Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Solution to, and Cause of, Life’s Problems

Today, LenDale White spoke about coming into camp at 228 pounds, nearly 40 pounds below where he played last season (note: video link).  As Jim Wyatt wrote in the Tennessean, White attributed his weight loss not to doing a better job of watching his diet, but instead to giving up Patron tequila.  By doing so, he reminded me of perhaps my favorite sports interview of all time.  No, not Todd Stottlemyre’s fantabulous rant.  Instead…

The time was May of 1999.  It was junior year of college, and I was spending the year in Japan, where I spent the occasional afternoon watching sumo.  The Hawaiian Musashimaru (birth name Fiamalu Penitani) came into the Summer Basho off a win on Day 15 of the Spring Basho (held in May) with a chance to make yokozuna with another tournament win.  Maru-chan triumphed over Akebono (birth name Chad Rowan) on Day 15 to avoid a playoff and claim his second straight yusho with a 13-2 mark and a virtually certain promotion to yokozuna.  As is customary for yusho winners, Maru gave an interview to NHK.  Normally, interviews with rikishi are dull enough the advice in Bull Durham makes it seem edgy, with credit given to extra practice, hard work, and diligence in training.  So, the interviewer for NHK asked Maru how he was able to perform at such a high level.  Maru replied that after the January tournament he had given up beer.  The interviewer pressed him, asking him if he had trained particularly hard or focused more on practice.  Maru again eschewed the diplomatic answer, stating simply, “No, I just stopped drinking beer.”  Well, it was enough for him, and hopefully it’ll be enough for White as well.

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