The Friday Fizz

The Friday Fizz returns to its roots this week by one, posting on Friday and two, making an around the horn of national topics. So, from "The Juice" to Hot Dog Guy, and from pick your favorite pennant chase to understanding Arizona's defensive woes, the Fizz keeps things simple and as always keeps things real.

Need a new pickup line? Here's the best one I heard while in Tucson last week for the New Mexico game. To set the scene, Troy and I are having lunch at Vistoso Country Club after a round of golf. Two really attractive ladies, who obviously worked at the facility, sit at the table nearest to us. One looked just like the girl in Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" video. No joke, fitted skirt, blouse, eyeglasses, the whole nine. While the ladies are eating their salads, this older guy who's carrying a hot dog of all things decides to make his move with this gem of a line:

Hot Dog Guy (walking by): "Do either of you need an extra napkin?"

Ladies: No thanks.

Hot Dog Guy: Are you sure? I've got a lot of extras.

Ladies: No thanks.

Perhaps you had to be there, but the move on the guy's part was a brilliant display of what not to say unless you're goal is to then sit at a table next to the person who just rejected you and eat a hot dog like an animal while everyone else on the patio is dining on gourmet salads and entrees. Did I forget to say that he was offering paper napkins from a metal dispenser? Well, he was, and I'm guessing that one of the reasons the ladies said no to his offering was due to the fact that they, like us, we're using linen napkins.

Is anyone else amazed that the Clark County judge in the O.J. Simpson case released "The Juice" on $125,000 bail? I know it's been more than a decade since the Trial of the Century but does this judge not remember the Al Cowlings/Simpson 35 mph tour of Los Angeles that captivated audiences worldwide. To think that Simpson is not a flight risk is baffling to me. On top of that, for a man who already made his deal with the devil to trump the system – AND is now facing another life sentence – Simpson's luck may be used up. If I were him, there's no way I step into that court room again. The fact that O.J. was allowed to go back to his home in Florida is even more laughable. You know how easy it is to escape the States from Florida. Just wait until Ron Goldman's dad receives a postcard from Simpson with a postmark from Cuba. It's not even funny but it's entirely possible.

Why does it always seem so difficult for Arizona football to improve? Why does it take so long? Nick Saban walks into Alabama, institutes an offseason "4th Quarter Conditioning Program" and boom, they comeback to beat Arkansas in the 4th Quarter last weekend, something they never were able to do under previous head coach Shula. Washington is the laughing stock of the Pac-10 for a couple of seasons. They hire Willingham, start drinking chocolate milk after practices and suddenly they're the talk of the nation. Arizona has instituted a lot of great things under Stoops but where's the instant gratification? I'm not blaming anything on anyone at the UA. I'm just asking. What's taking so long for the fans to see some significant results? Four years from now, Saban will have the Crimson Tide competing for a national championship. Four years from now Willingham will probably win a conference title. Arizona is 1-2 in their fourth season under the new regime. I want to start seeing some wins. Am I alone?

Speaking of UA football, one thing you can rely on with a Stoops team is they do come to play against favored opponents. Arizona is 2-5 versus Top 10 teams under Stoops and 4-10 versus Top 25 Teams. While these numbers seem to suggest failure, the truth is they don't when you factor in that Arizona only has 13 wins in Stoops' four seasons. This means that nearly 50 percent of their wins have come against ranked opponents. That's not bad at all. In fact, that's downright impressive. Now, if Arizona can just find a way to beat those pesky teams ranked between 25 and 75 in the nation, they just might themselves evolve into a top notch program.

We're literally witnessing the greatest regular season in major league baseball. If the trend continues through the playoffs and ends with a walk off home run to end Game 7 of the World Series, Commissioner Bud Selig should pull a George Costanza, retire, and leave on a high note.

There's nothing better than watching teams collapse in the standings down the stretch. Buckling to the pressure of a pennant chase this year is none other than the Red Sox and the Mets, two ball clubs with as storied a past as they come. I love watching teams watch other teams play from their clubhouse as much as I love seeing the actual games live. The fact that these professionals can compete on the field for three hours, win or lose their game, and then head to the clubhouse, break out some brews and sandwiches and watch the teams they're leading or chasing in the standings play like any other "fan" would do is simply amazing. It's the beauty of sports – how sports can bring out the inner child in anyone. People will always say there's nothing better than playoff hockey, or playoff basketball. While there might be some merit to those arguments, I'd argue that there's nothing better than a good pennant chase in September.

I wasted an hour of my life watching some ultimate fighting fights the other night on one of those extreme sports channels. I didn't see any of the big name fighters in the sport go at it so I'll reserve some of my judgment, but still, these fighters were horrible. Granted, they'd kill me, but the whole Ultimate Fighters are better than Boxers argument was rendered meaningless in my eyes after watching the mess that was. These guys had the slowest hands I've ever seen from a "professional," and I use that term lightly, fighter with more holes in their defense than the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A Boxer would lay these guys out in one punch, there's no doubt. Not only that, that one punch would break bones. Second, there's no way on Earth one of these Ultimate Fighters would ever land a clean shot to the face on any Boxer. Third, let us not forget that practically every Boxer, even the pretty boy Oscar De LaHoya, comes from the mean streets. My point is these guys know how to street fight and fight dirty, just like the Ultimate Fighters. Put a Boxer in a bar room brawl and they'll be the last man standing. There's a reason why Boxers' hands are considered lethal weapons and Ultimate Fighers are not.

