Countdown’s health report: A-Roid, hot dog stands, mite fight!

The Count is 100 percent natural.

The Count is 100 percent natural.

The Count has never understood the whole blood doping thing. OK, there was that one time after he pulled an all-nighter, and the Transylvania Huddle House was closed in the morning, and he required immediate nourishment, so he swooped in on a group of unsuspecting 11th graders on their way to summer school for their third attempt at passing algebra. Does that count as doping? Probably not. But the whole idea of taking something more powerful than a Flintstones chewable or a protein shake never appealed to The Count, especially given the potential of a 37-pound globey head and significant shrinkage in the Count’s, um, Southeast and Southwest divisions. Anyway, great news! This baseball season has been the “Revenge of the [Presumably Natural] Pitcher!” We just witnessed baseball’s fifth no-hitter of the season. Maybe because every batter doesn’t look like the off-spring of a barbell and a Wookie. So we congratulate Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Garza (even though he humiliated The Count’s Tigers) while laughing at the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, who is about to make quiet baseball history. Question: If a home run record fell in the forest and nobody cared, did it happen? We mock because we care. And we count down . . .

10. Some numbers, the Count doesn’t count

The great thing about this chase to 600: secret's out.

The great thing about this chase to 600: secret's out.

I know everybody has suffered burnout over the whole steroids thing but what’s going on right not is beyond hysterical. A-Roid is stuck on 599 home runs. He’ll get to 600. But the funny thing is nobody cares. I mean, ESPN kept cutting in for his at-bats Monday night but it was less for anybody’s crying desire to know than it was, well, ESPN showing us how they can rule the universe from a control room in Bristol. Rodriguez will be only the seventh player in history to hit 600 homers. Four we care about: Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630). The others, we’d be fine if they got drop-kicked into a nuclear waste facility: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rodriguez. They have big numbers too, but at some point, isn’t it kind of like looking at a website: MonsterBoobsFromOuter Space.com. Why not just watch cartoons? At least they’re funny and sometimes a piano falls on someone’s head.

9. It’s just Manny being mommy

Even the Fertility Goddess laughed at Manny Ramirez.

Even the Fertility Goddess laughed at Manny Ramirez.

OK, last note on the ‘Roid Generation. Six of the top 14 home run hitters of all time are lab experiments. A-Roid denied, denied, denied, was outed in a Sports Illustrated article in 2009, then confessed. Mark McGwire denied, denied, denied, finally confessed so he could come back to baseball as a hitting coach for the two-faced Tony LaRussa, then said, “The only reason I took steroids was for health purposes.” I believe that’s also why Dillinger robbed banks. He needed the money to sleep in better hotels, which was better for his back. But The Count’s all-time favorite is Manny Ramirez. Why? Because when he was suspended, he tested positive for a female fertility drug. We all felt sorry for Ramirez’ plight. But wouldn’t it have been easier to just adopt a record? Ah, we can mock. Isn’t it great?

8. Those all-you-can-eat seats? You might want to think twice

Upton Sinclair ("The Jungle") inspects the mad cows at Madison Square Garden.

Upton Sinclair inspects MSG's mad cows and nacho bar.

Good news Atlanta sports fans. We’re almost clean! Well, almost. We’re not perfect, but according to health department inspections of all pro sports arenas and stadiums, via two enterprising reporters from ESPN.com, Atlanta venues came out way ahead of several others, including New York’s Madison Square Garden, 61 percent of whose vendors had “critical violations.” And at one Garden stand, inspectors found “mouse excreta” (38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit). I love that word — excreta. Sounds like something you’d find on a menu in Florence. Like, “Waiter, how do you prepare your excreta, and does that just come as an appetizer or is it a full meal?”

7. Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup. And my nachos. And my scotch.

Jerry, for $1.3 billion ...

Jerry, why didn't you tell us ...

... that's not an olive in our martini.

... that's not an olive in our martini.

According to the story, Philips Arena was the relative ickiest of the three Atlanta venues from a health standpoint, with 35 percent of vendors found to have critical violations, ahead of  (behind?) the Georgia Dome at 32 percent and Turner Field at 19. The most ominous notation referenced the Dome: “Inspectors found several employees not properly washing hands or without access to adequate hand-washing facilities.” Seriously, this story will make you pack sandwiches for the rest of your life. The Verizon Center (Washington D.C.) had 100 percent — 100 percent! — of its vendors with critical violations. Maybe the janitorial staff was scared away by Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton An inspector’s note on Verizon: “Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.” Oh wait, we’re just getting started. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spent $1.3 billion on his new stadium but apparently that didn’t come with a mop: 72 percent of vendors had violations. At the Pepsi Center in Denver,  flies were found in a bottle of cognac. At Mile High in Denver, fruit flies were found in bottles of whiskey. At the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix: “One location faced possible closure over pest problems after inspectors in December found mouse droppings and, upon reinspection, found dozens of flies and a live roach in the dish room.” But of all the disgusting things in this report, The Count’s favorite references Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., home of the Phoenix Coyotes:  “Inspectors spotted an employee scooping ice with his bare hands instead of using scoops.” I suddenly feel the urge to watch games on TV.

