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'Today': NY Times Goes to Bat for Bonds
NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein

Posted on 08/08/2007 5:16:12 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest

When New-York based 'Today' went looking for a local sports reporter to defend Barry Bonds, it didn't turn to the New York Post, whose headline this morning reads "JUNK BONDS: ‘SULTAN OF SYRINGE'. Nor was it likely that the designated hitter would be someone from the Daily News, whose back page screams "King of Shame." Instead, "Today" turned to the New York Times, and in particular to sports writer William Rhoden [pictured here with Lauer], to embrace Bonds.

'TODAY' CO-ANCHOR MATT LAUER: You've been very critical of baseball actually leading up to this milestone for the way they've been wringing their hands trying to figure out what to do with this record. Barry Bonds you wrote, quote, "he will be baseball's king, it's emperor, it's czar." How are you feeling this morning?

NYT SPORTS REPORTER WILLIAM RHODEN: I think it's a great moment, Matt. It really is. It's an historic moment. The number's there, no matter. There's going to continue to be hand-wringing, but there's no hand-wringing in the Bonds household [proving what?] . . . It's just a tremendous accomplishment . . . I don't think anyone doubts that.

View video here.

Fortunately, sports commentator Bob Costas was there to provide balance. In a July episode of the "Costas Now" HBO show he hosts, Costas' guests were Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and chemist Patrick Arnold, both of whom expressed the opinion, in which Costas joined, that Bonds had taken steroids. Bonds replied by calling the 5' 6" Costas a "little midget man who knows (nothing) about baseball."

LAUER: You have bristled at the idea he is innocent until proven guilty.

SPORTS COMMENTATOR BOB COSTAS: This "innocent until proven guilty" is an insufferable platitude that is masquerading as high-mindedness, as if those of us who don't withhold all judgment need a remedial course in civics. First of all, this isn't a criminal case. We're not talking about depriving him of his liberty, or for that matter his livelihood. But if for the sake of argument it were a criminal case, you would have more than enough evidence not only to establish that he used performance-enhancing drugs, but to establish that he used them in copious amounts and that he wasn't just assisted but transformed as a player as a result. And you would prove that beyond any reasonable doubt.

Lauer then brought another Times reporter off the bench to bolster Rhoden, reading from an article today by NYT reporter George Vecsey, who wrote: "Nobody, and certainly not some chemist in a white smock -- swung the bat for Bonds against objects moving 80 or 90 or 100 miles an hour. He had to do that himself, with the superb reflexes he had as a cocky stripling, and the craft he acquired as a smug and enlarged elder."

This is one of the most specious arguments that has been regularly trotted out in Bonds' defense. Of course steroids don't swing the bat. But they permit the user to swing it harder, turning doubles into home runs. And Vecsey's comment begs the question: just how did Bonds become "enlarged"?

Rhoden never addressed the steroid allegations per se, offering this blanket defense, or better yet, pulling the blanket over his head.

RHODEN: Oh no, he, Matt, he's a great home-run hitter. Period. The end.

The end of what? Rhoden's credibility?

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: barrybonds; bobcostas; newyorktimes; steroids
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1 posted on 08/08/2007 5:16:14 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Miss Marple; an amused spectator; netmilsmom; Diogenesis; YaYa123; MEG33; ...

NY Times goes to bat for Bonds. Ping to Today show list.


2 posted on 08/08/2007 5:20:19 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Led Zeppelin is dedicating a song to Bonds. They’re calling it “Steroids to Heaven.”


3 posted on 08/08/2007 5:21:07 AM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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Maybe we can come up with an appropriate nickname for Bonds: “Homer.”


4 posted on 08/08/2007 5:22:37 AM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Mr Rhoden, if you celebrate this “feat” and ignore the drug factor, what are you telling the budding stars of tomorrow?

Costas, bless him, eloquently pointed out the problem with Bond’s record.


5 posted on 08/08/2007 5:26:24 AM PDT by David Isaac (Duncan Hunter '08)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I think it is incredibly hypocritical of baseball to make such a big deal out of the fact that Bonds may have taken steroids. They turned their gaze away from McGuire and Sosa who ABSOLUTELY were roided up in order to regenerate fan interest after the debacle of canceling the World Series, and, to me, to now act as if they are horrified and didn’t know that something was going, is the ultimate height of hypocrisy.

Baseball deserves this result.


6 posted on 08/08/2007 5:42:35 AM PDT by LeftiesBinWhinin (Reach out and touch an Islamic extremist - with your shotgun.)
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To: David Isaac
Here's the evidence.


7 posted on 08/08/2007 5:42:49 AM PDT by Long Island Pete
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To: Long Island Pete

naaah, that’s not evidence, just clean living and lots of leafy green vegetables....

