The Bitch normally can't imagine leaving the house on a Saturday morning to spend time in bleary, tan-inducing sunlight, but this past weekend was different. The chills of football fever goaded the canine to pry her eyes from the DVD of Underworld and drive past the cow fields and tribal cigarette stands of West Hollywood to Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City.
Owing to her general wimpiness regarding contact sports and the uncleated Saucony kicks she was wearing, The Bitch couldn't try out for the Miami Fury women's professional tackle-football squad, so she asked team co-owner Gayla Harrington, 28, if it was okay to hang around the field without getting sacked. "Sure, but you need to talk to the girl with the öStrictly Bizzness' shirt. She's old school," Harrington responded.
So The Bitch offered verbal pass protection to Anonka Dixon, the 27-year-old veteran quarterback who works construction when she's not throwing 75-yard touchdown passes. Dixon describes the team as "a bunch of women who are hungry," and compares herself to Michael Vick. "You can't compare the WNBA to the NBA because those women aren't dunking or taking half-court shots," she grunts while sidestepping a hit from the Warren Sapp of the team. "But out here you have bruising tackles and explosive passes, just like in the NFL." The team and its parent organization, the Independent Women's Football League, have been around since 2000. The Fury is a professional team, but these women, who work, take care of their children, and go to school, make time to play because they love the game; there are no multimillion dollar contracts or endorsements to grease the pigskin.
James L. Larkin, vice president of the team, tried to get The Bitch to play catch. "We're here to give the women an opportunity that society said they couldn't do ... and you know who society is -- the media," he says. Larkin then points to the defensive players running blocking drills on the other side of the field: "See that girl in the yellow? I call her Cherokee. She's one of the veterans, and she could take me down."
"Cherokee" is Dee Dee Ramos, a 26-year-old master caramel macchiato maker and supervisor at Starbucks who played with the Fury for three years before taking a year off. When asked what brought her back between the hash marks, she takes a gulp of water and laughs because she knows her answer sounds corny: "The love of the game. I just love to play."
The Bitch thought that Larkin must have a way with the ladies, seeing as how he spends lot of time with the team and gets to hear the locker-room jabber. He lets out a "Woo-hoo!" and shakes his head, explaining: "Women are tough, but you see, the respect that I got with these women is that I deal with them in athletic ability and not their sexuality. It's easier that way."
Speaking of sexuality, The Bitch notes that Underworld, a horrotica flick about a blood feud between vampires and werewolves that mixes a little Cemetery Man with a lot of Blade Runner, takes a full frontal approach to addressing one of the age-old lycanthropy logic problems: Apparently modern shape shifters (who are all dudes, shaggy but hot, in this film), when intuiting a morphing moment, just shed their clothes on the spot.
But for those fans of less supernatural causes for deliciously manly glow, back to the game. Miami Dolphins cornerback Alphonso Roundtree, 27, is the new co-owner and head coach of the Fury. He knew he wanted in on the team after meeting the women and seeing "the drive and passion for the game" they share. Coach Roundtree has an undefeated season in mind. "It's going to be something to see," he says. "There are very talented girls out here. They can play better than a lot of guys, and I can say that because I've played with the best."
See the Fury at their best when the season begins April 23. The IWFL is a nonprofit so teams must donate a portion of game revenue to local charities. But not having much money to begin with makes it difficult to draw crowds and bring in the cash. "We're standing strong with no corporate sponsorship," Dixon smiles with a gold-toothed sparkle. "If we could get sponsorship, the sky's the limit." Anyone can try out for the Miami Fury; no experience necessary, just fearlessness about getting knocked around by some really fierce girls. For more information about the team call 786-229-7487 or e-mail email@example.com.
Don't Get High on Your Own Supply
While perusing the ready-mades at a Miami Art Museum exhibit of Dada, The Bitch was roused from her personal reverie about Tristan Tzara by the surreal appearance of Rocky Echevarria descending a staircase. (After years of idolizing the Que Pasa, USA? star and Miami Coral Park High graduate, The Bitch should refer to him by his chosen moniker, Steven Bauer.)
Completely coincidentally and spontaneously, much to The Bitch's horror, a nearby loud-talking art patron began gossiping about Manny Ray's real-life drug battles. This person went on and on about how Bauer was at the top of his game right after his 1983 breakout performance in Scarface and how he lost it all, the money, the high-paying gigs, Melanie Griffith, for the love of nose candy. The Bitch rallied to the star's defense: "Hello? Gleaming the Cube? Remember that? Only the best skateboarding movie of all time, also starring Christian Slater!"
Bauer, clearly mortified by the entire scene, slunk away. That was awhile ago. Fortunately he seems to have recovered from the Duchampsian episode. The Bitch spotted him this past week at the Raleigh, dining and chatting merrily with nightclub promoter Tommy Pooch. Bauer will play a character named Manolo in the upcoming feature Pit Fighter.
Not Much Just Chillin'
The Bitch was on hand for an historic occasion at the District this past Friday: Marko, the bar manager responsible for the creation of the lounge's signature pichka cocktail (which was recently discovered by The New York Times) shared the secrets of the drink's concoction with his colleagues Jill and Leo. The Bitch was the recipient of the first non-Marko made pichka in District history. Containing peach schnapps, amaretto, triple sec, Southern Comfort, and some other liquids, it's a tasty beverage.
Loves the Kids, Hates the Circus
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The Bitch had been thinking about how evil the circus is, and how she should find a way to complain about it, but then Nadine Goldberg and Waverly Bergwin, two of her fifth-grade fans from Miami Beach, wrote her the following letter, handily solving the problem:
"With the Ringling Brothers circus in town, many people are unaware of what they don't see in the ring. The many animals who perform in the shows are mistreated. Elephants, lions, tigers, horses, and even a sea lion were among many animals who have been mistreated to the point of death.
"In the wild, animals are afraid of fire, but circus animals are more afraid of their trainers than the flaming hoops that they are forced to jump through. Tricks like this are not performed in the wild by animals. To make them perform these unnatural tricks, trainers use whips, bull hooks, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, and other painful tools. We strongly believe that the public should know these things before they buy their tickets. We kindly request that you include an article on this subject in your newspaper. For more information you can view www.circuses.com or www.peta.org."
Good job, girls. Now, please ask your parents to let you adopt that shaggy, arthritic, black dog who is always hanging around the back yards in your neighborhood. You know the one.