6. And now for something completely different

Jules Winnfield, Falcons season ticket holder

Jules Winnfield, Falcons fan

So I heard that the Falcons enlisted Samuel L. Jackson to do commercials, and immediately I had visions of Jules Winnfield from “Pulp Fiction” going door to door, quoting scripture, “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyrannies of evil men! I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd!” just before he threatens to blow off everybody’s head if they don’t buy club seats. Alas, he did this with no weapons. Take a peek.


Wanted to find a legitimate Samuel L. movie clip to use. But you can’t go more than seven words in Pulp Fiction without a word that won’t slip past my editors. Finally had to settle for a sanitized version of Jackson’s best line from his all-time worst movie, “Snakes on a Plane.”

5. The reason why Bob Huggins never danced on a date

Bob Huggins presumably needs new glasses.

Bob Huggins presumably needs new glasses.

klutz_logoDoes West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins have coordination issues, or is there some other reason he has been a walking HMO nightmare lately? Two years ago, Huggins was deboarding an airplane in Charlotte when he tripped, fell and hit his head on the ground. (He was briefly hospitalized.) Last summer, according to the Charleston (W.Va) Daily Mail, Huggins ” showed up at his annual fantasy basketball camp with black eyes. He said he walked into a door after he got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.” Wait. We’re not finished. Huggins apparently cracked four ribs the other day when he tripped in his Las Vegas hotel room and fell on a coffee table. He was in town to scout an AAU tournament, or possibly to take dance lessons for a stage show at The Bellagio. There’s nothing to indicate Huggins’ klutziness is related to past heart problems, which leads to the question: How can this man choreograph a fast break?

4. Proof that eating tofu and wearing polyester will drive you insane

This is what depriving yourself of a ribeye will do to you.

This is what depriving yourself of ribeye steak will do to you.

The Count sometimes ventures outside the sports world, although I’m not really sure anything related to animal rights can be counted as outside the sports world any more (no reminder needed, I presume). So here we go: Some animal rights activist named Walter Bond, no relation to James, although he could be double-0 nutso, was arrested in Colorado and charged with burning down a factory that makes sheepskin products (via The Smoking Gun).  According to the Associated Press, this creature also has been linked to two other fires that destroyed businesses in Utah that he deemed were cruel to animals. See, back in my idealistic days, I used to believe all animal rights people were, like, normal. Turns out that some are just like terrorists dressed in moose costumes. This guy is a member of the “Animal Liberation Front.” Aren’t they the ones who kidnapped Patty Hearst? Take a look at the picture of Walter Bond. He’s doesn’t eat meat, in case you missed the tattoo.

3. The good news: Mike Tyson hasn’t burned down any buildings (yet)

Veganism, a peace sign and Oprah's couch: This is Mike Tyson?

Veganism, a peace sign and Oprah: This is Mike Tyson?

Do you know who else is a vegan now? Mike Tyson. He has eliminated all meat and poultry products from his diet: chicken wings, T-bones, burgers, children and opponent’s ears. I didn’t believe it myself until I read this update on his Twitter page: It’s almost been nine months with this vegan stuff. It brings some great energy.” And yes, Tyson is on Twitter. Two weeks ago he swapped Tweets with Chad Ochocinco, responding: “… No way you would leave a sparring session with me and look at me the same, because I am embarking on a life of pacifism.” This could be interesting.

2. You’re a poop head!

We don’t like to promote violence here Countdown, unless it’s just too funny to pass up. Like this: When things get chippy between six-year-olds! A youth hockey brawl broke out at the “mite” level, kinda, sorta. (The funny thing is, Tiger Williams really wasn’t bigger than either one of these guys.) This bantamweight bout comes via Yahoo’s Puck Daddy. Turns out, there’s a valuable lesson here for the NHL: All they really need to clean the league up is a mother yelling, “J.J.!”

1. And finally: What’s the chance Palmer just hands off?

There’s a good chance that Terrell Owens will end up signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, which means Owens and Ochocinco will be in the same huddle. Even money that Carson Palmer goes vegan before Week 3.

