Random Howlings
HOWLINGS By Coyote Duran (October 24, 2005)  
Crazy squirrels in the ‘hood and four-round ‘World’ titles? CSI tearjerkers and Dr. John Leguizamo? How ‘bout a Final Destination-style ending to a World Championship reign? Well, water the carpet and throw the cat out the window because it’s time for another mentally draining edition of Random Howlings!

This one's for the fight writers stuck at home who painfully have to shell out the clams to see a pay-per-view when they can't make the trip due to obligations at home, distance (not to mention that travel expense comes out of most of our pockets), etc. How great would a cable or satellite bill reimbursement from the promotional outfit responsible for the PPV event be (especially if it sucked)? Ooh, maybe a petition would work...

The ongoing war between the squirrels in my neighborhood and my dog, Nysa, has reached a fever pitch. It's now gotten to the point where the squirrels have covered our backyard with hundreds of nuts as a result of them being launched at the hapless pooch. I'm really starting to wonder if that's why the squirrels are looking so thin lately. I guess that would be like me scoring a bag full of Portillo's Italian beef sandwiches only to chuck them at Marian Muhammad.

Fair play to our neighbors to the north for scoring such an interesting junior welterweight tilt in the recent Emanuel Augustus vs. Herman Ngoudjo fight. It's only right that Canadian fans would get to enjoy the fight but can we in the States get a little love, even if it's like a tape delay a week or two later? Ditto with the Tomasz Adamek-Thomas Ulrich light heavyweight title fight in Germany. I heard that sucker was a real corker.

Devastating tsunamis in Asia. The Gulf Coast hammered by hurricanes. Flooding on the East coast. Avian flu. Melting ice caps. Polio in the Amish community. Paris Hilton’s success. With all these foreboding factors in a global equation, it isn't hard to see that the most endangered species on Earth is Earth and now she's holding the gun to her own pretty head. See, with as much raping of the world's resources and spilled blood left from war, she's hurt, frustrated and pissed all to hell. If I could read her mind, I'm sure she'd be thinking, "If you're all going to kill me, I'm taking you all with me." How's that for a little sunshine, kids?

At stake in the recent Butterbean-George Linberger four-round scrap? Something called the ‘NABC Super Heavyweight title’. Another fabulous sanctioning body idea. On a related note, it turns out that the IBA (mentioned amongst my last Howlings) dished out a ‘Super Heavyweight title’ to the 'Bean a few years ago as well. Another four-round belt… >Sigh<. So much for upper-tier validity, huh?

Speaking of butter, beans and what-not, when are we gonna see the showdown everyone wants to see between The Food Network's premier chow slingers, Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay? How long will these two pugilists of the platter continue to dance around each other before finally meeting in Kitchen Stadium, setting up the ultimate clash of the hash? What appetizer will be the equalizer? Which chef's got the better left? It's gotta happen, baby! And while I've got the Bad Boy of the Barbeque on the brain, I'd just like to say that Iron Chef America needs a better judging system. In Flay's recent ICA title defense against Adam Perry Lang, with a secret ingredient of chicken, Flay made Perry Lang look like a rank amateur. While Flay danced like Ali around the kitchen, Perry Lang and his sous chef had little effective galley generalship. When it was all said and done, Flay had beaten Perry Lang by a mere point. Too much the discriminating palate by one of the judges’ panel told the tale. Iron Chef America needs a ten-point must system. As long as they've never scored a Jesse Brinkley-Anthony Bonsante rematch...

...That way they can't screw up a victory that Ronnie Milsap could even vouch for. With as busy and controlling as Bonsante was against Brinkley, I can't blame boxing's most famous blue-collar, single dad for storming out in disgust when the gift decision was handed over to Brinkley. Meanwhile, poor Teddy Atlas is having a coronary while Mark Burnett is smiling and counting his money.

The Chicago White Sox made the World Series for the first time in 46 years and are now battling the Houston Astros in a clash that's tense and exciting for both cities. Although I'm not a baseball fan and never willing to jump on a bandwagon out of fashion, thus diluting the genuine fandom, I couldn't be happier for the South Siders. Win or lose, you guys deserve every bit of success you've gained (that goes for the 'Stros as well!) and I'll be cheering you on. However, if there's anything truly bittersweet about the Sox's entry into the Series, it's that they've come this far and Comiskey Park isn't Comiskey Park any longer. It's kind of a Chicago love story gone wrong. As for those bitter Cubs fans (not all of them are, mind you) that would chain themselves to an anchor and leap into Lake Michigan then cheer on The White Sox to victory? Quit whining and unite for Chicago's sake.

