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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Struck Strikes Out: It's a faq, saq the Shaq!

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Just when you think you've seen the last of it and - whammo! - here comes another "What Gives, Strucker?" column.

Yo. I had a very quiet Memorial Day, so I'm ready to explode. I worked much of the day, grilled my fave dinner - a 20-ounce butter and garlic-rubbed sirloin (Darla's is eight ounces), one entire package of frozen Brussels sprouts (Darla gets a few), big buns (unfortunately not grandma Helen's), beverage, a homemade Dutch apple pie (to die for, ala mode optional), and then watched baseball on TV.

That's what gives for me, What. How about you?

What gives, Strucker? I know you're not a big fan of his, but why no column about Shaquille O'Neal leading the Miami Heat to the playoffs?

Hey, What, if I keep eating like that, I'll be a BIG fan of somebody's, though it sure won't be Shaquille O'Neal. I might look like him but I don't have to like, look at him.

O'Neal is to the beautiful, balletic sport of basketball what a bulldozer is to a Sesame Street parade.

He's a T-Rex in the Kentucky Derby. He's an avalanche in a church ski outing. He's a tsunami at a synchronized swim meet. He's a whale in a goldfish bowl. He's a boulder in a sack of cat's-eye marbles. He's an axe in a surgery room full of scalpels. He's a combine in grannies' vegetable garden. He's a washtub in a cupboard full of saute~ pans. He's a bowling ball on a golf green. He's a dump truck in a garage full of BMWs. He's a 55-gallon barrel in a thimble drawer. He's...

So sorry, What, got a little carried away there. Heck no I don't like Shaq. He's the worst thing to happen to basketball since Title IX. And if the chicken-ship referees and the rest of the NBA poo-bahs continue to let him plow over helpless defenders whenever he wants, there will be more channel switching going on in these playoffs than there is sunblock at a nudist convention.

Besides, Dwyane Wade is the one who led the Miami Heat deep into the playoffs. When he was a sophomore at Marquette I watched him play for about a minute and told all within hearing distance that he would be the next Big Thing in the NBA. And, there he is.

Shaquille O'Neal is not a basketball player, What. He's a thunderstorm in a gentle spring shower. He's a vat of vinegar at a wine-tasting party. He's a Hummer in an off-road Mo-ped race. He's a pair of steel-toed combat boots in Cinderella's slipper closet. He's a fingertip at a Wendy's stockholder meeting. He's Michael Jackson in a elementary school playground.

You watch the other great NBA players like Dirk Nowitski, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant and you see the beauty and the balance and the grace and the athleticism that so defines such a wondrous game.

Then you throw a 7-1, 360-pound Big Ugly in the mix, whose best move is a shoulder to the solar plexus, and second-best move is the uncontested dunk, and you've got a professional sport soon to spiral to the depths of Roller Derby and The Strong Man's Competition on the island of Malta.

Thanks a lot, What. Your question used up this entire column.

And that's what gives for today, Strucker!

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