Greatness For the Destined

By Norman Chad
Monday, December 29, 2008

In a Year of Destiny -- Item 1: Some guy catches a football on his helmet to deny the New England Patriots perfection; Item 2: Michael Phelps swims into uncharted waters; Item 3: Barack Obama -- Couch Slouch has been a destiny-bound dervish.

With the sole and sad exception of the Player of Destiny, Colt Brennan (chained to the bench by the terminally pedestrian Washington Redskins, an organization with a singular lack of vision), all of my vested interests have been destiny's darlings:

Arizona Cardinals, Team of Destiny: When everyone else counted them out, I counted them in. When the pundits said, "Can't win it," I said, "Kurt Warner." When no one else believed, I believed no one else. I told America at season's dawn that my Cardinals would be "the worst 10-6 team in the NFL," and, well, The Man was pretty darn close.

The Cardinals can't run the ball and they can't stop the run. They haven't won a home playoff game since 1947. And, on occasion, their fine coach, Ken Whisenhunt, is a knucklehead. No matter. If you are a team that has trailed by scores of 34-0, 28-0, 21-0 and 47-0 and you still make the postseason, destiny has taken a hand. In this case, destiny has one destination: Tampa, for Super Bowl XLIII.

I don't mind telling you, dear readers, that the day the Cardinals walk onto the field as the NFC's Super Bowl representative will be the proudest day of my life.

Pabst Blue Ribbon, Beer of Destiny: I was mocked by the beer cognoscenti -- the preening, posturing Samuel Adams Winter Ale drinkers who sip their bourgeois swill with a pinky finger in the air -- when I made PBR my choice of brew.

Well, what a year it's been for the beer that should've made Milwaukee famous.

All across the land, in outposts large and small, people are saying, "PBR me ASAP!" Pabst has become hip for hipsters and trendy for trendsetters. College kids are discovering it, retirees are rediscovering it.

PBR is versatile. It goes well with all food (with the possible exception of Brussels sprouts), and it tastes good at any time of day (particularly noon, early evening and late night).

It has -- dare I say? -- affordable drinkability.

There's even a fellow in Illinois who has designed his coffin in the shape of a PBR can. I have a call into him to see if I can sublet.

Rhino Page, Bowler of Destiny: This was nearly a disaster. I anointed this kid the greatest thing since the automatic ball return after his PBA rookie-of-the-year season, and what does he do? He turns into Barney Rubble, that's what.

In the first seven events of the 2008-09 season, he finished 9th, 12th, 35th, 51st, 53rd, 53rd again and 76th. He couldn't hit the side of a bowling alley with a grilled cheese. Every Sunday, I would waste one hour of precious TiVo space searching for Rhino Page on ESPN; he was no closer to a PBA telecast than a Nordstrom's security guard was to an FBI detail.

Then, on Dec. 14, at the Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship in Baltimore, Page was the No. 1 seed in the TV finals and defeated Wes Malott in the title match, 197-189. I wept, then finished my third PBR.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Babe Ruth. Tiger Woods. Rhino Page.

Toni, Wife of Destiny: We had a rocky start. She didn't tell me she had children until we were halfway down the wedding aisle -- that's right, my poker friends, she "slow-rolled" her two kids -- but they're fairly well behaved and only need to eat four or five meals a day.

As it turns out, she's better than advertised: Smart, sexy, caring, funny, beautiful and giving. Plus, Toni not only is a terrific cook, she prepares lavish, gourmet dinners timed to hit the table at intermission of midweek NBA-on-TNT games.

Heck, I even accidentally slept with a chambermaid on a recent, out-of-town trip to Hinckley, Ohio -- and she forgave me! Anyway, she is no longer Toni, a.k.a. She Could Be The One III. She is Toni, a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some).

Ask The Slouch

Q. Bank of America recently announced the elimination of up to 35,000 jobs over the next three years -- are they, too, positioning for 2010 and LeBron? (David M. Orloff; Cleveland)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Will the two pitchers from India signed by the Pirates last month want to do their tryouts by phone? (Tony Parker; Cheswick, Pa.)

A. Bust out the piggy bank again.

Q. If it joined the NFL for one game, should I go with President-elect Obama's economic team or take the Lions and the points? (Mike Piekarski; Latham, N.Y.)

A. Ten bits at a time, these people are bankrupting me.

Q. Do you think they are teaching kids how to count in Detroit by 0-1, 0-2, 0-3 . . . ? (Josh Lang; Milwaukee)

A. Now they're tapping into our beer money, Shirley.

Q. Any New Year's resolutions you'd like to share? (Laurence Lass; Houston)

A. Return to my badminton roots.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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