Can someone please fill me in on what's so upsetting about Dougie Fischer's pound-for-pound lists? Is one man's opinion really worth having a stroke over, cyber-homeys? Remember, P4P lists are ‘mythical’ and opinion-based. As for the wild pack of Bonaduces who often make Dougie's Monday Mailbags at Maxboxing.com, such seething hatefests, seek anger management, you big babies.

Speaking of Danny Bonaduce, ‘star’ of basic cable trainwreck Breaking Bonaduce, I haven't quite figured out what to make of this whole ‘opening up for the camera’ thing he's doing. I mean, unless you're some sort of attention whore, would you air out your dirty laundry on national television, shaming your family (even if your spouse is an executive producer) with your alcoholism, blatant steroid use, perennially short fuse and all-out selfish behavior? Maybe Bonaduce's just one big, childish pain-in-the-ass. And that's a different kind of 'roid altogether.

Another Contender observation to note: I can only assume that announcer Jeff Connor is a pretty nice cat having never met him. So at the risk of sounding nit-picky, Jeff, baby, dial it down a bit. You're trying way too hard to be signature. Just relax and breathe and let it flow, brotha'. You'll find yourself in no time.

I'm a CSI nerd. I admit it. Even more so after the recent episode that focused on George Eads' character, Nick Stokes. Stokes, who had been kidnapped and buried alive in last season's finale, has been suffering from various brief disturbances and epiphanies but found strength in his own terror while trying to track down the lone survivor of a brutally murdered family. Stokes debated with Sara Sidle (portrayed by Jorja Fox) that the girl would be found simply because he was. Long story short, Stokes found the girl (barely alive with a slit throat) thanks to a Hansel and Gretel-style trail of bubble gum she left behind in areas specific to her captors' whereabouts. The emotional clincher? When Stokes visited the girl in the last minutes of the episode and she presented him with a card, done up in crayon, with the message, "Thank you for finding me." Stokes teared up as he replied, "You're welcome." So did I. And to think George Eads was a hair's breadth from being fired by CBS prior to the beginning of the previous season.

As was expected, my recent Doghouse Boxing interview with British promoter Frank Warren was met with mixed opinions, rightfully so, and I appreciated that. I gather many fans questioned the genuine nature of Warren's fatherly comments toward World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton but no one can really know the intentions or machinations that rest in a man's heart. That being said, I was somewhat impressed when I read the news that Warren would drop his lawsuit that if successful, would've hindered Hatton from defending his championship against WBA titlist Carlos Maussa. Now, this doesn't mean the dispute is entirely resolved. Perhaps it's indicative of a ‘father’ who really just doesn't want to hold his ‘son’ back. Maybe I'm just full of sh*t.

Speaking of Thursday prime-time fare, if you've never seen an episode of NBC warhorse ER, now would be a perfect time to jump on. Two words sum up why: John Leguizamo. For those familiar with his one-man shows, Freak and Sexaholix, as well as his passionate roles in films like Undefeated and Empire, you'll know Leguizamo's capable of amazing role-playing seasoned with intelligent, rapid-fire repartee. His new character, Dr. Victor Clemente, is all that and more while portraying a strong-willed Latino figure of authority, something terribly rare on network television. If you didn't see last week's episode, check out (or DVR) this week's. You'll dig it, man.

While I've got recent discussions and contemplations on the dome, when I think of my recent discussion with former World Welterweight Champion Vernon Forrest, I can't help but wonder: Is the end of Zab Judah's Undisputed Welterweight title reign on the horizon?...Final Destination-style? No, I'm not saying that ‘Super’ is gonna meet his end courtesy of flying strands of barbed wire or a speeding bus. But consider his place in the ‘domino-effect’ linked chain of winners and losers over the past four years. Talking to Forrest made me reflect on him defeating former pound-for-pound king Shane Mosley and what amusingly unfolded was (and you all know this) that Forrest wound up losing to Ricardo Mayorga who lost to Cory Spinks who lost to... Zab Judah. Now to my knowledge, there's no incremental pattern of months involved to aid in the odds or probability process, so if there are any statisticians, conspiracy theorists or Pedro Fernandez in the cyber-house (just funnin' with ya, Pete!), please shoot me an e-mail and help me out with this one.

