Off the Cuff: Idols or Eyesores?

Semi-live, from the La Salsa near Fort Lowell and Campbell, it's time for another installment of Off the Cuff. Chapter Three: American Idol or American Ego?

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Some credit has to go to sportstalk show host Jim Donovan, who on a slow might-as-well-be-summer day in Tucson, attempted to kill some time with this topic: Who were your sports idols growing up? The issue came to fruition as part of the Barry Bonds home run milestone. Bonds surpassed his childhood idol, Godfather Willy Mays, to place third in the all-time home run category.

Hence the question. Bonds' idol was Mays. Who did you idolize?

Immediately, some names cropped into my head, and every one was an example of shattered realities.

Schu: So I'm listening to Donovan's show the other day, and every idol that comes to mind becomes something I wish they weren't. For instance, I was a huge Lou Brock fan growing up. Then years later my friend finds a "This Date in St. Louis Cardinals History" almanac at the local library and picks it up for me. Nice gesture, until I read the foreword from Lou-ee-poo.

Here's an excerpt: "Do you remember when I played my first major league game, or the day I was traded to the Cardinals, or when I played my first game for them? I remember…

"…The Cardinal game, under which I prospered, was one of confrontation and constant challenge. Now do you remember my 105th stolen base, or number 893, both record breakers? Or how about my 3,000th hit (the only time this feat ever occurred in St. Louis), or how about my last game, or my retirement day?

"I remember these days, and you can too, with ‘This Date in St. Louis Cardinals History."

Oh great, so my childhood idol is an egomaniac.

Then again, it could be worse. I idolized Walter Davis and World B. Free, and both had, um, that issue with nostrils and white stuff…

Brad: If you grew up watching the NBA in the 70s and 80s, everybody was a druggie. For me it was entire teams. I was a Suns fan. Massive drug scandal in the 80s. Kansas City Royals fan. Massive drug scandal. Loved Lawrence Taylor, and he turned out to be scum. Even liked Dan Fouts growing up, and then I find out about some story where someone got shot at one of his sex parties. It was brushed under the table. Today that would be huge news…

…Moving on…

…Knowing my love for all things Duke, a hardcore Wildcat fan brought something interesting to my attention. Have you been to the insiders Duke website lately? Well, on the message boards at, not only do you have to register to post (par for the course for insiders sites), you have to register just to read the messages. Through the latter registration process, devilsden will then determine your Duke reading worthiness. This took effect once the Blue Devils lost to UConn in the most glorious college basketball game of 2004. Seems so many Duke bashers came out of the woodworks that the protective sorts at devilsden wanted to set up a secondary barrier. Heaven forbid someone rain on their almighty blue parade. A venerable boo hoo hoo in blue. I hope Dick Vitale renewed his membership.

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