5 was when Jordin Sparks of Glendale won American Idol. I wasn’t here yet when that happened, but it was actually the number one reason my wife and I decided to move to Arizona. Watching the pure linsanity of someone from an American state win an American talent show, we just had to get to that state and see what all the fuss was about by living there permanently. When we arrived, it was impossible to escape the Jordin Sparks madness. Jordin Sparks this, Jordin Sparks that, hey, is that Jordin Sparks? Nope, just a different person. Oh well. May I pay for my stay at the Jordin Sparks Hotel with Jordin Sparks bucks? Yes? Awesome! It was almost as if she were a point guard on a basketball team, giving us all an assist in the game of life. Since then, she has capitalized on her extreme local fame by singing the National Anthem at every major Arizona sporting event, which is more than I can say for Jeremy what’s-his-name ... does he even still play basketball?

I don’t remember No.’s 4-2, but I do remember they were totally dumb. One of the things was very old-timey Arizona—remember when ol’ Chester Duckingham invented the horse? That was like linsanity!—which struck me as particularly dumb as it relates to Jeremy Lin. Arizona doesn’t really care for its minorities right now; to equate something in the past with an Asian-American could get your arrested for blasphemy by Sheriff Joe.

No. 1—the number one thing that has ever happened in Arizona that is most like linsanity—was when Stephanie Meyer of Scottsdale wrote Twilight. I want to repeat here that, according to Channel 12, the most linsanity thing that has ever happened in Arizona was when someone wrote a book. Considering I did not even know Stephanie Meyer was from Scottsdale until I saw this very segment, I would say this is exactly like linsanity, only if no one in New York realized it was happening.

Then they posted the linsanity moments that did not make the top five because, you know, it’s impossible to name only five linsanity Arizona moments when there are probably like, zero. Again, I don’t remember them all, but one of them was when the 2008 Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl. That is probably the best example of linsanity, if only because it involved sports, and that was absolutely nothing like linsanity. Another one was “Jeff Hornacek.” Just that: Jeff Hornacek. The anchor then explained that Jeff Hornacek was a college walk-on before the Suns drafted him in the second round in 1986. I trust everyone recalls the “Jeffin' awesome” craze of the late 80s here in Phoenix. It was all about girls, cocaine, and basketball player Jeff Hornacek. Jeffin' awesome was like if Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin had a baby who shot three-pointers and who set the world on fire with his extreme whiteness.

Not only was this entire thing pointless, it was inaccurate. And it had to be, because linsanity is a very time, city and player-specific thing that has happened, and is not relative to anything else, sports or otherwise. I also want to reiterate that I saw this on the news. The fact that this segment happened at all is, ironically, the most linsane thing of all.

UPDATE: Last night I randomly remembered another linsanity "honorable mention": Jimmy Eat World. The rock band. Because they are from Mesa. Remember when they played The Ed Sullivan Show and everyone was going nuts? That was Jimmy Eat World from Mesa, right? I think it was. If they retitled "Top Five Arizona 'Linsanity' Moments" to "Things That Have Happened/Entities That Formed in Arizona That Are Nothing Like 'Linsanity,'" then this would have been accurate, although it would have remained pointless. This was on the news.