HAVANA, CUBA – How did sports and stupid human tricks become intertwined? Why does the news media think people care about Guinness Book of World Record stunts? I can understand News Corp’s obsession with it because it takes focus away from all the made up headlines they show (see Jay Cutler) or their illegal phone hacking (see your latest AT&T Statement). This weekend two of these such “attempts” were front and center and I’d like to address them as well as other famous attempts and silly world records:
Diana Nyad – This is the geriatric broad who insists on trying to swim from Cuba to Florida. Can’t she understand that if this was really possible some of these great Cuban athletes would have done it already instead of hoping on rafts with two dozen other refugees. In fact, she never really intended to swim straight from Cuba to Florida but rather she was taking planned rest stops every 45 – 90 minutes using an escort boat to drink water, eat some light food like chocolate and fruit, and change swimsuits. This sounds more like an afternoon spent at a beach Club Cabana than an endurance challenge.
On Sunday she gave up in her third, and hopefully final, attempt after she received two nasty man o’war jellyfish stings to the face. Urine supposedly helps treat man o’war stings and if people are as fed up with her story as I am, I’m sure there will be no shortage of volunteers ready to dispense some of this yellow medication directly on her affected area.
Abby Sunderland: Last year Abby was front page news when she went missing during her attempt to become the youngest female to sail solo around the world. Abby was 16 years old at the time she set sail. This modern day Amelia Airhead is not entirely to blame for almost losing her life off the coast of Madagascar. She is a minor and has parents who could have forbidden her to go. Her parents Marie and Laurence Sunderland were in a tough spot since they let her brother Zac sail around the world solo the year prior at age 17. So what does this Father-Of-The-Year candidate get for his lax parenting? A pairing with his son Zac as contestants on the new season of the Amazing Race, of course. Hopefully some Somali pirates will take him hostage on a very special episode later in the season.
Steve Fossett: In 2002, this billionaire became the first person to fly solo around the world in a hot air balloon. In achieving this feat he beat the likes of his good friend Richard Branson and a few other bored rich guys. Now I understand the space race between the U.S. and the USSR (because the moon is so valuable we wouldn’t want it in enemy hands) but why would anyone want to fly around the world in a hot air balloon? I’d rather root for the Yankees 28th World Championship before getting on one of those things. Unfortunately, Fossett’s adventurous side got the better of him when his single engine plane smacked into the Sierra Mountains, killing him back in 2007. It appears the Red Sox are piloting a similar path to the post season this September.
Stay tuned tomorrow for an adventurous chap, Angry Ward.