Am I the only person who misspells judgement every time I write it?

Judgement is spelled judgment by the way. Did you pass the test by recognizing the error?

Here are some really cool things I saw while in Tucson last weekend:

1. I loved waking up Friday morning to find that University Avenue had been painted Red from Park Avenue to Euclid. And I really liked the painted face of the Wildcat on the street just in front of one of the greatest campus stores of all time, Franklin's. If that's not school spirit then I don't know what is.

2. I loved grabbing a pitcher of beer and a slice of pizza while sitting on the patio at No Anchovies.

3. I loved playing 75 holes of golf in three days at three incredibly beautiful golf courses; Starr Pass, Arizona National and Vistoso. For those outsiders who mock Tucson, go check out the multi-million dollar homes that line the fairways at Vistoso and Arizona National and then tell me what you think of our little college town.

3a. I love the fact that Tucson is a college town.

4. Troy and I thought that this year's freshman class may have put too much thought into the traditional, "Painting of ‘A' Mountain." While painting the ‘A' in red, white and blue probably sounded like a good idea on paper, the multi-colored display made the ‘A' very difficult to make out from various points around town. We thought a nice, clean and crisp ‘A' painted in white would look a lot better.

5. The UA campus gets better and better every time I visit. This is one university that truly is investing in itself. The amenities, regardless of their use, are top notch across campus. The UA Mall has never looked greener and mind you I visited in September. The Student Union is a true site to see for those of us who attended school when the best place to eat at the Student Union was where you could get those tasty toasted bagel sandwiches. Now, the Union has a first class bookstore, everything from Chinese restaurants to coffeehouses, a full use recreational and gaming area and incredible office spaces for Alumni groups, ASUA, and many other campus clubs and organizations.

6. The Buffet. Enough said. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you don't understand the beauty of Tucson's finest dive bar. From Happy Minute, which Troy and I were fortunate enough to be there for on Wednesday, to two dollar tall boy drafts of Coors Banquet, and from the graffiti on the walls to the grime on the floors, few things are better than a few pops at "The Buff."

7.. Dirtbags. Enough said part II. There's nothing better than getting financial advice from your local bartender. Dirtbags is a classic Tucson institution and should be honored by students from every generation. Speaking of classics, did anyone realize that next year will mark "Mark's" 25th Anniversary of working at Dirtbags. I'm hardly kidding. My usual cast of characters who make the annual trip to Tucson with me will be throwing Mark an impromptu 25th Anniversary Party during next year's visit and believe me when I say Eddie Money will be playing all night on that famous Dirtbag's jukebox!

Here's some statistics you may or may not want to know:

Arizona has been flagged 23 times so far this season for 222 penalty yards. Sounds bad? The nation's leader in penalties is Kansas State with 41 for 399 yards. Willie Tuitama is tied for 13th nationally with 9 touchdown tosses this season. Balance that with only two interceptions and the scales are in favor of the junior quarterback. Arizona is tied for 65th in the nation for total scoring average (26.3 PPG). While not great, this is a clear improvement from last season. If the defense can return to their stifling ways of 2006, then the Wildcats can finally start to do some damage to opponents and win games.

Speaking of doing damage, this is a big weekend for Arizona football as they travel to Northern California to take on the Cal Bears. The odds are clearly against Arizona and for good reason. I honestly have no clue if Arizona can compete with Cal, let alone win. I had some clue a week ago but after losing to New Mexico and watching the team play flat – AGAIN – I wonder. All I want to see out of the ‘Cats this weekend is some emotion. I want to see a team who is having fun. I've said this numerous times this week. Arizona has the talent to compete with any team in the country. Why they're not is a riddle wrapped in an enigma right now. I made the prediction at the start of the season that if Arizona could average more than 25 points a game on offense then with our defense playing like they did in 2006, Arizona would finish 9-3. Well, Arizona is averaging 26.3 points per game on offense and the ‘Cats are 1-2 heading into conference play. Go figure.

I have many theories on why the ‘Cats are struggling on defense but the one theme that remains constant with every obscure theory is that these ‘Cats need to be turned lose on opposing offenses. Like all great football teams, Arizona's opponents have seen enough game film to finally learn how to pick them apart when they play to prevent the big play. Mark Stoops needs to break his own tendencies and let these guys get after it. More secondary blitzes, more man coverage, more lining up Holmes two steps off the line of scrimmage, and more stunting by the defensive linemen. More, more, more. Enough of this "containment" nonsense. Arizona finally has the athletes with the speed to chase down opponents. Let them lose. It's time.

Bear Down, Everyone.

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