Saturday, May 01, 2010

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Denouement? Qatar? Horses? Let me explain

Welcome to Q&A-Mac, the new feature where I answer fabricated questions about sports topics of the week. Occasionally, you might see this acronym: "AQA!" That stands for "Actual Question Alert!" and indicates that somebody really asked me it. Which means they couldn't get through to Colin Cowherd.

Q: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger accepted his suspension this week, vowing to "comply with what is asked of me -- and more." Do you think he can pull it off?

A: Yes. Because based on all the seedy stuff that was in the police report, all he has to do is act somewhat like a normal human being to make enormous strides. Think of it this way: If you're driving 62 mph in a 55 and a cop orders you to stop speeding, you might slip again. If you're careening 120 mph the wrong way down the interstate, high on mushrooms and listening to a Kid 'n Play CD on full blast -- and someone tells you not to do it again -- it takes considerably less effort to avoid a repeat.

Q: How much does Qatar want to host the 2022 World Cup?

A: A lot. According to The Associated Press, Qatar officials have offered to build nine new stadiums and renovate three others, complete with a high-tech cooling system that would keep the field temperature at 80 degrees, even when the mercury reaches 122 degrees there during the summer. Total cost: $4 billion.

Q: So what chance does Qatar have of earning the bid?

A: Roughly the same amount as Chilhowie has of hosting the World Baseball Classic.

AQA! (from a reader in Salem, regarding my word choice in Tuesday's column): Denouement....??? Really....??? What happened, did you lose a bet with a Wahoo?

A: Yes. And it's a darn shame, too. Had I won the wager, I'd be the proud owner of a shiny new spittoon.

Q: When his team was a major league-worst 3-16, did Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada actually tell the Baltimore Sun that "when we beat the Red Sox and Yankees, our attitude is going to be much better"?

A: Yes. Which is much like how my buddies and I used to talk at the horse track. "When I hit this $50,000 superfecta, I'll be even for the year!"

Q: Speaking of horses, who do you like in today's Kentucky Derby?

A: Gotta go with Sidney's Candy. Hate the post position (20) but love the fact that he's won all three starts in 2010 with average earnings of $210,000 per race -- much the best in the field. He's also one of only two horses to post a 100 speed figure in his last effort, a 4 12-length victory in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. The other is the filly, Devil May Care, but she was shoddy as a 4-5 favorite in the race before that.

Q: Wait. I thought you said on the blog that you liked Ice Box?

A: I got cold feet.

AQA! (from a reader on the press box blog, regarding Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring's breakfast/tight end analogy): Stiney looks like a guy who would enjoy an occasional biscuit, doesn't he?

A: Stinespring actually looks quite fit these days -- much fitter than I. Which means he's clearly spending a lot of time in the gym when he ought to be in some dimly lit room working on the offense. Which means he should be fired immediately. Am I right?

Q: You're not allowed to ask questions.

A: Not even ridiculous rhetorical ones?

Q: Sigh. Now this thing's all messed up.

Q: Why did Charlotte Bobcats fans boo Orlando guard and Cave Spring graduate J.J. Redick every time he touched the ball during their first-round NBA playoff series?

A: Because they have the intelligence of a strawberry-flavored gummi worm. I can think of two dozen NBA players off the top of my head who actually deserve booing but never get it. Redick's not in college anymore, guys. Let it go.

Q: The BCS released its formula on how smaller conferences can earn automatic bids to big-money bowls. According to wire reports, the BCS has three ways to measure conference strength. They are: the ranking of the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings, the final regular-season computer rankings of all the teams in a conference, and the number of teams in the top 25 in the final BCS standings. These rankings are compiled over a four-year period and the conferences are measured against each other. Given these facts, and factoring in recent recruiting trends for each school, what chances would you say the Mountain West Conference has at becoming an automatic qualifier league?

A: Well, that's all the time we have today. See you next week!

Read Aaron McFarling's Daily Sports Briefing on the Press Box blog weekday mornings at

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