By Patrick Hruby
Page 2 columnist

Welcome to another edition of Stump Page 2, where the only stupid questions are the ones you ask ... and the ones we answer:

Dear Stump Page 2,

Sam Bowie
No GM wants to commit the same 'mistake' of drafting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan.

Assuming all were rookies entering their upcoming respective seasons, whose career would flop first -- Todd Van Poppel, Tony Mandarich, Todd Blackledge or Sam Bowie?

-- Richie Weaver

Van Poppel. But only because the Major League Baseball season is the first to begin in any given calendar year.

Dear Stump Page 2,

Couldn't a hockey team, in theory, sign up an extremely large person (think sumo-sized), put them in the goal, then simply let the pucks bounce off of them? In other words, why don't hockey teams simply sign goalies who block the entire goal?

-- Mike Mackler

In theory, yes. A beefy sumo champ -- like the 6-foot-8, 500-pound Akebono -- would take up quite a bit of space in front of a regulation NHL goal mouth, which only measures four feet high and six feet across. In fact, Akebono could probably lie on his side.

In practice, alas, 500-pounders can't skate.

Dear Stump Page 2,

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

-- Mark Wasiljew

By itself? No chance. On a bun? You bet. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a sandwich is "two or more slices of bread with a filling such as meat or cheese placed between them, or a partly split long or round roll containing a filling." Thus, bun-plus-Dodger Dog equals ... Voila!

Send in your question!
Got a sports or celebrity mind-bender you just can't figure out? Stump Page 2 is here to help. Send your questions to StumpPage2@yahoo.com and check Page 2 for the next "Stump Page 2" column.
(Note: While a hot dog itself may not qualify as "meat," common frankfurter ingredients such as food coloring, sodium nitrate, bread crumbs and preservatives certainly pass muster as "filling.")

Dear Stump Page 2,

If real-world items were marked up to the level of major-league stadium concessions, would professional athletes still be able to enjoy lavish lifestyles?

-- Name withheld

Believe it nor not, the Cristal would still be flowing. Let's do the math:

According to figures released last year by the Chicago-based TEAM Marketing Report, the average beer across all four major leagues costs $5.11 -- about double the amount one might expect to pay at a bar. Likewise, the average hot dog costs $3.12, twice what you would pay at a streetcorner vendor. As such, we can safely assume a stadium markup of 100 percent.

So what would this mean for the real-world items commonly enjoyed by our strongest and swiftest? Take a look: A bottle of Dom Perignon, 1990 vintage, would jump from $318 to $636. Renting a Humvee H2 limousine would cost $600 an hour. And a lap dance at Tampa's famous Mons Venus would run $50-plus, not including tip.

Given that the average NFL player makes more than $1 million per season -- the lowest average salary of the four majors -- there's no question pro jocks would be able to weather a sudden inflationary spike. Child support payments notwithstanding.

Denise Richards
As if we needed more convincing, Denise Richards went blonde.

Dear Stump Page 2,

If Jessica Simpson and Denise Richards played Trivial Pursuit, would they finish within 48 hours?

-- Jonathan Noel

Frankly, Dan Cortese would have a better chance of winning the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions.

Dear Stump Page 2,

Is there an appropriate answer to the age-old question from a female: "Do I look fat in this?"

-- Kevin Horn

No. But in a pinch, try this: "Of course you don't look fat in those pants, honey. But you know who would? That leggy blonde you caught me looking at when we came into the store. Do you want another bite of this pretzel?"

Dear Stump Page 2,

If a ball carrier in college football is ruled down when his knee touches the ground, why isn't the holder on extra-point kicks and field goals ruled down when his knee touches the ground as he's holding for the kick?

-- Names withheld

Simple: The rules for runners don't apply to holders when they're in the process of holding for a kick (or a fake).

The official NCAA rule book states that a live ball becomes dead "when any part of the runner's body, except his hand or foot, touches the ground or when the runner is tackled or otherwise falls and loses possession of the ball as he contacts the ground with any part of his body, except his hand or foot."