</sarcasm>


8 posted on 08/08/2007 5:56:24 AM PDT by stillwaiting
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

But who reads the New York Times?


9 posted on 08/08/2007 6:01:34 AM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
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To: stillwaiting

10 posted on 08/08/2007 6:02:38 AM PDT by Long Island Pete
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To: Long Island Pete

Willikers! He must have eaten a lot of Wheaties!


11 posted on 08/08/2007 6:03:30 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

They seem to be on the side of wrong on every issue. Gawd, they are truly disgusting.


12 posted on 08/08/2007 6:05:32 AM PDT by Clam Digger (NO REAL THAN YOU ARE!)
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To: David Isaac

quality use of the english language PING !!

costas 2, barium bonds 0

bottom of the turd...


13 posted on 08/08/2007 6:07:31 AM PDT by wayne_b24 (every day in the Light is a good day ... John 8:12 & 14:6; Psalm 119:105; Joshua 24:15)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
RHODEN: Oh no, he, Matt, he's a great home-run hitter. Period * . The end.
14 posted on 08/08/2007 6:13:36 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (The measure of a country is not how many people are wanting to come in, but how many want to leave.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
This "innocent until proven guilty" is an insufferable platitude that is masquerading as high-mindedness, as if those of us who don't withhold all judgment need a remedial course in civics.

Excellent comment by Bob Costas.

15 posted on 08/08/2007 6:14:27 AM PDT by Bahbah
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

For once, I agree with the liberal Bob Costas. Bonds is not a legitimate home run king.


16 posted on 08/08/2007 6:14:56 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Once again the New York Times continues its tradition of disagreeing with me about everything.

How can they be so foolish?


17 posted on 08/08/2007 6:16:55 AM PDT by altura
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To: LeftiesBinWhinin
. . .act as if they are horrified . . .

I think Bonds's overall attitude has the effect of creating criticism on steroids. Regardless, he's now hit the ball over the fence more than any other MLB player.

18 posted on 08/08/2007 6:24:07 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

The media are obsessing over this to make us forget that Your Black Muslim Bakery was an incubator for violence against Your White Christians.


19 posted on 08/08/2007 6:42:39 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: altura

It’s a good think Hank Aaron isn’t Caucasian...or the loudest argument would be racial.


21 posted on 08/08/2007 6:49:03 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: SoFloFreeper
Bob Costas was interviewed this morning on the "Mike and Mike" show on ESPN and was excellent on this whole topic.

Let's hope A-Rod stays healthy...Bonds' record may only last 5 or 6 years.

22 posted on 08/08/2007 6:56:14 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Long Island Pete
What are Bond's ages in those two photos? He was with Pittsburg from 1986 [age 22] to 1992 [age 28]. Since 1993, he has been with the SF Giants and is now 43. Most people's bodies change significantly from age 22 to 43, i.e., the aging process over 21 years.

How much of the change is due to steroids and how much is due to aging?

23 posted on 08/08/2007 7:01:57 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Long Island Pete

amazing photo comparison


24 posted on 08/08/2007 7:03:41 AM PDT by rod1 (uake)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

some brilliant chemist out there should develop a thought-enhancing steroid for NYT reporters


25 posted on 08/08/2007 7:04:35 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Having the NY Times covering sports with any real expertise is about as effective as expecting the Royal Opera of London to promote NASCAR.


26 posted on 08/08/2007 7:07:21 AM PDT by rod1 (uake)
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To: Enterprise

“Cheater”.


27 posted on 08/08/2007 7:07:37 AM PDT by SoKatt
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To: Enterprise

What with all the scandals, drugs, etc the sports records are pretty much meaningless as far as I’m concerned.
I ignore anything after 1970.


28 posted on 08/08/2007 7:09:06 AM PDT by MrLee
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To: All
Barry Bonds' HR Record Tainted by Elbow 'Armor'?

1) The apparatus is hinged at the elbow. It is a literal "hitting machine" that allows Bonds to release his front arm on the same plane during every swing. It largely accounts for the seemingly magical consistency of every Bonds stroke.

2) The apparatus locks at the elbow when the lead arm is fully elongated because of a small flap at the top of the bottom section that fits into a groove in the bottom of the top section. The locked arm forms a rigid front arm fulcrum that allows extraordinary, maximally efficient explosion of the levers of Bonds' wrists. Bonds hands are quicker than those of average hitters because of his mechanical "assistant."

3) When Bonds swings, the weight of the apparatus helps to seal his inner upper arm to his torso at impact. Thus "connected," he automatically hits the ball with the weight of his entire body - not just his arms - as average hitters ("extending") tend to do.

4) Bonds has performed less well in Home Run Derbies than one might expect because he has no excuse to wear a "protector" facing a batting practice pitcher. As he tires, his front arm elbow tends to lift and he swings under the ball, producing towering pop flies or topspin liners that stay in the park. When the apparatus is worn, its weight keeps his elbow down and he drives the ball with backspin.

