Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Beets vs Hodge Cancelled
Beets Hodge Showdown Off
By Jay Unver
The long awaited salt water battle between Randy “Butt Beets” Beets and Zane “Pain” Hodge was cancelled today when Hodge officially withdrew from the Pensacola Bay Bridge Swim. Citing Beets’ Big ASS suspension, Hodge noted that “it’s just not the same. There’s no point. I’m not driving all the way to Florida if I can’t battle my nemesis.”
When asked about the possibility of a showdown with newbie Justin Nunnery, Big ASS’s latest contract athlete, Hodge repeated, “It’s not the same. It doesn’t have the appeal to me that a sanctioned battle with Beets does. That’s not to put Mr. Nunnery down. But I don’t have to go all the way to Florida and spend money I don’t have to beat him. I can do that in the State of Mississippi.”
“What about Annabel Lavers?” I asked of another recent addition to the Big ASS’s growing stable of endurance athletes.
“Bel lives in the UK, and she’s not planning to come over.”
“You do understand,” I asked, “that with you and Beets both out, Nunnery will win the first ever Three Mile World Salt Water Championship by default?”
Hodge looked stunned at the revelation and was silent for a moment. “Well,” he finally spoke after taking a sip of his coffee, “I’ll just have to let him have it.”
We were in Hodge’s MDCC classroom where I found him between his first and second period classes. I had only a few minutes to get his thoughts so I stuck the microphone I front of his face and said, “Tell me everything you want to say in twenty-five words or less.”
“Right now and through June the 14th, the most important thing on my mind and in my schedule is the Chicot Challenge. Pensacola is not good for that. The goal this year is to swim seventeen miles. Last year I struggled with sixteen, and the last time I ran the numbers, I was over fifty miles behind last year’s totals. Fifty-miles. I can’t go to Florida and race Justin Nunnery. I just can’t.”
Students were starting to filter into the room, and I knew my time was almost up.
“Is Beets still part of your Chicot Challenge crew?” I had always wondered how the tall guy could crew Hodge without murdering him. “Isn’t it dangerous to have him in a kayak with a paddle in his hand while you are face down in the water?”
“Yes, it is very dangerous. That’s the reason Robin Bond asked to work the first swim. She was afraid Randy would kill me so she kept her kayak between him and me the whole swim. She probably did save my life.”
“So they are both working the next Chicot Challenge? And when is it?”
“Yes, they are both still working. The date is June 14th. We also will have more people observing, which should deter violence from Beets. I hope to have a pontoon boat so the crew can swap out and they won’t have to be in a kayak for over ten hours. Also, I think Justin Nunnery is going to work the swim. I’m hoping for a good day and both Justin and Beets will be able to do some swimming with me.”
“Is that allowed since this is a Big ASS World record attempt?”
“Yes. We are using English Channel Rules and under those guidelines, you can have people swim with you during portions of the swim. I don’t know off hand how much of it you can be accompanied in the water. We’ll check that out. But it should make the latter parts of the swim a lot easier for me, and I hope it will be some fun for Justin.”
I noticed he didn’t mention Beets when he hoped it would be fun. At this point, the room had filled with students and it was time to start class. I took my recorder and left.