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If you have a sports dream, then they have the sports stunts, as three people will compete in various challenges to try to win a sports fantasy for a loved one.

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
George Gray
Creator: Transworld International (based on a British series)
Packager: Transworld International, Mass Media, EOE
Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm ET on ESPN


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Episode 6 - November 2
 

Here we go again, folks! Three men with nothing else to do except do good for their loved ones are out to put themselves through pain, shame and an INSANE Final to get their loved one a sports fantasy.

It's back down to a one-hour show...and back down to three stooges and their "Shemps". Actually, it's a battle of the sexes: two women and one man. And they are:

JESSICA WINTON
From: Atlanta, GA
Profession: Recent college grad
Playing for: Dorkus Winton (please...don't laugh)
Relation: Mother
Dream: Play tennis with Andre Agassi

DALE REBHOLZ
From: Los Vegas, NV
Profession: Security guard
Playing for: Brad Taube
Relation: Stepson
Dream: Catch a pass in Pro Player Stadium from Dan Marino

NANCE AVIGLIANO
From: Pasadena, CA
Other Profession: Profession trainer/power lifter
Playing for: Nichelle Whitfield
Relation: Best Friend
Dream: Meet Olympic short speed-skater Apolo Ohno

(And, just like in "Fear Factor", ESPN wants to cover their asses. So they let you know that these stunts are put together and overseen by "trained professionals" [whatever THAT means]. So even if you WOULD do anything, you're not on TV...so DON'T DO ANYTHING THEY'RE DOING!)

SACRIFICE 1: PAIN - A LOT OF BALLS

The teams meet host George Gray at night at a driving course. George goes over how winning sacrifices will determine the Final. Win one, advance to the Final. Win two, knock a player out. Win all three, CHOOSE which ONE you face in the Final.

Now, they're at a driving range because the first sacrifice is, obviously, golf-related. But they're not going to HIT golf balls. You've heard of a "javelin catcher"? Well, these guys will be GOLF BALL CATCHERS!

Each player will stand out on a green about 100 yards away and uses a two handed net to catch balls. 10 balls each will be hit by 60 accurate and hard-hitting golfers towards the green. The player who catches the most out of 600 balls wins the sacrifice.

First up is Dale...and his son's nervous about this. He doesn't do well with the first round of balls...and one of the balls from the second one, bounces off the green...and gets him "right in the lumber yard"! He sucks it in, though through the next few rounds, yelling, "Swing away, ladies!" He finally catches one in Round 6...but he LOSSES it after Round 8. He manages to get another one in Round 9...but the final round comes up snake-eyes. His grand total out of 600 balls hit towards him: ONE! But who knows? One just may be enough.

Next chump is Jessica...who thinks George was JOKING when he yells, "FIRE!" at the golfers for the first round...and, thus, is too shocked to get anything going. She complains that she can't SEE any balls as tey're whacked towards her, round after round. At Round 5, the miracle happens and she catches TWO balls. But she needs to hang ON to them for them to count. At Round 7, she trips and drops a ball, tying her with Dale...and she drops the OTHER one on Round 8. (Why she didn't just hold the net closed and stand still, I'll NEVER know.) She is quite angry...and she can't focus for Round 9. For Round 10, she tries DESPERATELY to catch more than one...but she trips and falls again going after a cluster of bouncers. Her total is ZERO.

So all Nance has to do is catch ONE ball for a tie, two for a win and being a step closer to having her friend say "Ohno!". Her stratgey is to see where they were bouncing and get to a place where the most would be. Uh...easier said than done with 60 white spheres attacking you at one time. Through the first five round, she didn't even get NEAR a ball. Then, from out of NOWHERE, Nance looks into her net after Round 8...and sees a ball! Though Round 9 is a shutout, Nance just stands still for Round 10. After all 60 balls bounce towards her...a second falls into her net! That's JUST enough to win her the sacrifice!

SACRIFICE 2: PAIN - HOT FOOT RACE

At nearby California Speedway the next afternoo, the teams show up again. Nance is happy to be in the Final but the other two know they have some hoping to do. George informs the players that it'll be a quarter-mile "drag race". Uh, but they won't be in "top feul" or "fanny cars". They'll be on foot...without sneakers..."dragging" two dragster tires!

Each player will start at the "Christmas tree" starting light. They must drag the two tires down the quarter-mile track in the fastest time to win. They will be barefoot and on super-hot asphalt...but, because EPSN is TOTALLY masochist, they've been given a floor mat to use to keep their soles off the 156-degree track. Whoever gets to the finish line in the fastest time - or whoever gets the furthest should NOBODY finish - wins.

First at the line is Jessica. She has a rather interesting strategy: she DROPS the mats, picks UP the tires and RUNS down the track! With extremely loud "OWs!" she sprints down the quarter-mile, lugging those heavy tires (which is no easy task even FOR a pro weight-lifter). About 25 seconds and a tenth-mile later, she drops the tires and uses THEM to cool her feet. After cooling for a few seconds, she starts to drag the tires for a few seconds, then cool them, then drag again. Her feet are turning to jelly (and she's gonna have a LOT of blisters in the morning). About half-way down the drag, she sits on the tires and starts to cry a little. She shows that her toes have opened up from the heat. That's when she has an ingenious idea: she pulls a Brandi Chastain and takes her shirt off, wrapping it around both feet and waddling down the track. That makes it a LITTLE better, but she's getting exhausted. Dorkus wants her to stop, thinking no one will get that far. Jessica lugs the tires a little further...but then takes the harness off and collapses. Out comes the ice water to sooth those feet. She made it an eight-of-a-mile, but she'll be going to the hospital for calimine lotion, ice packs and bandages STAT!

