Who’s afraid of a big, bad beard?

San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson is putting the fear back into the beard.

Wilson’s strange mass of facial hair has become the new face of the Giants organization as the team looks to win its first World Series title in since 1954.

Although there are naysayers as to the actual power of Wilson’s beard, history has shown that hair has strange and unique powers.

Any biblical scholar will tell you that Sampson’s hair was the source of his power.

And anyone who has taken a roundhouse kick to the face can attest to the fact that Chuck Norris’s beard is nothing to mess with.

But even when a beard is dormant and not exerting its powers, there is still much to be feared. For years, the CIA attempted to undermine Fidel Castro’s grip on Cuba through depilatory plots to destroy the beard.

So as the Giants prepare to face off against the Texas Rangers (the baseball team, not the “Walker” Texas Ranger, as that would be like Ditka vs. God), Wilson needs to find a way to protect his beard.

Much like Troy Polamalu has his hair insured, I suggest Wilson do the same with his beard.

In searching for a sponsor to back the beard, I think Remington would be the perfect fit. No, not Remington the grooming product company but Remington the firearms manufacturer.

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Oh boy, Alberto!

Will yet another Tour de France champ lose his crown?

By the time this all shakes out, the winner may in fact be the guy who came in last.

Several years ago, I wrote a column mocking the Tour, which seems to have a drug problem that makes Lindsey Lohan look downright sober. Here is the piece:

Hey kids, now you can play along with the pros in the newest version of “Who wants to win the Tour de France.”

It’s really easy. All you have to do is roll the dice. Come on, give it a try.

Ohhh. Billy rolled a four. That means he can get a blood transfusion from a sherpa of his choice. Watch out, Billy, there’s testing on the next roll. If you get a one, three, four or six, your test comes up positive. A five! Whew. You get to race another day and win a stage. Don’t forget to smile wide for the cameras.

OK, it’s Sven’s turn. Three? You look like a big boy Sven, so I’m guessing you aren’t afraid of needles, right? It’s just a little prick and it doesn’t hurt when you stick it in your bum. Need help? Check out the instruction manual. What? Yes, that person in the picture does kind of look like baseball slugger Barry Bonds. Is he bad? No, he’s a hero, just like you’ll be when you win this game.

Uh oh, you’ve gotta roll again. Six … that mean’s your “A” sample came up positive. Deny till the death, buddy, you’ve got a “B” sample.

Who’s next? Victor, it’s not your turn yet, just wait in the pack for a bit.

Francois, you’re up. One. Get out the bandages and the video camera. You just crashed into a rabid mongoose that mistook your wheel for a snake. You’re not injured, but you get more hits on www.youtube.com than a drunk David Hasslehoff and SportsCenter nominates you for “Who’s Not Now?”

Come on now Carlos, you sure you don’t want to give it a try? Fine, Marcus, you’re up. A two? The good news is you are fine, but one of your teammates tested positive for weapons-grade plutonium, and the entire team was outed as North Korean spies. Not only are you kicked out of the tour, but you have to ride a tandem bike with Kim Jong-Il in a made-for-propaganda afternoon special about how the French are anti-North Korean.

Bonus round

We’re getting close to Paris, boys.

Enrico, you just rolled a two. Let’s see here, you’ve got a five-minute lead with four stages to go, but wait, it looks like your not-so-clean past is coming back to haunt you. So I guess there is conflicting information about where you were during the winter. You told your team you were working in an orphanage, healing kids with leprosy and teaching them how to ride tricycles, when in fact you were somewhere in Virginia training at a football players’ house with a bunch of dogs. And to make things worse, someone accuses you of having him smuggle a pair of highly-illegal Day-Glo spandex into Luxembourg. Even through the boos and protest, you keep riding and win another stage. But when your team finds out that the bell on your handlebars is purely ornamental, you are booted off the team and sent home.

Oh, Carlos wants a go now — give it a quick roll. Oh boy, a three. Time for an EPO check. Don’t worry champ, you’re urine comes out fine — for a Koala with Lyme disease. You get sent to the Copenhangen Zoo.

Sven, you want to go again? A six. Your “B” sample is negative. You can either admit that you cheated or roll again. A three. That means your excuse was you had naturally high levels of testosterone. Wait, you don’t need to roll again. Fine, fine, have it your way. A five — the same number of shots of whiskey you have after your record-setting race, and the reason for the failed test. Sven, stop rolling, really, it’s getting ridiculous. A one. Your thyroid medication caused high levels. What? You don’t even have a thyroid problem. That’s it, you need to go in timeout — big boys don’t play this way.

Is anyone left?

Victor I guess you never went. Sorry buddy.

Well there is good news. You won!

“Who wants to win the Tour de France” can be found at your local drug store. Be on the lookout for other fun new games from scandalco, like “Sorry! I bet on Games I Officiated,” “Operation: Cyborg Baseball Edition,” and “Hungry, Hungry Doggies.”

If he floats, he’s a witch; Trent Edwards and the Bills

How can you tell if a witch is a witch? Toss one in the water. If it floats, it’s a witch. If it drowns, it’s not a witch.

