King Kaufman's Sports Daily

A Hall of Fame debate worth having. Plus: Vasectomy madness in Oregon. And: Billy Crystal suits up.

By King Kaufman
Published March 12, 2008 10:00AM (EDT)

Letter writer mynamehere -- I'm thinking that's not a real name -- writes:

King, I know you've mentioned you're a fan of the Monkees...

Let me just stop mynamehere there and say this: Uh, yes, I've said that. I was just wondering. Yesterday Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Monkees are still waiting for a little well-earned cred. What do ya think?

I love that it's the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Back when I was aware there was such a thing as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I used to call it the Rock and Also the Roll Hall of Fame.

To steal a joke from, I think, "M*A*S*H," the instrument has yet to be devised that can detect my interest in the question of who is in the Rock and in Addition to the Rock Don't Forget the Roll Hall of Fame. It's like the baseball Hall of Fame has gotten to be in that regard.

But I'll debate anything, and I would have to say Madonna's contributions to popular music and so on and so forth (both rock and roll, in other words) exceed those of the Monkees, much as I love me some Monkees. I guess you could call it a peak vs. career value question, though it's really not much of a question. Madonna wins on both. She had a bigger flurry of bigger hits, and then she lasted forever.

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" is, in my opinion, the perfect rock, combined with roll, record. I understand I might be the only person who thinks this, although I also understand I'm about to get 4,000 e-mails from people who think exactly this. But I don't think a person without my particular quirk could put "Like a Prayer" next to "Steppin' Stone" and find it lacking.

And Madonna, though she looked like a peak-only performer at the start -- you won't believe this, kids, but she used to get lumped in a lot with Cyndi Lauper -- put together that long, hugely successful career, inventing and reinventing herself countless times.

She's inner circle. She's Stan Musial or something. The Monkees? Vince Coleman comes to mind. Pretty spectacular there for a little while, but not the same thing at all.

The bad news is, they're under your pillow [PERMALINK]

The NCAA Tournament starts at the end of next week. Why not get ready for it with a vasectomy?

That's what a urology clinic in Springfield, Ore., is suggesting in a radio advertising campaign urging men to "lower your seed for the Tournament." The idea is that men should spend two to four days sitting around doing nothing after the procedure, but they often don't.

With 32 basketball games to watch, maybe they will, but I don't think this is what Salon's Andrew Leonard had in mind when he wrote, in a high point of American literature, that everybody should get two days off for the opening round.

The Associated Press reports that the radio commercials promise to send patients home with a recovery kit of sports magazines, pizza delivery coupons and a bag of frozen peas to use as an ice pack.

I would have thought this promotion would meet with a flaccid response. Let me get this straight: I'm going to get a vasectomy, so I need to stay off my feet and not do anything for two to four days, which, just to be safe, I'm taking to mean four days. Maybe five. Small consolation for something that makes putting a package of frozen peas on my package actually seem optimal, but consolation nonetheless.

Aunt Sally wants me to drive her where? Yarn shopping? Sorry, I've got to, shall we say, defrost the peas over here. For about five days.

Why would I give up that long weekend of patienthood -- but baby, I can't take Aunt Sally to the yarn outlet mall on Route 63 because I need to get my proper rest after taking care of our family planning for the rest of our lives, and would you please pass the peas? -- by combining it with the NCAA Tournament, which, unless I've been caught by the feds setting up an assignation with a call girl named Kristen on Valentine's Day, I've got to think I've got enough marital juice to be able to watch undisturbed?

I mean, there are well-known writers suggesting these couple of days should be national holidays.

But the promotion's been a success. The clinic reserved 24 appointment slots for Tournament vasectomies, hoping to book two clients, which would have paid for the ads. More than half of the slots have been filled, the AP says, and the clinic now plans to make "Snip City" an annual event. And you know Dick Vitale is voicing next year's spots.

I'll be sitting in front of those games, of course. I'd get a vasectomy and live-blog it as a service to you, dear readers -- "1:37 p.m.: Clemson's on a 12-3 run and I think the peas are ready" -- but then I'd have to take Aunt Sally to the yarn mall.

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All typists' real number: 30 [PERMALINK]

Actor Billy Crystal will sign a one-day contract and suit up for the New York Yankees in a spring training game Thursday. The stunt is intended to promote his most recent hit movie, "Analyze This."

No, seriously, it's to celebrate his 60th birthday, which is Friday. Crystal, who played high school baseball in the dead-ball era, will wear uniform No. 60 in the exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who beat the Yankees in the World Series in 1960. Coincidence? Yes, but it's always fun to talk about the Yankees losing the World Series. Have I mentioned 1922 lately?

I think it's a great idea, in the sense that it's a really stupid idea but it doesn't affect me at all. In fact, I'm inspired. I'm 44, and I want to celebrate my sprightliness and baseball fandom in a similar way. I called the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers and asked them if I could suit up for a day wearing No. 44. They all said no.

You believe that? Blatant favoritism toward washed-up celebrities. Screw baseball. I'm calling the Lakers.

Previous column: Yanks whine about collision

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    King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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