Hospital Zone Defense Oh, doctor! Sports can lead to illness, perhaps even sickness unto sudden death

April 01, 2001

March Madness, Baseball Fever and Wrestlemania aren't the only
sports-specific diseases in circulation this spring. No, there
are manifold maladies to inoculate against, so we present, as a
public service, this Glossary of Sports Medicine--because what you
don't know can hurt you.

Afrodisiac--Any substance that stimulates sexual excitement in
Oscar Gamble.

Barrybarry--Catastrophic disease whose victims acquire the
personality of Barry Bonds and the dress sense of Barry Melrose,
with social consequences similar to those of leprosy.

Belle's palsy--"Trick or treat"- triggered paralysis of the facial
nerves, resulting in the permanent inability to smile.

Colonic irrigation--Clinical name for Cleveland Indians pitcher
Bartolo Colon's getting sent to the showers.

CyAttica--A pathology, the victims of which deteriorate from great
pitchers to grizzled prisoners, often overnight. (Also called
Denny McLain's Disease.)

E-4ia--The secret euphoria, shameful joy or schadenfreude felt by
reserve infielders for the New York Yankees whenever former
second baseman Chuck Knoblauch made a throwing error.

Expendicitis--Ailment of Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad,
requiring removal of the vestigial appendage that is his wallet,
which is then pried open with the same jaws of life used by
emergency rescue personnel to extract accident victims from car
wrecks.

Garthritis--Acute inflammation of the rotator cuff, common among
batting-practice pitchers forced, in spring training, to throw
endless gopher balls to celebrity nitwits like George Clooney,
Kevin Costner and Jerry Springer.

Halletosis--Unspeakable morning breath; primary grounds for
divorce in Justice v. Berry.

Hammertoes--Podiatric deformity afflicting Hank Aaron, caused by
repeated circling of the bases.

Hepatitis X--Tattoo-needle- and nose-ring-borne infection
commonly found in X-Games participants; also transmitted through
physical contact with XFL cheerleaders.

Irritable vowel syndrome--Prevalent among Finnish hockey players;
it causes NHL broadcasters to stumble on names such as Teppo
Numminen and Janne Niinimaa.

Lime disease--Also known as coprolalia, or loud and involuntary
obscene speech, it is primarily caused by drinking too many
Coronas. (Possible explanation for Jimmy Buffett's recent
ejection from a Miami Heat game.)

Mennengitis--Aversion to Speed Stick (and all other brands of
deodorant) that is epidemic among sportswriters.

Nascarbuncles--Unsightly boils that appear on the buttocks of
drivers and spectators, 200 laps into the Coca-Cola 600.

Pinkeye--Sufferers repeatedly--but incorrectly--pronounce the
surname of jockey Laffit Pincay Jr.

Plulimia--Compulsion among Arizona Cardinals coaches to keep
giving the ball to Jake Plummer, knowing full well he will cough
it up.

Ringworm--Delusional psychosis that leads athletes to believe that
their championship rings are tasteful.

Salmonella--Food poisoning found in some cannibals who have eaten
Anaheim Angels slugger Tim Salmon. They find it hard to keep a
good man down.

Sisterectomy--Procedure by which one of the Williams siblings,
Venus or Serena, removes herself from a match for the benefit of
the other.

Slerpes--First discovered in Fernando Valenzuela and now seen
in Boston Red Sox reliever Rich Garces, this STD
(straw-transmitted disease) is caused by the serial consumption
of slush-based beverages at 7-Eleven.

Zimmerrhoids--What you get after sitting on a bench for 52
years.

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: DAN PICASSO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)