Sounds like a holder should be ruled down by contract, right? Wrong. The rule book goes on to list the following exception: "The ball remains alive when an offensive player has simulated a kick or is in position to kick the ball held for a place kick by a teammate (the holder). The ball may be kicked, passed or advanced by rule."

Confused? Learn to live with contradiction. And be thankful. Clipboard-totin' backup quarterbacks would look even more ridiculous if they had to bend over in order to hold.

Brett Favre
AP Photo
Brett Favre still has to swallow the pill called "Fouth-and-26."

Dear Stump Page 2,

If Brett Favre finally retires and then plays pitch-and-catch with the tire in the backyard like the guy in the Levitra commercial, will he still force a pass that will cause anybody watching to jump up and yell, "What the hell was he thinking?!"

-- Darren Rusakiewicz

Depends on the circumstances. If the gone-to-seed Favre is taking that other male-enhancement pill -- the one that gravely touts four-hour erections as a possible side effect -- then, yes. And Favre's wife will look inordinately happy when the ball whizzes through the tire.

Dear Stump Page 2,

What would happen if you invented a time machine and went back in time before existence existed?

-- Mark Polinsky

While genius cosmologists such as Stephen Hawking can only speculate as to what existed prior to the "Big Bang" origin of the current physical universe, two scenarios seem probable:

a.) You'd be vaporized into subatomic particles. If you're lucky.

b) The Arizona Cardinals would still be below .500.

Dear Stump Page 2,

Paris 'The Heiress' Hilton has been made famous and held up as a "socialite" for her late-evening escapades, while my buddies and I were often scoffed at and labeled "drunken, childish wastes of life" for partying back as poor college students. Are there other examples of this socioeconomic class structure in which the differing size of two people's pocket books leads to different verbiage used to describe the same conduct?

-- Brad

As F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, "The very rich are different from you and me." To wit: An overbearing child who intimidates his smaller classmates through habitual cruelty is called a "bully," whereas Bob Knight is called a "coach."

Bob Knight
We hear Bob Knight is called plenty of other things, too.

Dear Stump Page 2,

Is "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, b, a, select, start" a more universally known code than "S-O-S?"

-- Kevin Smith

What is this "S-O-S" you speak of?

Dear Stump Page 2,

If a celebrity (say, Michael Kennedy or Sonny Bono) is skiing alone with no one else around and they fall and smash their head into a tree, does it make a sound?

-- Mike

In simple physical terms, sound is a wave, a disturbance that travels through a given medium from one point to another. When Bono smacks into a tree, the resulting vibration triggers a disturbance in the surrounding air particles, which radiates out in the form of straight-line pressure waves -- that is, minute oscillations in air pressure. Our ears perceive the waves as sound; but even if no one is close enough to hear, they still exist.

In other words, the answer is yes, the fallen skier makes a sound. You sick, twisted man.

Dear Stump Page 2,

Where in the world could one find hamsters living in the wild?

-- Matt Pittner

Wild hamsters can be found in the deserts of the Middle East, the sand dunes of Mongolia, the steppes of Siberia and the backyard of Richard Gere's house.

Dear Stump Page 2,

If Yao Ming is the only player in the NBA visible from outer space, then why can't his teammates find him on the court?

-- Brendan Miller

Technically, Yao Ming isn't the only NBA player visible from outer space. The CIA's "Keyhole"-class spy satellites reportedly can distinguish objects as small as five-to-six inches across -- which means even Earl Boykins is covered.

Hope that answers your question.

Dear Stump Page 2,

If a woman is presenting an opportunity for a date to a man she knows is nicknamed 'Dutch' and asks, "Do you wanna go Dutch?" then how does he know if he should be expected to pick up the entire check or split it?

-- Scott Sterba

If Dutch is looking for more than a chaste goodnight kiss at the door, then he is expected to pick up the entire check.

Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times.




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