Brian Anderson, part-time starter, will take the mound for Arizona in Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night before 56,000-plus screaming New York Yankees fans. That's a lot of pressure. Page 2 decided to test his resolve by firing 10 Burning Questions at the Diamondbacks' young lefty and stone Nebraska fan.
1. Page 2: Which mascot would you bet on in a knife fight, the Philly Phanatic or Herbie the Cornhusker?
Brian Anderson: You've gotta go with Herbie. For crying out loud, Herbie the Husker is a redneck, and he knows how to handle the steel, so I'm going to go with him. The Phanatic is good for humor, but inside Herbie's goofy smile and that big old cowboy hat of his, I think he knows how to handle a blade. You know he grew up on a farm, so he's good at that sort of thing.
1a. He's the goofiest thing you've ever seen, right?
Herbie? Oh, yeah. He's almost as bad as Li'l Red, the little guy who runs around the field. He's actually a little worse, but Herbie is goofy, no question. But what do you put out there for a Cornhusker? A giant guy with a giant head. That's the best you can come up with.
2. Which is a bigger game in New York Tuesday, your start in the World Series or Michael Jordan's return at Madison Square Garden?
|Herbie the Husker|
Anderson: Awww, I tell you what, I'm tired of the flipping Jordan thing already. I was telling my wife that last night. Every time I flick on the TV, they're interviewing him or showing him walking down the hallway or sitting down. For crying out loud, these games don't even count yet.
It's absolutely ridiculous. And he probably feels the same way. No, he probably doesn't. He's probably loving it. But I'm tired of the whole Jordan thing. So I definitely say Game 3 of the World Series is bigger.
2a. It will get a bigger draw.
Anderson: Anderson: I don't know. I just hope there isn't a football game at the same time.
3. What's a bigger distraction for visiting teams, the women in Arizona's pool or the fans in New York?
Anderson: If I'm going to answer this honestly, I'll have to say the women in the pool at Arizona. For the simple fact that we've played in hostile places before. So you have that little trigger inside you, or at least you should, that can block out crowd noise. You can block out end zones. But it's hard to block out some of the suits they let run around down in that pool. That's tough.
Players are not faced with that every day. I'm talking from a visiting player's perspective. We see it every day, and we still get distracted by it. It's tough to turn away from.
3a. Just think if the Yankees fans in right field wore thong bikinis.
Anderson: That place would be absolutely overwhelming.
4. Betty or Veronica?
Anderson: Veronica. No question. Veronica kind of looks like my wife, and Betty, I don't know, with the red hair and big --
4a. Betty has blonde hair.
Anderson: Betty does? Who am I thinking of? You've got me all screwed up now, because we were just talking about "Scooby Doo" and Daphne in the clubhouse. And Daphne takes the cake over all of them. She has red hair. Sarah Michelle Gellar is going to play her in the movie. So I definitely go with Daphne.
4b. OK, next question --
Anderson: But wait a minute. Let's get back to Betty. How come I can't picture her?
4c. Betty and Veronica look exactly alike, except Veronica has dark hair and Betty has blonde hair.
Anderson: Where are they from? What cartoon?
Anderson: Oh, Archie! I'm thinking of "The Flintstones."
4e. Oh, you're thinking of Betty and Wilma.
Anderson: Wilma! Yes! So, in that case, I'm going with the blonde. My wife will love to hear that because she has dark hair.
5. Who will the Heisman. Or who should win the Heisman?
Anderson: Who should win the Heisman ... better question. Eric Crouch. The problem is he's not going to put up huge passing numbers, which everyone looks at in a quarterback. But he's going to throw for 120 yards a game, and he's going to rush for 100 yards a game. He's a tremendous leader. He makes everyone around him better.
A lot of the yards the Nebraska running backs get are because of the way he pitches the ball. When they run the option, he's got the choice of pitching it or keeping it, and when he makes that decision to pitch it, he springs the tailback for a 30-yard gain. The running back gets all the credit for the yardage, but if it wasn't for the pitch, he wouldn't have gotten that yardage. Of course, it all depends on them winning out, but if they finish out and win all their games, I think he should get it.
6. What's your favorite movie?
Anderson: Gosh darn it, you guys always ask this question. (pause). I'll have to go with either "Hoosiers" or "The Dirty Dozen." "The Dirty Dozen" is one of those movies where I have a rule, if it's on TV, no matter what time, I have to watch it. Two times last year -- I was in my hotel room on the road, 2, 2:30 in the morning, flipping channels and I came across the son of a gun, and I had to watch it, staying up until 4:30 or 5.
6a. They do rent it, you know.
Anderson: I know, I know. I don't know what it is about that movie but if it's on TBS or whatever -- it seems like it's on twice a day sometimes -- I have to watch it.
7. Which would you rather have, the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly or the ability to turn invisible?
Anderson: Wow. That's a great one. (long pause) I'm not much of a fly guy. I like to know that if I fall, the worst that's going to happen is a scrape or a bruise. So flying's out. Invisible? I don't want to be superhero-ish. That's just beyond the realm of possibility. I would have to go with the strength of 100 men. That would be sweet.
7a. Almost nobody picks that. Almost everybody picks invisible. But I'm with you.
Anderson: It's so practical. Are you kidding me? Think of the damage you could do. I could play football. My dream sport. I could do that with the strength of 100 men. Invisible? I don't know. That might be an NCAA rule violation. They look into everything, so I'm sure they would look into a disappearing player.
8. If you could see any sporting event ever played, what would it be?
Anderson: Probably the national championship game from 1995, the Nebraska-Florida game where they absolutely demolished the Gators. They went into that and gave them no chance. There are a bunch of Nebraska games, but that would be the most satisfying, because they were going against Steve Spurrier and his run-and-gun offense and no one gave them a chance and they put up 62 points and it was an absolute demolishing.
9. If you're hosting a dinner, what three people do you invite?
Anderson: I'd bring in George W. I like him. George W. Bush, General Patton. (Pause.)
Anderson: Yeah, Daphne. No, not Daphne. Probably somebody from the Civil War. That's an era I would like to sit down and talk with somebody about. I'd go with one of the big shots. General Longstreet. I'm kind of a Civil War buff.
9b. No one ever picked General Longstreet before.
Anderson: Probably not.
10. Why are left-handers so goofy?
I don't know. You can break down the whole thing about what side of the brain you work out of, but it's definitely something. I know I've come across some goofy lefties in this game. Almost to a T, your goofballs are left-handed. I don't know why. They say left-handers are the only ones in their right mind, but I don't think we are. I have no answer for that, but it is true.
Anderson: Because they pick General Longstreet. And they don't know who Veronica is.