How can you tell if a Buffalo Bills quarterback is worthy of a starting position? Play him in a few regular season games. If he stinks, then you know he stinks. So goes the ill-fated history of Trent Edwards’ tenure with the Bills.

The Buffalo Bills don’t seem to understand that there are other ways of evaluating quarterbacks. They also don’t seem to understand basic economic principles like supply and demand. When there was a demand for quarterbacks in the offseason, they didn’t want to sell. And once they found out they were stuck with some bad inventory, they just threw it out on the curb for anyone to grab. Another write off in the endless “bad quarterback debts” account.

Miami Heat: Short-term gains leading to long-term troubles

If I were a financial analyst looking into the long-term health of the Miami Heat, I’d be worried. Yes, the Heat just signed three young super-stars and sold out their season tickets for this upcoming season.

But where will they be 10-15 years from now?

One move that seemed like a logical, cost cutting business decision came they summarily fired their ticket sales staff this summer upon selling out for the 2010-2011 season. After all, if you have no inventory, what can you possibly sell?

For some reason, I don’t think all those tickets will resell themselves five years from now. And who’s to say that they will enjoy success in the upcoming years. Any good sports marketer knows you shouldn’t rely on selling your most variable asset: your team’s performance. Sell the sizzle, they say. Granted, I don’t know if the ticket sales staff would have had as many immediate responsibilities in the upcoming year, but there are plenty of other long-term strategic initiatives they could have been tasked to work on. Even if the Heat make the playoffs the next few years, the fan base may not be satisfied and ticket renewal and demand may plummet. I know as a ticket salesperson, I couldn’t be compelled to work for an organization that treats its staff like inventory.

In terms of sponsorship, the Heat already locked in a bunch of new sponsors right before they signed LeBron James, so they aren’t reaping much benefit there.

I am not sure what the rest of the organization looks like,  but these two examples leave me weary that the Heat are looking to establish a long-term plan that would put them among the elite sports organizations

Mayweather vs. Brewer vs. Pacquiao?

If Floyd Mayweather, Jr. wants a real fight, he ought to hop in the verbal ring with Jan Brewer.

Mayweather’s recent rant against Manny Pacquiao, laden with racist, homophobic and xenophobic rhetoric, was about as malicious as Republican gubernatorial candidate Jan Brewer’s debate performance was dreadful.

For two individuals as confident as they are in their abilities, they really need to beef up on their communications skills. Or common sense.

OK, let me put on my Don King hat for a moment and propose the next big pay-per-view event:

The Fighting Philomathean Extravaganza: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather and Brewer.

Much like the quirky Chess-Boxing that was once as popular in Russia as speciality cupcakes are in the U.S., the Boxing-Debate will soon take the world by storm. After Pacquiao puts on his political stripes against the heavy-hitting Brewer, he can throw on the trunks and hop into the ring against the hate-spewing Mayweather. And, as a bonus, we’ll get to see Pacquiao go head-to-head against Floyd Landis in a drug test.

Insuring your body

Like any good hand model would take out an insurance policy on their prized tools of the trade (J.P. Prewit in “Zoolander”), so too should any person whose professional success hinges on the sustainability of a body part.

So it’s really no surprise that Troy Polamalu recently had has frizzy locks backed up by $1 million courtesy of Head and Shoulders.

Just as there seems to be a venue to place a bet on the most esoteric of events (how long Levi Johnston and Bristol Plain’s marriage will/would last), there is likely an insurer that will, for a price, draw up the preposterous  policies. Enter Lloyd’s of London.

So let met brainstorm a few things I think need to be insured against:

-Glen Beck from running for public office. God/Allah/Yahweh help us all … in the form of free xanex.

-Shaq from making any more movies. The policy would dictate that if he were to hold a roll beyond a cameo, the movie would go straight to DVD and must forego any TV advertisement.

-The Cubs winning a World Series. If they win, the mayor of Chicago (um, someone named Daley) will have the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

-My grandmothers from joining Facebook. I love they dearly, but don’t think they need to post daily weather reports and mah jong updates on my wall.

Weekend at Farve’s

When several media outlets recently reported that Brett Farve might have called it quits, there wasn’t the usual groundswell of hagiographic retirement stories that are reserved for those who heal lepers, cure cancer and balance our budget.

A grey-bearded boy can only cry wolf so often.

So, after the Vikings sent out their Farve headhunters to plead with him to come back, he’s back. Your five-dollar street-corner tarot reader could have told you that Farve would be wearing a Vikings jersey come fall.

As this saga plays out year after year, I can’t help but think that Farve is becoming addicted to the process.

But there must be a time when the clock runs out on his epical Farvian career, right?

It’s become such a farce that at this point, I can see him shuffling off this mortal coil, only to come back the next year, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, taking snaps to cabana music under the moniker of “Bernie Farve.”

He shall cast himself in “Weekend at Bernie’s 3: Farve throws more interceptions.”

How could you give it anything less than two thumbs up?


Croppaganda’s Twittin’