At its best, boxing is a balletic display of mental and athletic prowess. But who needs that when there's a bunch of has-been trash-talkers whose royalties ran out in '96 who are willing to get the crapola beaten out of themselves on national television? As evidence of this truth, we turn to Miramar bike-shop owner and former pompadoured pop-rapper Vanilla Ice. 'Nilla just couldn't quite slide across the ring fast enough to avoid the right hooks, roundhouses, and jabs of Todd Bridges, who played Willis on '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. The celebrity match -- also featuring putative Clinton harassee Paula Jones versus Olympic redneck Tonya Harding and Partridge Family vet Danny Bonaduce versus Greg from The Brady Bunch -- was sure entertaining. But we have a suggestion for next time: Vanilla's old-school Aqua-Netted 'do against Paula Jones's fake, uh, fingernails.
At its best, boxing is a balletic display of mental and athletic prowess. But who needs that when there's a bunch of has-been trash-talkers whose royalties ran out in '96 who are willing to get the crapola beaten out of themselves on national television? As evidence of this truth, we turn to Miramar bike-shop owner and former pompadoured pop-rapper Vanilla Ice. 'Nilla just couldn't quite slide across the ring fast enough to avoid the right hooks, roundhouses, and jabs of Todd Bridges, who played Willis on '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. The celebrity match -- also featuring putative Clinton harassee Paula Jones versus Olympic redneck Tonya Harding and Partridge Family vet Danny Bonaduce versus Greg from The Brady Bunch -- was sure entertaining. But we have a suggestion for next time: Vanilla's old-school Aqua-Netted 'do against Paula Jones's fake, uh, fingernails.
Manning the afternoon drive-time shift at WQAM-AM is no soft gig. It's easy to get lost in the afterglow of popular morning and midday hosts Neil "God" Rogers and Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich. And because he's "only" a sports-talk host, Hank "The Hammer" Goldberg doesn't get the style points he deserves. Hammer knows sports, all right, and with no illusions -- he knows that the bottom line often counts for more than the box score. But it's his character that makes the show special, the taste and attitude he dishes out in asides and digressions. Nightclub acts, bookmakers, and Joe's Stone Crab -- Hammer's idea of class is old-school Miami Beach. He's no square, you understand; he just loves the tried-and-true. And macho as the sports world can be, Hammer's got no patience with male chauvinism or gay-bashing, readily smacking down callers who show the slightest hint of either. Want an object lesson in "not suffering fools gladly?" Listen to the smolder in Hammer's tones as he feeds out the rope on a listener's thoughtless rant, then blisters him with "You're an idiot!" and coolly explains -- with flawless logic -- just why. A New Jersey boy -- and you can hear it in his voice -- Hank must have been one of those smart Jewish kids more drawn to the street than the shul. One word of Yiddish he probably knows, though, is heimisch. It means a guy you can trust.
Manning the afternoon drive-time shift at WQAM-AM is no soft gig. It's easy to get lost in the afterglow of popular morning and midday hosts Neil "God" Rogers and Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich. And because he's "only" a sports-talk host, Hank "The Hammer" Goldberg doesn't get the style points he deserves. Hammer knows sports, all right, and with no illusions -- he knows that the bottom line often counts for more than the box score. But it's his character that makes the show special, the taste and attitude he dishes out in asides and digressions. Nightclub acts, bookmakers, and Joe's Stone Crab -- Hammer's idea of class is old-school Miami Beach. He's no square, you understand; he just loves the tried-and-true. And macho as the sports world can be, Hammer's got no patience with male chauvinism or gay-bashing, readily smacking down callers who show the slightest hint of either. Want an object lesson in "not suffering fools gladly?" Listen to the smolder in Hammer's tones as he feeds out the rope on a listener's thoughtless rant, then blisters him with "You're an idiot!" and coolly explains -- with flawless logic -- just why. A New Jersey boy -- and you can hear it in his voice -- Hank must have been one of those smart Jewish kids more drawn to the street than the shul. One word of Yiddish he probably knows, though, is heimisch. It means a guy you can trust.
You have to love Lori Parrish, if not for her unabashed Flo-at-the-diner looks, then for her brash, shameless attitude. She's a woman comfortable with who she is. Parrish is a good ol' girl who knows what she wants: power -- more power than most of us could ever possibly imagine. She wants us all to be Parrishioners. In her most recent Machiavellian move, Her Hairness helped engineer the defeat of fellow commissioner Kristin Jacobs so she could become chairwoman of the commission. And she's used that seat in a way never before seen. Parrish immediately hired two flacks to spread the word on how great the county is; one of the first press releases included pictures of you-know-who. You might think it's all a self-serving, disgraceful joke. But we know Parrish is preening and posing for a higher cause: She wants to become Broward's next property appraiser. It's quite a diabolical strategy: Our souls first, then our homes.
