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Chamberlain merely spoke the truth


Interesting career this Joba Chamberlain has had so far. There was that midge infestation during the 2007 playoffs in Cleveland, and the impersonator who was busted in New Jersey last year, and that little DUI incident last October. Now comes Joba The Movie.

The reviews are in and the New York media -- particularly the Daily News -- is up in arms about remarks he made to the trooper in Nebraska who pulled him over for driving under the influence of corn squeezins. Seems a little joke about Yogi Berra's stature or lack thereof ("No bull----, he might not be as tall as the front of your car,") hasn't gone over big, nor has his opinion that New Yorkers aren't exactly polite in traffic matters ("The biggest thing that I've noticed driving here and there is if you let somebody in, they open the window and say 'thank you.' In New York, they might hit you. Yeah, it's a joke.")

It sez here that firewater is one of the world's great truth serums, and Joba was merely stating the obvious. Even Berra reportedly laughed off the crack, and as a lifelong Noo Yawkuh, this space can attest that, yes indeed, we are surly bastards. And proud of it. Our official sport is playing chicken with oncoming cars while crossing the street, and the resulting exchange of pleasantries is usually enough to make Beelzebub turn a deeper shade of crimson. If we're behind the wheel, we'll gladly play demolition derby with anyone who gets in our way -- and back over grandma for good measure after we run her down.

Not to excuse cruising the roads of this great nation with a full load on and an open jug of Crown Royal in the passenger seat, but this brew-ha-ha is just a tempest in a shot glass. Nevertheless, it's prime grist for a local media mill that gets its jollies pouncing on every foul-up, bleep and blunder -- real or imagined -- by the city's athletes.

Not to bring you down, mannn, but Michigan State's loss in the NCAA Championship Game was yet another example of how cruel the sports gods can be. Here we have Detroit groaning under the weight of the recession and there's a flood of stories about how the Spartans are bringing joy to the besieged burghers and temporary respite from the cold reality of General Motors going over the falls. Then they play the game and ... the Spartans get waxed.

I recall pondering this hard truth of existence while watching the Saints play their first "home" game -- at Giants Stadium in New Jersey -- after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005. With just about the entire nation pulling for them, they lost 27-10 with 600 displaced residents on hand along with a bunch of notable musicians from the battered Crescent City and nearby afflicted locales.

And not that the Yankees ordinarily conjure much sympathy, but after 9/11, New York City certainly deserved a little happiness. It got it by hosting the World Series only to see the Yankees lose in the cruelest way possible: by blowing a three-games-to-two advantage in Arizona and falling after a two-run, bottom-of-the-ninth rally by the Diamondbacks in Game 7 -- against Mariano Rivera, no less, who had converted 23 straight postseason saves and only needed to get two more outs.

And special occasions mean nothing to the Cosmic Powers That Be. The Lions' 50th year (2007) since their last NFL title? Heh. A 7-9 record and no playoffs. The Indians' 60th year (2008) since their last Series title? Phoo.Third place and a .500 record. The Cubs' 100th season (2008) without a World Series title? Fuhgeddaboudit. Swept by the Dodgers in the division series.The proud Montreal Canadiens' Centennial Season? Hah hah. No 25th Stanley Cup for you! Let's get the coach canned and barely make the playoffs amid a mobster scandal. For good measure, let's put the team up for sale. Them sports gods be cruel, I tell ye.

Detroit can't catch a break these days. On World Pillow Fight Day last Saturday, cops busted up the event in Motown, confiscating the apparently-deadly weapons and returning only empty cases to one would-be combatant. Another expressed amazement that it is now illegal to own a pillow without a permit. Apparently the crux of the matter is environmental in nature, as feather spills are unsightly and require costly cleanups. But at this point, it just seemed cold to deprive the Motor City of yet another opportunity to take its mind off the hard times.

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Speaking of environmental matters, NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman this week tipped his bowler derby at the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Spirit Organization upon the certification of Philips Arena as America's first "green" sports arena. Philips apparently makes efficient use of such things as water and electricity while recycling much of the crap fans leave behind in the aisles.

"This accomplishment is even more notable considering that Philips Arena has achieved this certification as an existing facility," the Commish declared while lauding the Thrashers for setting the standard in the NHL's cleverly-named Keep the Ice From Melting environmental initiative.

Not to be outdone, the Braves have announced that they are outfitting their stadium staff in shirts made entirely from recycled Coke bottles, which if the economy stays in La Toilette much longer, we may all end up wearing.

"We envision a world where our packaging is seen as a valuable resource that can be re-used to produce a number of products, from new beverage containers to shirts and bags," said John Burgess, the President and CEO of Coca-Cola Recycling.

Meanwhile, it's not much of a surprise that New York's two gaudy new palaces combined use enough juice to power 20,000 homes --- reportedly twice as much as their old digs. According The New York Post, the Yanks and Mets did not seek certification from the Green Building Council, and neither will the Jets and Giants although their new castle in Jersey is expected to have many "green features" -- like the prices on personal seat licenses, tickets, parking, food and souvenirs.

If Mark Teixeira felt bad about being showered with boos on Opening Day in Baltimore, at least he didn't have irate fans throwing poultry at him. A Brazilian court ruled on Tuesday that former soccer star Romario must fork over about $17,000 for attacking a fan who threw chickens at Fluminense Soccer Club players six years ago.

Apparently, the team's poor play ruffled the fan's feathers to the point where he felt compelled to toss six live chickens onto the field during practice. Romario pulled a Mike Milbury by going into the stands to confront the fan, and deliver a few punches and kicks, though he apparently did not throw him a beating with his own shoe a la Mad Mike. A team trainer also got in on the fun. This space suspects the trainer once played for the Boston Bruins.

As a grizzled inmate of the Great Institution of Holy Headlock (20 years), this space was not the least bit surprised to hear of the gunplay at the Brady-Bundchen nuptials last Saturday in Costa Rica. Apparently, local gumshoes are looking into it, but they might as well cool their heels.

According to our source, who boasts "intimate knowledge" of the potato salad served at the reception, the dearly betrothed were packing heat, which they opted to pull and use in a lover's spat about that little bundle that Brady sired with Bridget Moynahan. It seems the tot has taken up residence with the freshly-betrothed and, well, we all know the havoc on the nervous system that caterwauling all night and spitting up strained beets on a pricey wedding gown can wreak. And our "source" was just referring to Brady's behavior. Unfortunately for the photographers, the couple's aim was off, but it will improve with time and Holy Acrimony. In fact, a National Rifle Association study has found that nothing improves accuracy quite like marriage.

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