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Dancing with the Running Back by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Dancing with the Running Back
        Bold prediction: Former Dallas Cowboy All-Pro running back, Emmitt Smith, will win “Dancing with the Stars.”

       Some of you will say, “Wait a moment. I saw the finals last night. Not so bold.” To which I answer: for weekly papers this article is submitted two days prior to the finals. We’re going against the grain here considering, according to Mrs. Silliman and Lyle’s wife, Mia, Mario Lopez is a natural and shoe-in. To that statement I counter with “Yes, Lopez may be a shoe-in but did he ever have shoes named after him?”

      And they both say “Whaaaat??” to which I counter “Lopez may have shined under the Saturday morning Slater lights of Saved By The Bell and has the adoration of all the women in the medium lights of the ‘With the Stars’ studio but did he ever score the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl under the big lights and a TV audience near a billion?”

      To which they counter “Yeah, but Mario Lopez has a two dimple head start.” Okay, I thought we were discussing dancing, not dimples, even though Mario’s dimples are so cute adorable teensy little puppies could be sticking their heads out of his dimples and you’d go “Ohhh, look. Look at those dimples.” Mario’s dimples make Don Johnson’s dimples scar up out of shame. Looking at Mario’s dimply face makes people strangely head off to an Arizona vacation. You just want to pinch his cheeks but fear you may never retrieve your thumb.

     Again, I thought we were talking about dancing, not dimples. Lopez is the more accomplished dancer but I think Smith and his partner make the more popular team. This is all  subjective, of course. Lopez has been more consistent throughout but Smith has made the greatest improvement. Fans or voters love to reward the underdog, the biggest improver, the guy who comes from behind and is the least smug. Lopez tends to exhibit very theatrical dancing tricks such as leg splits and acrobatic jumps and we think Smith has been holding back, laying and waiting for Lopez to try flashy leg strength moves.  For if it comes down to leg strength theatrics, deep bends or swivel hips, Smith is in a whole other league from Lopez. If it comes to leg strength, Mario can only hope to be saved by the bell. And I hope I didn’t steal one of Bruno’s lines.
Dancing with the Running Back by Stan Silliman
    If the dancing is perfect and somewhat equal by both contenders as it was last week, then it falls to a popularity contest. Mario’s fan base stems from his work as Slater on the Saturday morning kids show Saved by the Bell.  There are still fans, yes, but that show has been somewhat discredited by the after show careers of its stars. Elizabeth Berkley flashed a firm body in Showgirls but the movie was such a turkey folks watch it on Thanksgiving. Dennis Haskins found he was so typecast as Richard Belding that he had to grow a mustache to get parts. And Dustin Diamond is the saddest of all, attempting a career as a stand-up comic and then accused of stealing jokes by other comedians and then finding his house foreclosed on only to be pitifully hawking T-Shirts to save it and when that didn’t work he went into porn… and from the reviews, not the best porn. On the other hand Emmitt Smith is an All-Pro running back holding the NFL record for most yards. And to show there’s nothing artificial about Emmitt, which can’t be said about Berkley’s upper half in Showgirls, the swivel hips he displayed on the football field are the same ones he’ll use to defeat Lopez on the dance floor. Mark it down.

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