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A grand time to be a fan


By now you've surely gotten a snootful of that motorized bar stool that got pulled over in Ohio the other day with its pilot toting a 15-beer load. Well, in a cosmic confluence of events, it turns out that the Phoenix Coyotes have been running a promotion that's tailor-made for anyone who is inclined to hop on this Car of Tomorrow and head for their friendly local stadium or arena.

No, it's not rolling out the first Cuban-American goaltender in NHL history. All fans who buy a quart of vodka get a free ticket to a Coyotes game. The deal is particularly ingenious since you usually need a bag on to watch the Yotes -- Wayne Gretzky's gnarly crew is presently mud-wrasslin' with the LA Kings in the basement of the Pacific Division, on the way to their sixth straight early tee-time.

Not to be outdone, the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the independent American Association are planning an Octomom Night in honor of Nadya Suleman, who squeezed out eight urchins last January and has been making a national brand name for herself as a paragon of stability. The promotion will include a Diaper Derby and a stroller race. If the AirHogs score eight runs or more, every fan gets a ticket to another game. Actually, the Hogs ought to award each fan one of the Suleman tots. As with Nathan "Unpainted" Arizona's brood, there are plenty to go around.

This just in:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- The staff dietitian at a doctors group says a minor-league baseball team in Grand Rapids, Mich., should warn fans that a 4,800-calorie burger it plans to sell is bad for them.

Seems to this space that in lieu of a t-shirt, the West Michigan Whitecaps should be awarding a free quadruple bypass to anyone who actually manages to eat that there four-pound conglomeration of five beef patties, cheese, chili, salsa and corn chips.

Last week's observation that the degree of contact allowed in professional sports is now inversely proportional to the size of athletes' paychecks apparently inspired reader Mike Tracy of Baton Rouge, LA to avail himself of the handy Epistle Portal (below) and thoughtfully propose the following:

For the Brady rule, I suggest an inverse contact rule based on salary. The more a player makes, the less contact the player is allowed to have. What do you think?

In the words of those characters in the old Guinness commercial, "Brilliant!" And so Getting Loose wishes to be the first to urge Commissioner Roger Goodell to implement the following contact penalty system for the upcoming NFL season:

League minimum ($310,000 to $860,000): No penalty

$860k to $5 million (Jeff Feagles, Adrian Peterson,Aaron Rodgers, etc.): 10-yard penalty

$5 million to $10 million (Josh Brown,Chad Pennington, Tom Brady etc.): 15-yard penalty

$10 million to $20 million (Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Turner, Tony Romo etc.): 15-yard penalty plus five-game suspension

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So much as breathing on Ben Roethlisberger ($27,701,920) would result in life in prison or, if the hit is severe enough, the death penalty. Rates also apply to all contact with offensive linemen and defensive players.

This space also urges NHL and NBA owners to protect their investments with Mr. Tracy's penalty-per-paycheck plan. MLB can attach pitch limits to salary, and anyone who runs into an ultra-pricey superstar like Alex Rodriguez or hits him with a pitch will be dealt with under the codes of Islamic Law.

In one final note on the topic of bubblewrapping the modern athlete, this AP story on March 29 just feels like a sign of the times:

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter bruised a knuckle on his left pinkie during a collision at first base in the first inning of the New York Yankees' game against Atlanta on Saturday, but remained in the game.

He played three innings in the field, and the team said Jeter is fine.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi expects Jeter to play in today's game against Pittsburgh. No X-Rays are planned.

"He has a slight bruise on his knuckle," Girardi said after the Yankees' 6-4 win over the Braves. "I didn't take him out because he was hurt. I just planned not to play him too much after a night game (Friday)."

From time to time, one hears of Olympic sports in peril due to lack of interest. Well, this bloke just did more for the sport of pole-vaulting than a thousand Sergei Bubkas ever could. Kind of leads one to suspect that the ancient Olympic format of au naturel competition would be a pretty decent gate attraction, although those hairy, barrel-chested weightlifters best remain clad (and we're just talking about the women).

On the other hand, the recent Unemployed Olympics in New York City surely attracted its share of interest, and that was with everyone keeping their duds in place while they engaged in the phone toss and pin-the-blame-on-the-boss competitions. This space imagines that if the IOC opts to keep baseball in the mix, Gary Sheffield won't be idle for long.

This space does its level best to stay abreast of Cutler-edge developments in Colorado, and according to an old wildcatter we encountered on his way down from prospectin' up on Pike's Peak, the Broncos were so darned fed up with the disgruntled quarterback's ongoing snit, refusal to respond to phone calls and text messages, and apparent waffling that they were going to honor his demand to be traded.

"They're working out a deal with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League," said our source, who claims to have been in a local watering hole the other night where he overheard Broncos owner Pat Bowlen say, "Let the bastard go quarterback a G-d'd power play in [bleepin'] Russia. I hope he likes borscht."

This space hopes Cutler likes brats, as it appears he's been dealt to Chicago instead. But from what this space understands, Chicago is not a whole lot different from Omsk, at least weather-wise.

As always, you read it here first, and last.

Ever wonder where your thoughts go after you're done with them? If you happened to deposit said thoughts into the handy space-time portal on your right, they were magically transported to our clean, modern boiler room facility in Akron, where a battery of chain-smoking spivs sort through them. The finest are hand-picked, cleansed in pure Cuyahoga River water, garnished with parsley and rolled out in future installments of Getting Loose.

It's been said that, like sausage, it's best not to watch one of these so-called columns being made, but we think you'd be duly impressed by the attention to detail and olde worlde craftsmanship. Next week: a column done entirely in scrimshaw.