by Ben Collins

Set-up: You’re a scout for, say, a major ACC school and you get a phone call from a friend that there is a 7’7″, 360 lb. senior from the North Side of Chicago. He’s hurt, but you hear that the injury is non-career threatening. He isn’t completely immobile and, surprise, he actually likes to play basketball!

Question: What kind of moron isn’t wooing this kid like Jamie Lynn on prom night?

This is based on UNC-Asheville center and admittedly perpetually hurt junior Kenny George, who is — you’re not gonna believe this — leading the nation in blocked shots! I know, get right out of town!

You’ve probably seen him before. ESPN showed him at the back end of most SportsCenters before he got hurt early last year, then he disappeared, only to return and dominate. And he’s on a team in the Big South. How does this happen?
Anyways, he was profiled in the New York Times today about the generic stuff he probably gets asked every day at the mall. The interview probably went like this:

Interviewer: So, dude, like, how big are those tootsies?

George: Tootsies? You mean my feet?

Interviewer: Yeah. I just wanted to, you know, mix it up a little. I figured you’d get that a lot.

George:(Shoots self in head.)

Either way, the article lets you into his life a little, and visibly shows that he’s unable to lead any form of normal life that you could imagine. Other than the ducking-under-all-doors and never-living-in-a-one-bedroom-Colonial stuff, there’s also the tremendously sad stuff: that there are twelve pairs of shoes in the world that fit him correctly. That he can’t drive any car or fit in any airplane.

Saddest yet: you can tell this kid just wants to draw cartoons for a living but no one will ever take him seriously because, hey, have you ever tried playing basketball before? This is several thousand different levels of suck.

Which leads us to…

Subquestion: What’s your asking price to give up on all of your dreams?

C’mon, you know you have one. Let’s say George is a second-round draft pick in 2009 and hangs around the league for five years as a project, culling about $5 million in the process. Is $5 million enough to make up for a lifetime of public scrutiny and a loss of five years as a cartoonist/candygram deliverer/roofer-to-the-stars/whatever the hell you want to be? The bidding starts at $400,000, canIgetabidderforyoursoul?

Set-up: Portland resident Tim Bush’s Make-A-Wish a couple of years ago was to meet the Trailblazers that he’s been cheering for since childhood. Turns out these were the Jailblazer-era Blazers and most, especially Rasheed Wallace, treated Tim like filth. Local Portland columnist hears this, sticks it in the back-end of a well-written column, and the team secretly introduces him to the new, fan-friendly Blazers without even informing the media.
Question: Seriously, how big of a d-bag is Rasheed Wallace?

Yeah, I know, this isn’t really a hypothetical. And sure, the question should be, “how long do you stick with a franchise before abandoning it entirely?” or even, “How ’bout them Blazers? What a nice organization, huh?” But, really, can’t anyone put their tough guy image aside for five seconds to sign a damn basketball? Sheesh.
All this really happened, as described by John Canzano in an otherwise-positive piece. Lang showed us to the wonders of the Canzanoian feature last year, when the Blazers were the definition of strife and struggle, but it’s the sign of a good columnist when he can write just as well when the team turns it around.

Wait, what a buzzkill this thing has become. Speaking of signs of the apocalypse…

Question: Is there a psychological reason that allows us to eat, and be accepting towards, some foods on the same plate, but not in one bowl smothered in cheese?

This link was a redirect from Ryan’s point toward Jimmy Carter’s pseudo manifesto yesterday. That post solved all of our country’s problems in 1/3 the amount of words that it takes Patton Oswalt to describe the gastronomical wonder that is the KFC “Famous Bowl.”

This bowl, apparently hailing from the glitzier parts of Los Angeles, contains chicken, mashed potatoes, cheese, gravy, cheese, what looks to be pigeon, maybe some squash, some NoDoze, the directions to an audition on the Biggest Loser, and cheese.

Now, most of these things (especially the NoDoze) are kind friends on a good ol’ American dinner plate to begin with. They snuggle together and end up in the same place in the long run. So, it only seems logical to put them in one bowl and have KFC cut down on the plastic to better fit your consumer dollar, right?

No. Us Americans are just too good for everything now, right? They’re just trying to consolidate — that’s right, consolidate — and you come back and make jokes about how this disgusting slab of everything you can grow and breed on a farm looks like death homogenized.

Of all these questions above, I need this one answered the most. Help me help you.