5) Bonds enjoys quicker access to the inside pitch than average hitters because his "assistant" - counter-intuitively - allows him to turn more rapidly. Everyone understands that skaters accelerate their spins by pulling their arms into their torsos, closer to their axes of rotation. When Bonds is confronted with an inside pitch, he spins like a skater because his upper front arm is "assistant"-sealed tightly against the side of his chest.

6) At impact, Bonds has additional mass (the weight of his "assistant") not available to the average hitter. The combined weight of "assistant" and bat is probably equal to the weight of the lumber wielded by Babe Ruth but with more manageable weight distribution.

29 posted on 08/08/2007 7:11:02 AM PDT by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

So why doesn’t MLB simply ban Bonds from using the Elbow pad?


30 posted on 08/08/2007 7:12:43 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: kabar

I guess you are right. My head has gotten to be twice the size in the last 20 years. YEAH RIGHT.


31 posted on 08/08/2007 7:14:17 AM PDT by Long Island Pete
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
From: Most Valuable Player - Baseball Almanc
1986 Mike Schmidt(3) Philadelphia
1987 Andre Dawson(1) Chicago
1988 Kirk Gibson(1) Los Angeles
1989 Kevin Mitchell(1) San Francisco
1990 Barry Bonds(1) Pittsburgh
1991 Terry Pendleton(1) Atlanta
1992 Barry Bonds(2) Pittsburgh
1993 Barry Bonds(3) San Francisco
1994 Jeff Bagwell(1) Houston
1995 Barry Larkin(1) Cincinnati
1996 Ken Caminiti(1) San Diego
1997 Larry Walker(1) Colorado
1998 Sammy Sosa(1) Chicago
1999 Chipper Jones(1) Atlanta
2000 Jeff Kent(1) San Francisco
2001 Barry Bonds(4) San Francisco
2002 Barry Bonds(5) San Francisco
2003 Barry Bonds(6) San Francisco
2004 Barry Bonds(7) San Francisco
2005 Albert Pujols(1) St. Louis
2006 Ryan Howard(1) Philadelphia

Barry Bonds Hitting Stats MVP years highlighted in yellow
Yr Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR GS RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
1986 Pirates 113 413 72 92 26 3 16 0 48 65 2 102 2 2 2 4 .223 .330 .416
1987 Pirates 150 551 99 144 34 9 25 0 59 54 3 88 0 3 3 4 .261 .329 .492
1988 Pirates 144 538 97 152 30 5 24 0 58 72 14 82 0 2 2 3 .283 .368 .491
1989 Pirates 159 580 96 144 34 6 19 0 58 93 22 93 1 4 1 9 .248 .351 .426
1990 Pirates 151 519 104 156 32 3 33 1 114 93 15 83 0 6 3 8 .301 .406 .565
1991 Pirates 153 510 95 149 28 5 25 0 116 107 25 73 0 13 4 8 .292 .410 .514
1992 Pirates 140 473 109 147 36 5 34 1 103 127 32 69 0 7 5 9 .311 .456 .624
1993 Giants 159 539 129 181 38 4 46 1 123 126 43 79 0 7 2 11 .336 .458 .677
1994 Giants 112 391 89 122 18 1 37 1 81 74 18 43 0 3 6 3 .312 .426 .647
1995 Giants 144 506 109 149 30 7 33 0 104 120 22 83 0 4 5 12 .294 .431 .577
1996 Giants 158 517 122 159 27 3 42 2 129 151 30 76 0 6 1 11 .308 .461 .615
1997 Giants 159 532 123 155 26 5 40 1 101 145 34 87 0 5 8 13 .291 .446 .585
1998 Giants 156 552 120 167 44 7 37 1 122 130 29 92 1 6 8 15 .303 .438 .609
1999 Giants 102 355 91 93 20 2 34 0 83 73 9 62 0 3 3 6 .262 .389 .617
2000 Giants 143 480 129 147 28 4 49 0 106 117 22 77 0 7 3 6 .306 .440 .688
2001 Giants 153 476 129 156 32 2 73 2 137 177 35 93 0 2 9 5 .328 .515 .863
2002 Giants 143 403 117 149 31 2 46 1 110 198 68 47 0 2 9 4 .370 .582 .799
2003 Giants 130 390 111 133 22 1 45 0 90 148 61 58 0 2 10 7 .341 .529 .749
2004 Giants 147 373 129 135 27 3 45 0 101 232 120 41 0 3 9 5 .362 .609 .812
2005 Giants 14 42 8 12 1 0 5 0 10 9 3 6 0 1 0 0 .286 .404 .667
2006 Giants 130 367 74 99 23 0 26 0 77 115 38 51 0 1 10 9 .270 .454 .545
Career G AB R H 2B 3B HR GS RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
21 Years 2,860 9,507 2,152 2,841 587 77 734 11 1,930 2,426 645 1,485 4 89 103 152 .299 .443 .608

32 posted on 08/08/2007 7:14:41 AM PDT by BufordP (Had Mexicans flown planes into the World Trade Center, Jorge Bush would have surrendered.)
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To: SoKatt

“Puffy” or “Buffy”


33 posted on 08/08/2007 7:18:13 AM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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To: Enterprise
"Puffy"

Funny!! Someone needs to photoshop Barry's face onto the stay-puft marshmallow man.

