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Soup Of This Day #46: Don’t Try And Change My Tune ‘Cos I Thought I Heard A Saxamaphone

August 7, 2011

Tom Waits in Prague, 2008
Tom Waits, live in Prague – Photo: Anna Wittenberg, 2008. Anna Wittenberg has no affiliation with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

This is by-and-large gloomy post. It has losses at it’s heart, implied oral sex from a prostitute and a soundtrack of Jack Mack & the Heart Attack plus Tom Waits. That’s 1975 Waits, with a blues jazz feel lulling you into one more Wild Turkey. Come take a long, deep drink while we reflect on season’s trials and a 1984 comedy movie.

Here’s Bleeding Gums Murphy:

‘The Blues ain’t about making yourself feel better, it’s about making other people feel worse.’

True, misery does love company but there is something uplifting in Waits and in comedy films of the 80’s so I’m not looking to make anyone feel worse. If I wanted to do that I could have taken the Scarlett Johansson version of Waits’ Anywhere I Lay My Head. It has the deep baritone of Princess Vespa’s Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen from Spaceballs, just without the comedy, emotion or variation in tone.

Bubba Smith made his name from comedy. He had a football career prior to that, playing defencive end for Michigan State and then the same position for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers in the NFL. He played in the 1966 ‘Game of the Century’ as MSU tied 10-10 with Notre Dame. Confusingly there are 9 games that have earned the sobriqet ‘Game of the Century’ and 8 were in the last century. I think that’s hyperbole or ‘hyper-bowl’ as I used to pronounce it. The only ‘Game of the Century’ from 2000 on was in 2006 and leaves you wondering if, on past form, they may have gone a little early with that call.

In 1970 Bubba gained a Superbowl ring as the Colts ground out an error-riddled win over the Cowboys. Superbowl V could be best summed up in a 1st quarter Johnny Unitas throw that was high and behind receiver Eddie Hinton. He got hands to the ball, just ahead of defender Mel Renfro but all the 2 could do was bobble the ball to John Mackey who sprinted 75 yards for a Colts touchdown. The resulting kick was blocked and Colts QB Unitas left the game not long after with a cracked rib. Because of the nature of the ‘Blunderbowl’ as it came to be known Bubba Smith refused to wear his ring.

Post football and the 2.01m, 120kg Smith moved into acting, often portraying the gentle giant in contrast to his reputation on the field where supporters had a ‘Kill, Bubba, kill’ chant going for him. He was a key member of the ensemble cast of 6 of 7 Police Academy films and if the series dragged on for way too long at least Bubba turned down the 7th, Mission to Moscow. That film went on to gross $126,247 at the box office and is a great example of going 5 bridges too far. Then again he could only have improved it and indeed he would have been an asset if they ever greenlight PA8 (as spruiked by Steve Guttenberg). Sadly that may just happen but equally as sadly it will be without Smith.

You see, just the other night at the age of 66, Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith died of natural causes.

The following night the Fremantle Dockers 2011 series moved a step closer to dying of natural causes as well. The Dockers have been beset by a cruel injury list and have slowly had their grim hold on a place in the 8 loosened. In a Friday night stoush with St Kilda at the G Freo needed to win to preserve that hold and for 3 quarters they fought like they needed to. True, the Saints were quick off the mark, leading 3.8 (26) to 1.3 (9) at quarter time but the Dockers pegged it back to 7.11 (53) to 7.7 (49) at the long break and then narrowed it ever so slightly through the 3rd. They went into the last down 10.13 (73) to 10.10 (70) but that was as close as it got. Freo had shot it’s bolt and failed to add a goal while the Saints went marching in with 6.

At the close it was St Kilda with the 4 premiership points and a 16.17 (113) to 10.12 (72) win that perhaps wasn’t as clear cut as the scoreline suggests. Tendai Mzungu was good for the Dockers and Zac Clarke was impressive as a ruckman in the absence of Bigest Aaron Sandilands and Next Biggest Jon Griffin. Clarke is 2cm taller than Bubba was but 30kgs lighter.

Further pain for the Dockers came on Saturday night as Essendon held on for a 1 point win over the Sydney Swans and just like that the Freo lads are down to 9th with 4 to play. Hope is not dead – The teams they are competing with are hardly rocking along (with the possible exception of the Saints) but even if they make the finals it’s hard to see them matching up to the top 4 sides, particularly the rampant Collingwood (138 point winners over Port Adelaide) and Geelong (Backing up from a 186 point obliteration of Melbourne with a 150 point smashing of Gold Coast). It looks ominous for the Purple Haze.

As it does for the Red Sox. Like the Dockers they have been hit by injuries, crucially to the starting rotation. Dice K is gone and Clay Buchholz is doubtful for October, let alone now. Jon Lester has only just come back from injury and John Lackey is still recovering from, well, being crap really. Tim Wakefield, Alfredo Aceves and Andrew Miller have all had shots at covering with varying degrees of success. Wake has been good, Aceves ok too but better suited as a long reliever and Miller has been below par. That leaves a ton of weight on Josh Beckett’s shoulders and on the newly arrived and underdone Erik Bedard.

That weight came down for real on Bedard on Thursday when he got his 1st start for the Sox. Up against an Indians side that had been unlucky to lose to 2 straight walkoffs he was facing off against Justin Masterton, the former Red Sox thrower who has been better than ok for Cleveland this term. Masterton lived up to his form early meaning little support for Bedard from the bats. They got 2 to kick of via a Gonzalez RBI double and a RBI single to Big Papi. This was almost as quickly quashed by 2 off Bedard in the 2nd and a 3rd in the 3rd. A Reddick home run in the botom of the 4th levelled it before a tiring Bedad sat down. He manged 70 pitches across 5 for 3 runs and 5 k’s. A nice start from the Canadian but it was squandered by Morales in relief in the 6th. He gave up 2 in a horrible cameo before Aceves quietened it down. Andrew Miller, reverting to the pen then gave up 2 more across the final 3 innings and that was enough with the Sox bats managing 2 hits across the last 8. It finished 7-3 Indians and Boston in a tie for the AL East with the Yankees.

The tie couldn’t last though as the next morn the Yankees came to Fenway. Jon Lester with the start and he did good, holding the Yankees to just 3 runs across his 7, all of them coming in the 6th. Unfortunately those 3 eclipsed the only 2 runs the Sox got off Bartolo Colon and indeed the rest of the Yankees pitchers and they went down 3-2. For the record a RBI double for Ellsbury and a solo home run for Big Papi scored for Boston.

So the Red Sox have lost 1st place in the AL East, the Dockers have lost a spot in the 8 in the AFL and the Police Academy has lost recruit Moses Hightower. Actually he was technically Lt. Moses Hightower after he saved Harris from an alligator in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege. Which is about as wildly improbable as 8 separate college football matches called the ‘Game of the Century’ occurring in the same actual century.

I’ll leave it to Mahoney, Thompson, Hightower, Barbara, Jones, Martin, Tackleberry, Fackler and Hooks to explain that.

Oh, and the implied oral sex from a prostitute? Roll the credits.

You’re welcome.

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