Instant re-post on demand (in HD)

With Oswalt trade looming, should Braves worry about Philly?

Ranking the SEC, from Bama to Vandy (and Georgia No. 4)

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

86 comments Add your comment

PaulieOldschool

July 27th, 2010
3:00 am

Another brilliant Countdown, Jeff. Thanks for making Tuesday worthwhile.

DeepDiver

July 27th, 2010
3:02 am

Coulda, shoulda been first. Why did I read the article before posting???

PaulieOldschool

July 27th, 2010
3:28 am

You know, Jeff, I’ve been thinking. Maybe Bob Huggins is an alcoholic or a victim of husband abuse. Seriously. Falls alot, black eyes, walks into doors? All classic excuses, man. Either that or he’s the world’s most uncoordinated human being since Jerry Ford.

Southside Dawg

July 27th, 2010
5:34 am

I guess Tyson didn’t like the taste of Holyfield’s ear and that led him to the vegan lifestyle. The Count must have spent at least 20 minutes of hard research for this blog. I love to start the day with a good laugh.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

July 27th, 2010
5:51 am

Finally, nearly a week after the L.A. Times quotes Larry Drew as saying the deal for Lakers scrub Josh Powell is “a done deal,” the AJC finally reports it. I know Cunningham is on vacation and all, but geez, have the sports editors there never learned to set up Google news alerts?

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

July 27th, 2010
6:03 am

Peter King called the “Rise Up” video “cute.” Weird. Love the hockey “fight.” Like Mike Tyson, I love my veggies, especially if they’re fried in lard.

FalconUGAFan

July 27th, 2010
6:47 am

I just have one question…Are those Jerry Joneses’ (sic) real teeth? If not, that man needs to get a refund….

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

July 27th, 2010
7:24 am

One of the best JS- I just wanted Samuel Jackson to say “Say what again Mother******. I said RISE UP!!!!!” Good job on the Vegans, i knew there was something strange with them. See what a lack of red meat does to you? the Count knows what i’m talking about.

Gen Neyland

July 27th, 2010
7:35 am

Mike Tyson has a little Count in him, the Blood Sucking Ear Chomp of the World…

Big Al

July 27th, 2010
7:45 am

Your usual entertaining article from the “Count.” The hockey fight was lame. Very lame.

Bob Didier Caught Here

July 27th, 2010
7:52 am

I guess Mike Tyson becoming a Vegan gives new meaning to the term “Cauliflower Ears”…….

Wait I see it now! This Bond Dude is about to get his @** kicked and he says….”Do you want me to talk”? And Tyson says “No Mr Bond, I want you to DIE”!

Another good one JS!

Procrastinator

July 27th, 2010
7:53 am

Did you spell MonsterBoobsFromOuter Space.com correctly? I couldn’t find it.

sharecropper

July 27th, 2010
8:08 am

Maybe it might eventually occur to somebody that Huggins didn’t beat his alcoholism at all. He just went deeper into the closet with it. It’s called “falling down drunk.”

Andy

July 27th, 2010
8:08 am

Do the little hockey guys realize they’re on the same team?

lefty fielder

July 27th, 2010
8:23 am

A couple of questions . . . shouldn’t it be “double-naught nutso” in number 4? . . . and who spelled pacifism for Tyson’s tweet?

Tucker T

July 27th, 2010
9:01 am

Tyson’s face tattoo looks classy compared to that nut job. Never thought I would ever say that.

Clay

July 27th, 2010
9:04 am

Sweet Countdown, Jeff!

MatthewH

July 27th, 2010
9:07 am

You know, usually you have gratuitous pictures of scantily-clad women in the countdown. Does the fertility goddess count as fullfilling that requirement this week?

MatthewH

July 27th, 2010
9:08 am

If so, yowza!

TommyJack

July 27th, 2010
9:14 am

Was that Huggins or Bob Beckel?

1eyedJack

July 27th, 2010
9:16 am

I remember back in the day, buying a bucket of chicken across the street from the launching pad and pelting the visitors bullpen with chicken bones. Could bring in just about anything. Those were the days.

AlwaysAVol

July 27th, 2010
9:40 am

This just in, rumor has it Ed Ogeron has spoken with every Titan on the phone and told them NOT to go to training camp just yet… There COULD be a spot for them on the USC campus. Or close by in an apartment or condo or mansion or something. Some days IQs dip into negative numbers.

Bow Wow

July 27th, 2010
9:59 am

Jackson should do a recruiting spot for Georgia football..

PMC

July 27th, 2010
10:00 am

A-ROD just isn’t interesting. He doesn’t have it. People don’t want to be like A Rod… he’s smarmy and metrosexual. He doesn’t have the heroic quality about him that those 5 you mentioned did.

