Thursday, January 8, 2009

Running Like the Wind...if the wind was really slow and uncoordinated

It's not often that a much-anticipated showdown lives up to the hype. From time to time, though, a great matchup comes along that not only meets expectations, but exceeds them. Think Ali vs. Frazier, Lakers vs. Celtics (in the 80s), Balboa vs. Drago, and now...Viola vs. Soliman!

Ricky (Vroom Vroom) Viola and Sharif (The Accounting Assassin) Soliman have been talking smack to each other for years. Recently, Ricky found and claimed a trophy as the Office Racing Champion (he was, in fact, 2-0 at that point in his illustrious career, much to the chagrin of Rebecca and Liz). And when Sharif contested his claim, the challenge was on. Like most smack talk, this one figured to never result in real action, but thanks to a pizza luncheon today, both parties were sufficiently egged on and the dream became a reality.

The entire office filed outside as if we were watching a 3pm schoolyard fight. Predictions were made, wagers were placed, rules were explained, and the combatants readied themselves for battle. Each racer knew that the result of this one-time-only extravaganza would live in infamy (if Gary were racing, it would be an extravaDanza). Glory for the winner, and shame for the loser. Sharif, at 42 years young and a lean, mean 210 pounds was confident, thanks to his rigorous, Navy-SEAL-like daily workout regimen. Ricky, whose birth certificate claims that he is 32, but, according to Oprah's Real Age challenge is actually 74, has been promising himself to get into shape for six years now, weighs in just on the shy side of pushing three hundy, and was having second thoughts as the racetrack drew nearer and nearer. Finally, with everything on the line, and with both racers wearing way-too-tight attire in way-too-cold conditions, the gun sounded.

Ricky got off the blocks the fastest, but Sharif looked like he was gaining ground at the five-yard marker. Ricky felt him on his heels and went to an extra gear. As he pulled away for good, he looked back over his shoulder and started a high step a la Prime Time and a Usain Bolt early celebration just in time to see the carnage that was about to take place behind him.

Have you heard that sometimes high-speed activities go into slow motion at the moment of their greatest intensity? Just before a big NASCAR crash (according to Mahoney), or when two thoroughbreds are nose to nose at the finish line (according to Neil the Deal), time seems to slow down as you watch it all unfold. Well, the same thing happens even when the activity started out as a slow-mover (such as Ricky and Sharif running). Sharif began an epic stumble that will live in infamy, lasting approximately 17 seconds and 34 feet, before he finally hit the deck in a heap, as the rubber pellets from the synthetic turf cascaded into the air in super slo-mo and onlookers ducked for cover from what they believed to be sniper fire. It wasn't as bad as this, or this, or this, but it also didn't happen as quickly, either.

Needless to say, Sharif never crossed the finish line, while Ricky waltzed to another win, running his record to 3-0 and etching his name alongside the likes of Bolt, Michael Johnson, Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Jerry Lewis.

In an incredibly fortunate stroke of luck, the race took place on the one day a year that B-Mac is in the house, so we actually have exclusive video! Enjoy.

-- Dave


Rob F. said...


Congratulations on winning the race, but you really need to work on your Deon Sanders high step. You looked like a school girl playing hop scotch in the school yard!!!

Anonymous said...

I would like to start promoting the next race.

Kevin “the Jet” Jimenez vs. Ricky "Voom Voom" Viola. 2 to 1 odds that KJ pulls a hammy during the race.

Pat said...

I can not believe that I missed this.

Anonymous said...

KJ is awesome! He pitched twice in pain when they were challenged in softball. He's no Greg Maddux, but he sure as heck plays like he's from the old school.

Timothy said...

24 hours of Hockey? Their trying to out-do us Dave.