Friday, April 08, 2005

"The Sports Surreal Life"

Just when it seemed Mariano Rivera was headed for a comfortable spot as a washed-up has-been on the sports version of “The Surreal Life,” along comes John Rocker, fresh off a five-year run as the most hated sports person in New York not named Reggie Miller or Rich Kotite.

Rocker signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League on Thursday, which arguably is the best thing to happen to Suffolk County since getting its own zip code a number of years ago.

When will News12 or Telecare do a “Behind the Music” documentary on Johnny Rock?

The reliever with the big left arm and bigger mouth will become a fan favorite instantaneously if not sooner, kind of like Peter Brady (allegedly known by his real name of Christopher Knight) reinventing himself as a mack daddy and being courted successfully by America’s top model, Adrianne Curry, on the fourth season of VH1’s “The Surreal Life.”

Hmmm, speaking of “The Surreal Life,” which puts has-beens, former B-level celebrities, wanna-be-but-got-cut-by-the-coach celebrities, and assorted other famous-for-a-minute-or-more people in the same house for a few weeks, it’s amazing to think this hasn’t crossed over into the sports world yet. With the wave of reality crapola television destroying the brain cells of America, it seems a natural fit to combine the two worlds.

Let’s hope a network executive is out there reading this. If so, here’s a suggestion for the first season’s six-person cast of “The Surreal Sports Life.”

1) Jose Canseco
He’s in the news more now than when he was trying to sleep with Madonna in New York City during his playing days. But his gel job and outrageous clothing give him amazing star power. Other perks of him taking up residence in the house: He could offer another opinion on steroids; a trip to his probation officer in Florida would make for great television when the whole cast goes with him. He also fills the slot of relatively recent athlete.

2) Mary Lou Retton
She likely hasn’t grown much (vertically, that is) since winning Olympic gold in 1984 and her schedule these days probably has a few open weeks. The sight of this gymnast standing next to Canseco makes her a must for this show. Given her pedigree, she could easily fit the role of house ruler and lay down the law on a weekly basis. This would also help alleviate any post-Olympic trauma that may be lingering 21 years after the fact. Plus, every series needs one of those “Oh my God, I can’t believe she’s still alive” cast members.

3) Charles Barkley
Though Dennis Rodman may seem like a more obvious choice, he’s been more exposed than a porn star. Sir Charles is the perfect man for this job. He’s a Southerner who is not afraid to say what he’s thinking. From mind to mouth, there are no filters when it comes to the Round Mound of Rebounds. Can’t you just picture Regis and Kelly or the women on “The View” talking about Barkley’s latest insensitive comments? It’s very likely that Barkley would beat up Canseco, sleep with a cast member on the pool table, insult everyone on and off the show and at the same time be loved by America.

4) Amanda Beard
We need someone to pull in the young crowd. We need some sex appeal. And we need someone outlandish enough to have people talking about that sex appeal. Beard is an Olympic champion, so by definition she has some celebrity status but not too much because Olympians are rarely remembered more than once every four years. But everyone remembers this swimmer posing for Maxim, Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issues and other flesh-infested magazines.

5) Rich Kotite
Though it’s true the FCC outlawed the spoken usage of those two words in succession, surely we can seek a temporary injunction. This clown may be the worst coach in NFL history, and that history includes Ray Handley, Mike Tice, Joe Bugle, Mike White, Gene Stallings, Dick MacPherson and the bevy of coaches who haven’t even been born yet. Ask a Jet fan which he or she would prefer: a) The Doug Brien field goal fiasco in Pittsburgh; b) Kotite as the head coach. Even Kotite would choose A. However, the show needs an old man and a whipping post, so Kotite fills both roles.

6) Morganna, the kissing bandit
What’s a reality show without an old celebrity who was never really a celebrity but became popular because she was blond and, uh, well-endowed in that area above the stomach and below the shoulders? For those wondering, Morganna used to run onto a baseball field and kiss a player. It was one of those strange things that caught on in the 1980s, sort of like leg warmers and painter’s caps with the tails. Couldn’t you just picture Morganna running across the patio to kiss Canseco as he was injecting Kotite with some Deca or Winstrol? That’s why TiVo was invented.