34 posted on 08/08/2007 7:23:11 AM PDT by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

LOL - Someday I’m going to learn how to do it.


35 posted on 08/08/2007 7:24:38 AM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Oh, they had to get Racist Rhoden to weigh in. I watch him on ESPN’s “Sports Reporters” from time to time. I remember a while back they were talking about doping accusations against Lance Armstrong, and all Rhoden said was, “where there’s smoke there’s fire”. I’m sure if Bonds was white, Rhoden would be solidly in his corner. NOT!


36 posted on 08/08/2007 7:25:59 AM PDT by JZelle
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To: DCPatriot

If any good comes out of this, it will be an overdue appreciation of what Hank Aaron accomplished.


37 posted on 08/08/2007 7:29:47 AM PDT by Corporate Law (<>< - Xavier Basketball, Perennial Slayer of #1 Ranked Teams - RIP Coach Prosser)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
RHODEN: Oh no, he, Matt, he's a great home-run hitter. Period. The end.

His next article will no doubt praise Michael Vick for ridding the world of dangerous pit bulls.

38 posted on 08/08/2007 7:32:52 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys: Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat; but they know what's best for us)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

RHODEN: Oh no, he, Matt, he’s a great home-run hitter. Period. The end.

The end of what? Rhoden’s credibility?

Yes, as a matter of fact.


39 posted on 08/08/2007 7:33:59 AM PDT by Badeye (You know its a kook site when they ban the word 'kook')
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To: DCPatriot
It’s a good think Hank Aaron isn’t Caucasian...or the loudest argument would be racial.

That's the truth.

40 posted on 08/08/2007 7:34:54 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
I find it curious that the same Commissioner who was more than happy to look the other way while Sosa and McGuire were chasing each other for the single season home run record, goes out of his way to insult Bonds.

Everybody knew that steroids were being used. For Bud Selig to act all high and mighty is laughable, and IMO, disingenuous.

41 posted on 08/08/2007 7:35:07 AM PDT by airborne (Proud to be a conservative! Proud to support Duncan Hunter for President!)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Babe Ruth is still the greatest baseball player and home run hitter of them all. He hit a homer on average every 11.76 times at bat. Bonds’s average is 12.92 and Aaron’s was 16.37.

Hence, with the same number at bats (Bonds, 9774; Aaron 12,364), the Babe would have 831 homers to date versus Bonds and 1051 lifetime v. Aaron.

Oh, and how many seasons did Bonds and Aaron pitch?


42 posted on 08/08/2007 7:44:11 AM PDT by JCG
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To: JCG

I look at what a player did compared to his peers, and Ruth was head and shoulders above his comtemporaries.

As good of years that Bonds has had, he wasn’t head and shoulders above guys like Sosa and McGwire.


43 posted on 08/08/2007 7:46:37 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: kabar
Most people's bodies change significantly from age 22 to 43, i.e., the aging process over 21 years.

Their heads get bigger?

44 posted on 08/08/2007 7:46:47 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Long Island Pete

I know mine has. I’ve had to give up wearing pullovers. And I’ve NEVER used steroids. Well, there was this one time a guy rubbed some cream on my backside. But I just thought he liked me. I had NO idea. Honestly. I swear.


45 posted on 08/08/2007 7:47:09 AM PDT by Sue Perkick (And I hope that what Iíve done here today doesnít force you to have a negative opinion of meÖ.)
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To: SoFloFreeper

Of course he isn’t. Sadaharu Oh is. :)


46 posted on 08/08/2007 7:47:23 AM PDT by xp38
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To: Trailerpark Badass
Their heads get bigger?

That could be from ego.

47 posted on 08/08/2007 7:48:11 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: Sue Perkick

LOL And the closet makes my suits shrink too.


48 posted on 08/08/2007 7:51:30 AM PDT by Long Island Pete
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To: Trailerpark Badass

Cheeks and jowls and necks, yes, that is part of the aging process. How much bigger is Bond’s head at age 22 versus 43? Do you have any measurements?


49 posted on 08/08/2007 7:54:17 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Long Island Pete

Do you have data to back up that ridiculous assertion?


50 posted on 08/08/2007 7:55:46 AM PDT by kabar
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