Tailpipe

Nobody Home

Well, actually, Brooks may have said a bit more. According to court documents, Brooks told Trejo he was going to return with a bomb. A couple of hours later, the Florida Highway Patrol nabbed Brooks at his Boynton Beach home on charges of a false report of a bomb, disorderly conduct, and corruption by threat against a public servant. Brooks and his mother, Joan Catroppa, who was home at the time, claim an arresting party of more than 35 officers from local and federal agencies brought along assault rifles, K-9 units, a SWAT truck, and other military-style equipment.

Chees. Gone are the days, Tailpipe supposes, when folks could register a mild complaint about a public servant. "I was outside washing the car," Brooks says. "This older guy walks up to me with a gun. I thought it was a robbery. Then I saw the cops, so I said, 'Don't hurt me -- I've got a back injury. I'm going to lie down right here. '" The arresting officer nevertheless knee-dropped him before handcuffing him and reinjuring his back.

After 20 hours in jail, Brooks was released without bail. A few days later, he went to another DMV office and got his license without incident.

From the Associated Press (Wednesday, August 11, 2004): “The Miami Herald pulled its daily features magazine from Tuesday’s editions because it contained what could have been perceived as racially insensitive content, the newspaper said. The concern was over a headline that was juxtaposed over an illustration for a story on Olympic athletes and doping. The headline ‘How They Will Cheat’ was placed over an illustration of a bulked-up athlete with a dark complexion. ‘The magazine Tropical Life had an editorial production issue that could have been perceived by some readers as being racially insensitive,’ said Tom Fiedler, the Herald’s executive editor.”
Tailpipe has obtained a copy of the spiked cover, published here as a public service.
Sam Eifling
From the Associated Press (Wednesday, August 11, 2004): “The Miami Herald pulled its daily features magazine from Tuesday’s editions because it contained what could have been perceived as racially insensitive content, the newspaper said. The concern was over a headline that was juxtaposed over an illustration for a story on Olympic athletes and doping. The headline ‘How They Will Cheat’ was placed over an illustration of a bulked-up athlete with a dark complexion. ‘The magazine Tropical Life had an editorial production issue that could have been perceived by some readers as being racially insensitive,’ said Tom Fiedler, the Herald’s executive editor.” Tailpipe has obtained a copy of the spiked cover, published here as a public service.

The bomb comment was actually a misunderstanding, Brooks claims. When he gave Trejo his proof of insurance, he said, "Here's the bomb you requested." The 43-year-old explains it this way: "It's just an expression young people use."

Tailpipe tried to reach Trejo for comment, but the DMV's phone line was chronically busy, and then when it did ring, it went straight to an answering machine. The 'Pipe considered standing in line at the DMV to reach Trejo, but honestly, the wait is almost enough to drive anyone to choking somebody.

Driven by Boredom

The other day, the Miami Dolphins invited the folks who run 14 fan websites to the team's first-ever web weekend. Tailpipe tagged along as 40 webmasters got a tour of the Davie training facility, met some of the coaching staff, and ate free barbecue ribs. On Saturday, they all got prime seats to the preseason game versus the Redskins. The guys tried to generate a little joy for the precedent-setting occasion, but considering the Dolphins' prospects this season, it was tough.

Dave Blake of phinfever.com, a short, hearty guy with a tan, got up and offered a little morale-building rah-rah for his long-suffering compadres. Pointing to members of the group Friday morning, Blake picked out the well-known webbies: "That's Bitchin' Dave right there, and that little guy, he's got the biggest message board there is."

The little guy in question was Andrew Tatum, a college student from Tampa who started finheaven.com eight years ago, when he was 12. Tatum acknowledged that the team was probably wooing the webmasters in hopes of keeping fans from fleeing. But Tatum said bad news for the team is actually good for his site. "We got like 1,000 new members on the day Ricky Williams quit," he says. "It was our biggest day ever."

Slouching next to the Dolphins' twin Super Bowl trophies in the lobby of the training facility, a clinically depressed-looking dude sheepishly held up a sign identifying his site. "Bored with losing," the sign read, as a Dolphins photographer snapped some photos. Nate "Igor" Smith, a 24-year-old college student from Richmond, Virginia, explained that his website -- drivenbyboredom.com/dolphins -- is a forum for miserable Dolphins fans.

Scott Stone, webmaster for the Dolphins' official site, insisted that the weekend wasn't about Ricky and expectations of a rocky season. The festivities were actually arranged before the bad news began, he said. "We just wanted to reach out to what's really our biggest fan base," Stone said. "The only contact we've had with fan sites before this was cease-and-desist letters for when they use our logos without permission."

But what do you do when you're faced with a barrage of bad news? Blake says he's trying to figure out how to rename his dog, which bears the unfortunate sobriquet Ricky Williams. Says Blake, "I'm going to start calling him Nicky and see if he notices."

-- As told to Edmund Newton

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