You have to love Lori Parrish, if not for her unabashed Flo-at-the-diner looks, then for her brash, shameless attitude. She's a woman comfortable with who she is. Parrish is a good ol' girl who knows what she wants: power -- more power than most of us could ever possibly imagine. She wants us all to be Parrishioners. In her most recent Machiavellian move, Her Hairness helped engineer the defeat of fellow commissioner Kristin Jacobs so she could become chairwoman of the commission. And she's used that seat in a way never before seen. Parrish immediately hired two flacks to spread the word on how great the county is; one of the first press releases included pictures of you-know-who. You might think it's all a self-serving, disgraceful joke. But we know Parrish is preening and posing for a higher cause: She wants to become Broward's next property appraiser. It's quite a diabolical strategy: Our souls first, then our homes.
It was just another night on Eddie K.'s 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. shift on WQAM-AM (560). Because it was the tail end of March, South Florida's king of late-night sports talk had plenty of raw material. Blah-blah-blah Heat, blah-blah-blah Marlins, and, of course, blah-blah-blah gambling. Then, right before the break, Kaplan got an "ACLU call." A man wondered what it must be like for Kaplan to "work with niggers, kikes, and spics all the time." (Or something to that effect. We were in our car at the time and couldn't reach for a pen without endangering our fellow motorists.) Now, such a call would not normally go out over the air: The host would press the "dump" button, and thanks to the magic of the seven-second delay, the world would never hear those slurs. But Kaplan let this shit hit his fans -- and then spun it into gold. He segued from that call into one of his patented commercials for the Booby Trap in Pompano Beach. Now, some folks might find strip clubs as offensive to women as the caller's epithets were to the respective ethnicities. Not our Ed: He proceeded to wax poetic on how, if one is infected with racism, all one must do is spend one night among "the beautiful, young, naked women of the Booby Trap -- women of all colors and descriptions," and one will be cured. About how, when overcome by such transcendent concupiscence, all of one's prejudices melt away, as if by magic. It was truly moving. In fact, the next time the United Nations sponsors one of those conferences on racism, we nominate Ed Kaplan to be keynote speaker.
It was just another night on Eddie K.'s 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. shift on WQAM-AM (560). Because it was the tail end of March, South Florida's king of late-night sports talk had plenty of raw material. Blah-blah-blah Heat, blah-blah-blah Marlins, and, of course, blah-blah-blah gambling. Then, right before the break, Kaplan got an "ACLU call." A man wondered what it must be like for Kaplan to "work with niggers, kikes, and spics all the time." (Or something to that effect. We were in our car at the time and couldn't reach for a pen without endangering our fellow motorists.) Now, such a call would not normally go out over the air: The host would press the "dump" button, and thanks to the magic of the seven-second delay, the world would never hear those slurs. But Kaplan let this shit hit his fans -- and then spun it into gold. He segued from that call into one of his patented commercials for the Booby Trap in Pompano Beach. Now, some folks might find strip clubs as offensive to women as the caller's epithets were to the respective ethnicities. Not our Ed: He proceeded to wax poetic on how, if one is infected with racism, all one must do is spend one night among "the beautiful, young, naked women of the Booby Trap -- women of all colors and descriptions," and one will be cured. About how, when overcome by such transcendent concupiscence, all of one's prejudices melt away, as if by magic. It was truly moving. In fact, the next time the United Nations sponsors one of those conferences on racism, we nominate Ed Kaplan to be keynote speaker.
Alternately intriguing and annoying, this weekly hour of winetastings, wine talk, industry insider gossip, and general gourmet chit-chat would be unbearably precious if hosts Mark Spivak and John List weren't so goddamn knowledgeable. The oenologically challenged may still come away with the sneaking suspicion that all the talk about noses, backbones, tannins, and terroirs is nothing more than the emperor's new clothes for alcoholics, but the hosts bring such panache to the patter that the listener has no choice but to be swept away, even when the air gets thick with self-congratulation. "Until next week," the weekly signoff goes, "drink no white zinfandel." Like we haven't already learned that much. A show has to be pretty damn entertaining to draw you back after that. This one is.
Alternately intriguing and annoying, this weekly hour of winetastings, wine talk, industry insider gossip, and general gourmet chit-chat would be unbearably precious if hosts Mark Spivak and John List weren't so goddamn knowledgeable. The oenologically challenged may still come away with the sneaking suspicion that all the talk about noses, backbones, tannins, and terroirs is nothing more than the emperor's new clothes for alcoholics, but the hosts bring such panache to the patter that the listener has no choice but to be swept away, even when the air gets thick with self-congratulation. "Until next week," the weekly signoff goes, "drink no white zinfandel." Like we haven't already learned that much. A show has to be pretty damn entertaining to draw you back after that. This one is.

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