We don’t mind flaws… we don’t like people who are disingenuine.

You wish you had baseball skills like Willie Mays or Jr. or even Jeter…. Sure ARod is talented… but he’s boring.

PMC

July 27th, 2010
10:07 am

Face Tattoo’s are required to become a “true vegan” and or a “true fan”

madfalconi

July 27th, 2010
10:08 am

#4: is that dave matthews with down syndrome?

POAD

July 27th, 2010
10:19 am

The lady Buddha is sexy.

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The taxman Cometh" Jones, SR.

July 27th, 2010
10:24 am

Do not criticize Mr. Alex Rodriguez. You do not have one (1) persent of the talent that Mr. Rodriguez has! Why don’t you get a real job!!!!!

Matt

July 27th, 2010
10:33 am

Mr. “ALF Vegan” looks like a real winner. Does he have an actual job? Bet the ladies just go wild for that “half head” tattoo.

Alejandro Alejandro

July 27th, 2010
10:54 am

You’re right Barnicle Bill,

Whenever the Hawks sign a 6-foot-9, 240-pound backup “center” it should be on the front page as soon as it happens!

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
10:58 am

Thanks Paulie

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
11:00 am

Paulie (on Huggins): I could’ve made a lot of logical/reasoned guesses but I chose to not to stoop to that. I know. It’s so unlike me.

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
11:01 am

Southside — Thanks. (20 minutes? Hah! I wish. My Mondays would be a lot shorter.)

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Dr. Kenneth — I spent a lot of time on YouTube last night, trying to find a usable clip. Fail. Epic fail.

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
11:05 am

Bob Didier — Hah. Tyson and cauliflower ears. Nicely done. Wish I had thought of that.

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
11:06 am

Procrastinator — Hmm… Maybe it was .net. Or .org. Or .edu?

Jeff Schultz

July 27th, 2010
11:06 am

Andy — That makes it even better! Fighting to be the triggerman on the power play!

Chop Chop

July 27th, 2010
11:08 am

Samuel L. said it best:

I think we’ve all had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane.

Chop Chop

July 27th, 2010
11:09 am

Especially Male Pattern Baldness Face and Neck Tattooed Vegan Arsonist dude. I mean, a man’s got to make a stand somewhere, right?

vafalconfan

July 27th, 2010
11:11 am

Jeff, that Samuel L Jackson piece is funny stuff! I cannot look at him without thinking of the Pulp Fiction character.

Ken

July 27th, 2010
11:21 am

the wife of one of Walter “I’m freakshow tatoo face vegan” Bonds friends swears she was at there house a couple night before his arrest and had 2 burgers for dinner!

Grahzny Bratchny

July 27th, 2010
11:25 am

Madfalconi, would you like to meet my daughter, she has Down Syndrome?

POAD

July 27th, 2010
11:26 am

JEFF you couldn’t find anything from “Coach Carter” that was clean and up lifting? UTUBE probably only does have the explative type vids I guess.
I am so ready to go to a game and eat some germs.
Did they check Colleges? How did Tech and UGA rank? At Tech games I get a Chick-fil-a before the game and bring in my own Jack. I just have to buy Cokes.

scottc

July 27th, 2010
11:32 am

Jeff, your social commentary disguised as a sports column once again made me snort my morning coffee through my nose. Thanks for the laughs and for spoiling my AM zen with the need to ROTF and LMAO, Dude.

DawgDad

July 27th, 2010
11:33 am

Countdown health report priorities 1-10:
1. Do the Braves have a centerfielder yet?
2. Do the Braves have a centerfielder yet?
3. Do the Braves have a centerfielder yet?
4-10. Do the Braves have a centerfielder yet?

Gadawg443

July 27th, 2010
11:46 am

Re #4 : Seeing as how Mr. walter Bond is now or will soon be a resident of the Colorado Penal system, I think it is safe to assume that willing or not he will be eating meat in the near future.

ole smoky

July 27th, 2010
11:49 am

As usual… excellent work !

Asheville Dawg

July 27th, 2010
11:56 am

Did you really think the concession stands were squeaky clean? Let me add some ketchup and botulism to that hot dog. Don’t worry an excessive amount beer/ alcohol will anything.

Always enjoy the Count!

Asheville Dawg

July 27th, 2010
11:57 am

will kill anything.*

Reid Adair

July 27th, 2010
12:01 pm

Absolutely fantastic, Jeff.

The six-year-old hockey fight is absolutely hilarious. I wonder what the concession stand at that hockey rink scored on its health department inspection?