Thursday, October 16, 2014

Controversy Swirls


Controversy Swirls amid Beetsdown
By Jay Unver
(Lehrton, Mississippi) Accusations flew like bats from an Arizona cave in the aftermath of what many are calling the most bizarre Swim the Suck in history. Some say Zane Hodge cheated; some say Randy Beets “No mas[ed]” in the worst way. Whatever happened, Big ASS Endurance and Dave Elmore, legal counsel for Randy Beets, vow to find “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
“I’m trembling in fear,” a testy Hodge spouted Monday morning as a reporter for the Lehrton Gazette asked him to comment on the controversy. He said nothing else as he walked rapidly into the Greenwood Center of Mississippi Delta Community College where he works. Campus police stopped a bevy of reporters, which included me, from tracking him inside to ask more questions.
This morning also, Dr. Timothy Nomann held a press conference at the Big ASS Training Center in downtown Lehrton, MS and vowed to launch “a full scale investigation. We will,” he added, “leave no piece of pizza unturned.” Some said the pizza reference was an allusion to Beets’ unconventional race feeding habits. Nomann went on the vow to “punish any wrongdoing to the fullest extent of the Association’s power.”
The long awaited rematch between the Association of Sports Swimmers’ two superstars, Zane Hodge and Randy Beets, ended Saturday, October 11th in Chattanooga, Tennessee in a way that left everyone unhappy and some scratching their heads.

A stunned Hodge before the start and
after getting the news of no Beets.

“Bizarre,” was all Justine Nunnery, an ASS Swimmer himself and pilot for Hodge during the world championship swim, would say.
This year’s Suck featured a hundred swimmers, including several national champions, one Olympian, and the extremely talented and attractive Lexie Kelly. But it was the Hodge/Beets rivalry that had the Friday night pre-race banquet buzzing with excitement.
Beets and his pilot Robin Bond arrived first at Chattanooga Outdoors in downtown Chattanooga and when Hodge and Nunnery appeared, a palpable tension filled the already bustling room. The two glowered at one another throughout the program and supper. The presentation from Race Director Karah Nazor, featured Hodge’s and Beets’ profile pictures, their athletic resumes, and a word about the rivalry.
Friday night was stormy and race morning arrived with rain and a threat that the swim might be cancelled. However, after the athletes were bused to the start at Suck Creek Boat Ramp, the skies cleared, the sun came out, and a festive mood struck the athletes and their pilots.
Hodge prepared for battle by taping his nose, spitting down his goggles, and adjusting his jammer while keeping one eye out for Beets.
“Where is he?” I overheard him asking Nunnery.
“I haven’t seen him,” Justin answered.
A few minutes later, Justin texted the rival only to receive word that the tall guy would be a no show.
“Are you %@#*ing kidding me?!” Hodge screamed when given the news. “He can’t do that to me! That @!$# @$$ &!^@ !**@($*$!!!”
A furious red-faced Hodge waded into the water to cool off.
“You can’t blame him if he’s sick,” I heard Nunnery say to Hodge.
“YReally? You think he’s sick?” Hodge yelled back. “He’s sick of getting beat.”
Hodge’s wrath was unspent four hours and twenty minutes later when he climbed out of the river at Living Waters. “That #@$%^ *!#@ ^&$# Beets!! I hope he gets suspended for live!”
Race Director, Karah Nazor, approached Hodge at the finish.
“Where is Randy?” she asked.
“I don’t *@#$ing know. But if you find him, tell me because I want to whip his @$$!”
Upon returning to Mississippi, Hodge immediately filed formal charges with Big ASS Endurance against Beets for “breach of competition.” Elmore, on behalf of Beets, filed counter charges of cheating and tampering, claiming Hodge “Poisoned Beets the night before.”
At stake for the two swimmers are a world title for Hodge and another possible suspension for the embattled Beets.