One man's garbage… then again

By By Will Bardwell / sports writer
Nov. 13, 2003
I went to see "The Matrix Revolutions" again the other day.
I saw it about a week ago on the day it was released, but Tuesday, I wanted to check it out again. The first time, I really didn't believe what I saw, so I wanted to reevaluate my initial opinion.
It turns out I was right the first time. Without giving away any of the plot, here are two words that will save you two hours: it stinks.
As I walked out of the theater for the second time, though, I realized something odd. Somehow, I wasn't nearly as disappointed as I'd been after seeing it the first time.
It's not that the movie wasn't quite as bad the second time around. It was. But having already been through the motions once before, I was less distraught over how terrible the movie was and could concentrate on enjoying the finer points of a multi-million-dollar disaster.
And having realized that repeated exposure to life's little debacles can actually create enjoyment therein, I've decided that I'm ready for a second run through several of modern sports' disappointments.
First, bring back the XFL. And I don't mean re-hash it with a new cast of characters. I want everybody back. I want Dick Butkus and Jesse Ventura in the booth and Tommy Maddox lighting up high school defenses in front of about 500 people. I want Rashan Salaam in a sea green uniform and Vince McMahon at midfield growling, "THIS IS THE EX-EFF-EHHHLLL."
I know for a fact that XFL footballs and jerseys are still available for about $7 a pop at Wal-Mart, so re-stocking the league's franchises wouldn't be any problem at all. A quick trip to a few Memphis cabarets would yield more than enough cheerleaders. The whole thing could be back up off the ground in a week or two.
Second, I want "Rocky V" re-released in theaters nationwide. I want it running 24 hours a day for the next, oh, two years. I know this one will be a big pill for a lot of people to swallow, and I'm right there with you. Seeing Tommy Morrison try to hang with Sylvester Stallone is painful enough on my 27-inch screen at the house, so when it's on the silver screen, remind me to pack some Pepto-Bismol.
If nothing else, the film brings life lessons for those of us working through today's tough economy. Just open up a boxing gym, move in with your brother-in-law and send your wife to work at a pet shop, and you too can punch out a sleazy boxing promoter. It's the American dream.
Let's give Dontae Walker a second chance, too. Whether you're a Mississippi State fan or not, it's hard not to be disappointed in the way the former Bulldogs running back panned out. I saw Walker when he played high school ball for Clinton, and he looked like Jim Brown. By the time he was a senior at State, he could've passed for John Candy in a dark room.
I've seen guys whose injuries cost them chances at the NFL, and I've seen guys whose legal troubles cost them their shots. But Walker was one of the first I'd seen whose lunch cost him a pro football career.
Heck, as long as we're digging up dumb moments in recent Mississippi sports history, why not bring back Rowdy Rebel and Rebel Bruiser? The defunct Colonel Reb replacements might meet warmer receptions now that Ole Miss fans have had a couple of months to laugh at how stupidly that entire episode was handled.
And while we're in Oxford, how about giving Pete Boone a second chance as athletic director? Oh, wait. Uh, never mind.
Wait a second. You know, that was completely unintentional, but I guess it goes to show that sometimes, bad ideas really do come around twice in sports. As long as people are given a little time to forget sometimes four days, sometimes four years painful sports history may be allowed to repeat itself. Wow. What a concept.
Maybe it's time to pull that old Memphis Maniax T-shirt out of the mothballs after all.