February 4, 2008

Mardi Gras (B)Log 2/4: Champion Gear

“He’s wasted!”

Yep, Hulk Hogan is wasted, alright. He sits down on his throne and crosses his legs.

And a dynasty ends an hour later, and the brother from the Wonder Years is on the bow of the rolling ship, and a burned up Miata sits outside our house to start the entire thing off (we'll get to that another time). On the whole, the weather is very, very fine.


“Hulkamania is running wild!” I howl, as the saint of that epidemic coast by, his head framed by a canopy of branches and powerlines. Every third guy in the crowd notes how big he still is, and every 4th guy notes how drunk he looks.

Really, Hulk Hogan is f’d the f up.

His old theme song plays from one tent on the neutral ground. "I am a real American/fight for the right of every man." I'm amped, I haven't heard that song in forever. A guy inside the tent calls out over a microphone some good wishes to the champ, noting that the Hulkster looks a bit infirm. Luckily that throne's there so he can lean back and try not to hurl on all the little Hulkamaniacs, who've been saying their prayers, eating their vitamins. Hulk could use some prayer and vitamin right now. He needs assistance to climb down off the perch and make his way to the float's port-a-john, and we get a close look at the Ultimate Warrior's nemesis. This worries the crowd a bit. There’s a vacancy to his smile that speaks of stupor and I keep saying, “You know, he’s got a long way to go.” Because right now, we’re at Washington Avenue, not even halfway into this route. So this year’s Bacchus, the multi-champion, has not paced himself at all.

“Wayne” from the Wonder Years is in great shape, though. Almost too good.

We walk to our friend’s place on St. Mary’s and watch the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, one of the greatest endings I’ve ever seen. We could rhapsodize on the drama and tension, but let’s say this.

PLAXICO BURRESS is a prophet. Of all the many soothsayers, Plax alone stepped to the toes of the Goliath and spit on the ground. Then he made that sloppy mouthed Eli a champion. Sports fans exulted in the caw of this veloci-raptor, who ended the torture inflicted on so many of us this season.

Why torture?

Because there’s something very “off,” for lack of a better word, about the Patriots. The overly sinister, almost sociopathic quality of Belichik, and the uber-perfection of Tom Brady, and the confirmed knowledge that they might’ve could’ve sorta did cheat, combined with a fanbase composed of the newest, loudest guests at the NFL dinner table—this makes people dislike a team. People more fluent than me are going to compare this dynasty to Barry Bonds. You might not agree, but that team and its fans get to live with it. I have friends among them, and I don’t envy them. YOU JUST GO AND LAY YOUR HANDS ON A PITTSBURGH STEELERS FAN.

Up and down St. Charles, TV’s glow with the game as the parade rolls by, the screams of the crowds and the focus of the football fans and the darkness so fittingly intense.