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Tucson Weekly Why, Oh Why?

Questions And Answers Too Trivial For The Big Publications

By Tom Danehy

July 21, 1997:  HOW IN THE WORLD ARE THE San Francisco Giants in first place? I know I always say I'm not a baseball fan, but I do follow the fortunes of the Dodgers and (if I'm incredibly bored) the Angels. I sometimes think I hear the voice of Vin Scully even when the radio isn't on.

And if you're a Dodger fan you must, by definition, hate the Giants. This makes the current standings, at press time, all the more frustrating.

If you haven't noticed, the Dodgers only recently crawled above the .500 mark for the season, despite having one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. Ramon Martinez and Ismael Valdes are both on the disabled list, but L.A. still has great pitching. Their defense is solid and the hitting has started to come around.

The Giants, meanwhile, are eighth in the league in batting, eighth in defense, and 12th in pitching. They've been outscored by 40 runs in their first 80 games and yet they're 15 games over .500.

It's shaping up to be a nightmare season.

WHEN IS DENNIS RODMAN GOING to go away? It's not enough that we had to suffer through the NBA playoffs with the clod constantly in the news. Now he's become a pro wrestler. We're being punished for something, but I don't know what it is.

WHY ARE PEOPLE DEFENDING Mike Tyson? He committed an act which would have landed his sorry butt back in the clink had he done it anywhere other than in the boxing ring. And his "punishment" is that he has to sit around for a year spending some or all of the $27 million he got for embarrassing himself and his sport.

And yet there are people in the papers and on the airwaves who are blasting his punishment as being way too harsh. Mike Gabrielson on KTUC (I really like his show, but I've got to stop listening to him; he's driving me batty) says he can't understand why they're punishing Tyson at all.

If you're a fan of boxing, you've got to be thrilled with the suspension. First, it shows that the sport isn't totally devoid of integrity. It opens up the heavyweight division to more interesting possibilities. And most importantly, it severely weakens the grip Don King has on boxing. With Tyson out, all King has left are an aging Julio Cesar Chavez (a one-time brilliant fighter who apparently has stayed waaaaay too long at the party) and a woman (whose presence at the party is mildly interesting, in a sideshow kinda way, at most).

Don't cry for Tyson. He's received many more breaks than he deserves...unfortunately, none of them in the right places.

WHO DECIDED TO USE JOAN Allen as John Travolta's wife in Face/Off? I've got to tread lightly here, lest I be misunderstood and deluged with letters from feminists decrying the double standard in life and cinema.

Aw, the hell with it. Joan Allen looks like Travolta's mother, not his wife. No, even worse, she looks like Pat Nixon.

This has to be the worst casting in a major movie since Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. (The issue would have been forever rendered moot had producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer gone with their original choice of Sylvester Stallone as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop.)

It was really distracting watching her work and trying to convince myself that these two people would really be married to each other. She had no presence, and they had no chemistry. Plus, we're supposed to believe that Nicholas Cage had the warm trembling thighs for her, too. Jump back.

And it wasn't just her age. As a matter of fact, I have no idea how old she is.

Lots of 40-something woman light up the screen: Rene Russo, Kathleen Turner, and Susan Sarandon, to name a few. Anne Archer, who plays opposite Harrison Ford in those Tom Clancy movies, would've been perfect.

But Allen was just plain awful. It was a major distraction in an otherwise spectacular movie.

WHY IS ALBERT BELLE ALLOWED to walk around among the rest of us, let alone paid exorbitant amounts of money to play (and not play) baseball? Here's a guy who's repugnant, anti-social, vulgar and violent, and he's given a pass because he can hit a baseball. Who can't hit a baseball? Okay, maybe George Will.

Belle, who left Cleveland to sign for more money in Chicago, returned to Cleveland for the All-Star Game last week. But he refused to play, didn't take part in the pre-game festivities (including the Home Run Derby, in which he would've been one of the favorites), and even refused to be in the team photo.

Why, then, did he go? To collect the $50,000, which his bloated contract calls for should he be named to the All-Star team. Several other players on other teams, equally deserving of All-Star consideration but left off the team due to roster limits, got screwed out of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because Belle wanted to make $50 grand for sitting on his fat ass and giving baseball fans the finger.

WHY ISN'T THE UA GETTING ANY respect in the pre-season football mags? I keep buying these things and they keep saying the Cats are going to finish seventh in the Pac-10. Why are they saying these awful things? Sure, the Cats slumped to a 5-6 mark last year and got clobbered by hated ASU. But Arizona has Keith Smith back for his sophomore year, the defense won't be horrible and it's sort of a down year for the conference.

I'm going to keep buying those magazines until I find one that says something nice about Arizona.

I don't want to have another season like last year. It would have been absolutely horrible if not for the fact that I got to watch all those Sun Devil fans get suicidal after their team choked in the Rose Bowl.

Gone are the days when I predicted a Rose Bowl trip for Arizona. But I'm still hoping for a winning season.

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