|No more Anna! Repeat: No more ...|
By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2
Hitting a baseball? Saving a penalty kick? Landing a quad?
According to a recent series in USA Today, all of the above are among the 10 hardest things to do in sports. To which we say: Hooey. And hogwash, just for good measure.
Herein, the real 10 toughest tasks in sports:
What makes it hard: Eighteen years in L.A. Three postseason appearances. Do the math.
Notable failures: Chris Ford, Don Casey, Alvin Gentry
Tuff E-Nuff: Larry Brown, Bill Fitch
Real world equivalent: Taking the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Super Bowl (whoops! bad example).
Catching a CO2-propelled T-shirt
Notable failures: Us. And everyone sitting in our section.
Tuff E-Nuff: That ungrateful little brat sitting four rows down from us. As if she paid for her ticket.
Real world equivalent: Winning the NCAA tourney pool in your office. Guess what? It's not your year. Again.
Crossing over to music and movies
Notable failures: The Boz, direct-to-video action hero; Kobe Bryant's "K-O-B-E"; Allen "Jewels" Iverson; Gheorghe "Our Giant" Muresan; really, too many to count.
Tuff E-Nuff: Wayman Tisdale, accomplished jazz musician; Oscar de la Hoya, Latin Grammy nominee.
Real world equivalent: Garth Brooks -- or is it "Chris Gaines?" -- cranking a spring training home run.
Watching men's figure skating
Notable failures: Anyone who has ever flipped over to a Strongman contest. Who knew kegs could fly?
Tuff E-Nuff: Anyone who has ever put down the remote because "the unpredictable Elvis Stojko is coming up!"
Real world equivalent: Sitting through back-to-back screenings of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" while your TiVo records the Academy Awards red carpet special on "E!"
What makes it hard: Someone -- a whole lot of someones -- made the infectiously evil tune a feel-good stadium hit. Peculiar, then, that no one admits to woofing along.
Notable failures: All of us -- the same nation that won't 'fess up to unleashing "Ghostbusters II" upon an unsuspecting planet.
Tuff E-Nuff: The Baha Men, still collecting royalty checks.
Real world equivalent: Confessing a fondness for the "Macarena."
Fleecing Don King
Notable failures: Pretty much everyone who's anyone in boxing.
Tuff E-Nuff: Roy Jones Jr. His most impressive victory. By far.
Real world equivalent: President Bush sending a cookies 'n' candy care package to Saddam Hussein.
Singing the "Star Spangled Banner"
Notable failures: Crotch-grabber Roseanne; Robert Goulet, who sang "by the dawn's early night"; squeaky-voiced Carl Lewis, still trying to "make up for it."
Tuff E-Nuff: Whitney Houston at the 1991 Super Bowl; Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.
Real world equivalent: Successfully pronouncing Dikembe Mutombo's full name -- Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo -- on the first try.
Talking over Dick Vitale
Notable failures: Anyone who has ever shared the broadcast booth.
Tuff E-Nuff: Jim Harrick, who matched Vitale's exuberance during a recent television interview; that guy in the pizza commerical.
Real world equivalent: Sporting more tattoos than Iverson.
What makes it hard: Chambers' signature move in the old Sega Genesis game allowed him to throw down an unblockable double-pump jam from just inside the three-point arc. To quote "Predator 2": "There's no stopping what can't be stopped."
Notable failures: The careless programmers who failed to catch the glitch.
Tuff E-Nuff: Matt Bullard. In later editions of the game -- the early "NBA Live" years -- the former Houston Rockets gunner simply did not miss from behind the arc.
Real world equivalent: Charlie Brown pitching a perfect game.
Refusing to run gratuitous Anna Kournikova photos
Notable failures: Page 2. Oops, we did it again.
Tuff E-Nuff: Our highbrow colleagues at SI.com, who would never stoop to such shameless skin-based pandering. Unless you're talking supermodels in paint-on bikinis. Click here for Too Much Fun!
Real world equivalent: A month of Sundays. On our 2003 Anna K calendar, of course.
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at email@example.com.