Is there a more consistently witty opinion columnist alive than Chicago's own Richard Roeper? Not only is this cat quick with the comeback, he knows his stuff without making you feel like a dope and does amazing impressions (his John Travolta is hilarious!). This may be a meaningless Howling for those of you who live outside the Chicagoland area, but if you have access to the Sun-Times daily fish wrap or you've seen his non-movie critic critiques on Ebert & Roeper, then you can appreciate his intelligent brand of honesty. In short, as far as opinion columnists go (being that I'm new at the opinion column game), this writer's not even a skid in Roeper's Fruit Of The Looms. How's that for imagery?

With all the scuttlebutt of either a Roy Jones or an Antonio Tarver possibly portraying the antagonist in the upcoming sixth flick in the Rocky franchise, I'm glad to have read the news (courtesy of Garry Thompson of Philly News.com) that Tarver's apparently getting the nod. See, if non-fight fans were the only movie buffs going to see this reel, then Jones would be a great pick. But to the knowledgeable of Our Sport, seeing a real fighter who lost his last three outings, two by knockout, two by Tarver, as Rocky Balboa's nemesis hasn't the ring of suspense that an entertaining talker like Tarver can provide. Consider this: Back when Rocky 5 was being cast, Evander Holyfield turned down the role that would eventually go to Tommy Morrison because Holyfield didn't want to lose on film, let alone in real life. So if a real fighter didn't want to portray a fighter who loses in a work of fiction, why would a fighter who lost his last three fights in real life be a good fit as a threat to celluloid's greatest World Heavyweight Champion? Plus, can you imagine a sneering Antonio Tarver asking ‘The Rock’ if he "had any excuses tonight"? With that in mind, wouldn't you love to see Balboa lose to inject a little reality in the movie? On a related note, if we're gonna see Mr. T supposedly reprise his role as Clubber Lang, we'd better damn well see Tommy Morrison return as an older, yet wiser, retired Tommy Gunn. It's only right.

Romance is one thing (I like romance! Don't get me wrong!). Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are another. Word has it that the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Wackjob will be moving into a new nuthouse, er, I mean, home in Toledo, Ohio in order to be closer to Holmes' family, further rubbing their noses in the budding tragedy that is ‘TomKat’. Hell, ‘Ram-Rod’ in Super Troopers was a more genuine couple than this poor excuse for domestic bliss. Come to think of it, Goldstein and Rosenberg, the two Jewish stoners who salivated over Katie's bare rack in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle made a more genuine couple.

Big, BIG ups to Maxboxing.com's discussion forum The Maxboards for conducting not one, but two stages of auctions benefiting the family of the fallen Leavander Johnson. Pros and forum posters alike donated scores of incredible autographed swag and boxing items and collectibles and bids went through the roof. On a personal note, I donated a photorealistic portrait of a winning bidder’s choice, done up by my own two paws, for auction. The winning bidder, a wonderfully generous poster known as Bigtrouble77, won the bid by pledging over $300. The subject the winning bidder chose? Leavander Johnson himself. Maxboxing and The Maxboards, you’re in my Howl of Fame.

Big, BIG ups Part 2: Electric Boogaloo goes to fashion-meister Carson Kressley of The Fab Five of the Bravo network’s Queer Eye for The Straight Guy. Recently, the flamboyant, yet comical Kressley was sharing supper at a West Hollywood eatery, The Abbey, with a friend and spied a homeless man inside. Instead of passing off the man as a faceless figurehead of society or calling one of the staff to give the unfortunate man the boot, the kind-hearted Carson invited him in for supper, subsequently treating him to a lavish dessert and giving the fellow $100. Carson, I’ve always thought you and your crew were class unmatched in front of a camera but you’re just as kick-ass away from it. Carson Kressley, you’re also in my Howl of Fame as well.

Coyote Duran isn’t an ER doctor. He just plays one in his tool shed.
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