No more Anna! Repeat: No more ...
By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2

Hitting a baseball? Saving a penalty kick? Landing a quad?

Puh-leeze.

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:

Michael Olowokandi, Kenyon Dooling, Andre Miller
The Clippers frequently make vacation plans during timeouts.
Taking the Clippers to the playoffs
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
What makes it hard: Ever snagged one? Know anyone who has? We didn't think so.

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
What makes it hard: Liking music is not the same as making music. And getting run over by Bo Jackson does not qualify you for the lead role in "Hamlet." Even if you're Brian Bosworth.

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
What makes it hard: Costumes that are one sequin away from complete and utter sartorial disaster. Incessant weeping. Scott Hamilton yelping, "He two-footed the quad!"

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!"

Baha Men
The Baha Men perform at the All-Star Game. Once again, great work, Bud.
Taking responsibility for "Who Let the Dogs Out"
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
What makes it hard: If King comes knocking, just give him your wallet. With any luck, he'll let you keep the shirt on your back.

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"
What makes it hard: Beats us. It's not like the song is our national anthem or anything.

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
What makes it hard: Even the Cameron Crazies are no match for the great and mighty Dickie V.

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.

Baha Men
The only universe where white men can jump.
Stopping Tom Chambers in "Lakers Vs. Celtics"
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
What makes it hard: We have a fever. And the cure is more 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 phrub@yahoo.com.





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