Slippery slope
By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2

The problem with the Sacramento State football players who slathered themselves with nonstick cooking spray last weekend isn't that they tried to cheat.

It's that they picked the wrong lubricant.

PAM cooking spray
Despite all the PAM, the loss still stuck.
According to the Big Sky Conference and school officials, at least three Sacramento State players greased their jerseys with PAM during a loss at Montana last weekend, presumably in order to slip opposing players' grasps more easily.

A sideline photographer spotted two Sacramento State players spraying each other on the sidelines and took snapshots, which he then turned over to the league.

"I think it's a serious ethical breach," said Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton. "It actually does work, to a certain extent."

Maybe so, but judging by the results -- Sacramento State still lost the game -- cooking spray doesn't quite work well enough. With that in mind, Page 2 has complied a list of slippery substitutes, most of which have been approved by the FDA:

Oil of Olay
Method of application: Dab 'n' rub. Page 2 readers should be familiar.

Pros: Softer, firmer, younger-looking skin. Locks in moisture for up to 24 hours. Protects against UV rays. Won't clog pores. Gives jerseys a warm, healthy sheen.

Cons: Requires headache-inducing trip to the cosmetics counter. "Non-greasy" formula not likely to cut it.

Bottom Line: May have to rub into opponent for maximum effect. Better to avoid.

Method of application: A spatula works best.

Pros: Contains 50 percent less fat than butter. Does not require refrigeration. Will not scorch or burn. Adds a delicious, buttery flavor to any tackle and/or pileup.

Cons: Goopy texture makes it tough to spread. Makes a lousy salad dressing. May require an additional coating of flour, which is likely to be spotted by observant referees.

Bottom line: If you're thinking about using margarine, try this instead.

What, you thought we were kidding?
Method of application: Open bottle. Close eyes. Plug ears. Pour over head.

Pros: Fights thermal and viscosity breakdown, and minimizes deposit formation. Exceeds current U.S., Japanese and European wear tests. Voted "Product of the Year" by Lubricants World magazine.

Cons: Should not be ingested.

Bottom line: If it's good enough for Lubricants World magazine, it's good enough for us.

Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
Method of application: Shake before opening. Season to taste.

Pros: Aging process yields smooth, mellow, yet complex flavor, the perfect compliment for a mouthful of turf. Newman donates all after-tax profits to charity.

Cons: Contains something called Xanthan Gum, which is probably a banned substance under NCAA rules.

Bottom line: An excellent match for Notre Dame and Michigan State's salad-green jerseys. And it's for a good cause!

K-Y Jelly
Method of application: It depends on what you're, er, into.

Pros: Long-lasting. Fragrance-free. Water soluble. Gynecologist recommended.

Cons: Would work better if jerseys were made of latex.

Bottom line: It's lube in a tube. How can you go wrong?

Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at


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