Party of Five sets the record straight
Welcome to another edition of Page 2's Party of Five, where five writers tackle five questions that the world needs answered right now.
(Or later, depending on how much time you have to kill.)
Today, we'll discuss hot dog records, Derek Jeter, the All-Star Home Run Derby, Charlie Sheen, and the NBA and NFL's dueling lockouts.
1. Joey Chestnut downed 62 hot dogs to win the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, while former champion Takeru Kobayashi claims he set a world record at an off-site event where he ate 69 hot dogs in the same span. Should Kobayashi's effort be recognized if it's not at the same setting?
DJ Gallo: I don't know, but I like Kobayashi's thinking. By the way, a few hours before Game 6 of the NBA Finals, my rec team won a game against a team who had a guy wearing a Nowitzki jersey. Therefore, I would like to announce that I won the NBA Finals.
Jim Caple: Sorry DJ and Kobayashi, we can only count records that were set at the same venue. Ergo: Roger Maris still has the single-season home run record, which he broke at old Yankee Stadium. And American Thomas Burke still holds the Olympic record in the 100 with a blistering time of 12 seconds flat set at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.
Patrick Dorsey: Not only should his record not count, but -- according to this documentary -- Kobayashi doesn't even exist.
Vincent Thomas: (Kobayashi exists, right? Soze was the myth, right? Just asking ... )
First of all: A pink belt for the women's champ? I don't care that Pepto is the sponsor. Isn't that like getting your wife/girlfriend an apron for an anniversary gift? As for Takeru Kobayashi's off-site 69 ... I mean, 'nuff respect to the OG and everything, but Kobi and his bootleg record can kick rocks. If some super-athletic rube runs the 100 in Covent Garden at the same time as the Olympic finals and breaks the nine-second threshold, he'll just be some rube that ran a non-sanctioned 8.94 a few feet away from another rube doing magic tricks. Sign the contract, Kob.
Jemele Hill: Let me first state the obvious: This contest is repulsive. Kobayashi could be a unicorn and that wouldn't detract from the fact that this even becoming associated as a July 4th tradition is degrading. People shoving what is essentially a mixture of hooves, eyebrow remains and Fraggle remnants into their mouths is a greater crime than the manufactured rivalry of these two.
2. Derek Jeter returned to the Yankees' lineup after missing three weeks with an injury and is now four hits away from 3,000. How long will this story go on before fans get impatient?
Dorsey: They're already impatient, but it'll only get worse. Pretty soon fans will be begging Mark Wahlberg to do what he did in "The Other Guys" (Note: mild language in that clip.)
Thomas: This wait is child's play. You know how long rap fans have waited for Dr. Dre to drop Detox? I should be gearing up for "Mad Men" right now, but I have to wait until freaking March. My homeboy still hasn't apologized for "accidentally taking home" my bottle of Ketel One and drinking it -- it's been four years. Yankees fans need to shut their hero-holes.
Hill: Fans are already impatient because they're just now realizing that paying for a name and legacy sounded so much better in theory than in practice. It's special that Jeter is the first Yankee to notch 3,000 hits, but that doesn't erase the fact that he's currently a marginal shortstop who is lording his legacy for an unjustified payday.
Gallo: I don't see why fans would get impatient. Jeter is set to become the first player in baseball history to reach 3,000 hits. (I suppose if we're splitting hairs, he'll be the first person in Yankees history to 3,000, but as we have all learned over the years, the Yankees are pretty much all that counts.)
Caple: If it lasts past the All-Star break I fully expect them to react swiftly and surely by booing A-Rod.
3. David Ortiz and Prince Fielder picked their own teams for the All-Star Home Run Derby. In what other all-star events should players pick their own teams?
Hill: I'd love to see this in the NBA. What if the two leading vote-getters picked their squads in a playground-ball fashion? Imagine the DRAMA. What if Dwyane Wade were captain of the Eastern Conference and he picked Paul Pierce before LeBron? Or if Kobe captained the West and he went with Zach Randolph over Pau Gasol? This would be a contentious meritocracy.
Thomas: If you don't think Papi picking Robbie Cano was a little bit of Dominican cronyism, then I got some old "Howard the Duck" VHS tapes to sell you. With that said, I say two NBA players should select dunk contest participants, but with this rub -- invitees must accept. I'm hoping they'd have the wherewithal to not only pick dudes like LeBron and D-Rose, but the comedic foresight to pick Kevin Love and Kobe.
Dorsey: I'd say the Pro Bowl, but don't the only two NFL players who show up already pick kids from the stands?
Caple: I think it would be really great if they made all the All-Star participants line up in front of a cyclone fence and wait there while the managers stood in front of them and picked their teams one by one just so we could see how long it takes for someone to choose Kansas City's Aaron Crow.
Gallo: The NBA All-Star Game. Because stars already pick their teams for the NBA regular season.
4. Charlie Sheen is getting roasted on Comedy Central, and says nothing is off-limits. Which of Sheen's sports connections is most roast-worthy?
Thomas: I'd say his, ahem, "winning," with his two live-in goddesses, whose combined age was about equal to Sheen's. As he said: "We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary." That has to qualify as some type of athletic sport, right?
Gallo: Competitive drug taking. If that's not considered a sport, then "Major League."
Dorsey: A lot of people know of Charlie and "Major League." But he also was in "Eight Men Out," the movie about the Black Sox scandal. #Winning? More like #LosingOnPurpose! (You're welcome, Norm Macdonald.)
Caple: No question: The time he bought out an entire outfield section in Anaheim to guarantee himself a home run ball. Alas, none were hit that game. Either that, or a photo gallery of slump-busters he hired from Heidi Fleiss.
5. Whose lockout is shaping up to be the most awesome? The NFL's or the NBA's?
Dorsey: NBA's. There's nothing awesome about the NFL until Brett Favre starts talking about coming back. Where ... is ... he?
Hill: If, by awesome, you mean a bunch of NBA players being forced to make hardcore financial decisions between wives, side pieces and girlfriends, then the NBA wins.
Thomas: The NFL lockout is cute. You know -- players running their own minicamps of sorts; Ocho doing lame Ocho things. But the NBA lockout is going to produce, uh, "stories." They'll have a lot more time on their hands and they're richer than the NFL's rich. When delirium and panic set in, who knows what'll happen. At the very least, I'm sure we'll get some some rap mixtapes. I'm pulling for Birdman Andersen and DJ Mbenga on that front. There's sure to be at least a few Vegas/Miami/Atlanta parties that eclipse regular old hedonism. They won't include Criss Angel shows. And Metta World Peace will be locked out too, right? We can always count on Peace.
Caple: I hope it's the NBA. I can't take a Keanu Reeves sequel to "The Replacements.''
Gallo: The Joffrey Ballet's dancer lockout, of course. Or did you not mention that one because it's too obvious?