Nance learns (somewhat) from Jessica's mistake. She DOESN'T leave the mats behind. However, she doesn't USE them at first, jogging the first 20 seconds with the tires on her back. She even walks on her heels for some time. As she rests about 50 feet from the barrels that mark Jessica's stopping point, George notices GIGANTIC blisters on the balls of Nance's feet. He wants her to look at her feet before deciding to move on...but she WON'T, DETERMINED to pass Jessica's mark. Again, on the heel, she drags the tires down the track, wincing and moaning. She finally crosses the barrels...but only gets about 10 feet further before collapsing and asking for help. Her feet are in worse shape than Jessica's, yet she's determined to winn all three sacrifices so that she can choose who she faces in the Final. Walking gingerly, Nance gets in a car and gets sent to the hospital. Boy, I hope the burn ward is on full alert.

Now it's time for...oh, wait a second. The two medics are with Jessica and Nance...and Dale cannot do this without a medic present (so that the ESPN lawyers won't have to take lip from them). So,...the event will have to be rescheduled on a track that has the same conditions to keep things fair. Dale gets a reprieve...and I'm sure his feet are grateful.

Jessica is out of the hospital later that day, saying she felt more pain in STOPPING than in running. Nance, however, is out the next morning and is much worse. The doctors says she won't be walking for a week.

Dale and Brad arrive at Pomona Speedway...alone. The temperature on the track is the same as California Speedway yesterday. All Dale has to do is keep the soles of his feet from blistering too badly for more than 670 feet down the track and he'll be that much closer to getting Brad to meet Dolphin Dan. Brad, at first, doesn't WANT his dad to do it...but, much like Nance, he will NOT be denied the chance to win this for his son!

Unlike the girls, Dale is NOT stupid. He actually puts the mat DOWN and STEPS on it. He drags the tires past him and walks on them, putting the mat ahead of it. He repeats this motion, since he DOES have all the time in the world to get down the track. He doesn't take the credit for thew strategy, though; Brad went against Dale's "run like hell without mat" strategy and gave him the "tire-tire-mat" one to run with, so to speak. Very rarely does Dale's feet touch the mat. And, in a mere 22 minutes, he crosses the barrels and wins the sacrifice. That's the GOOD news.

The BAD news is that the third sacrifice will have to wait until the girls are all healed so that it's fair. And, so, Brad and Dale wait...and wait...and, with one thing or another, two weeks pass until...

SACRIFICE 3: SHAME - COSTUMED CHAOS

George meets the four people at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Hey, wait, how did a Disney-owned company manage to get a camera crew THERE?!) Er,...wait,...one...two...three...four...uh,...where are Nance and Nichelle? Well, after having the blisters burst and healed, they decided to give up on the game. Guess they'll have to find some OTHER way to get Nichelle skating with the Apolo. This means that Jessica MUST win this sacrifice in order to advance to the Final or Dale will win the competition outright.

Sports are all about the crowds...and a LOT of people come to Universal every day. And NOTHING gets a crowd riled up like a mascot. So all they have to do is be a sports mascot for the day. But, uh,...we're not talking San Diego Chicken here. We're talking a surfboard and a palm tree.

Each player will walk around the City Loft dressed as one of the mascots with petitions in their hands. They need to talk people into signing a petition to make THEIR mascot the new mascot of the Los Angeles Lakers. At the end of the day, whosoever gets the most signatures wins.

Into the dressing room they go to get their costumes on. Dale has the tree (which he says makes him look ridiculous) and Jessica has the surfboard (which DOES make her look ridiculous). But Jessica is a jokester at heart so she doesn't mind so much.

Down into City Loft they go...and Dale IMMEDIATELY goes in campaign mode, shouting how he wants to be the new Lakers' mascot. Most people run away laughing or just say "no thanks". But he does get SOME people to sign, including a die-hard Lakers fan (who CLAIMS to have a Laker BRA on...though Mr. Bryant could not be reached for comment). He's stumped on how a "pineapple" relates to the team, but the signatures keep coming...as well as the SMACKS of his "palms" against Brad's face.

Jessica is having FUN with the experience...though she's having a LITTLE trouble explaining how a SURFBOARD relates to b-ball. She's having a bit more trouble than Dale...but she gets a bridal party who refused Dale before sign HER petition. She's getting hot inside that red-and-yellow monstrosity, but at least Dorkus is still on her feet.

The Ultimate Sports Fantasy Bar can't be dragged into the park this time, so a nearby juice bar will have to do to tally the votes. George informs Jessica that she got 167 signatures on her petition. Dale managed to get...only 78! So Jessica wins the last sacrifice and advances to the Final, PRAYING to get her mom dinner with Andre.

FINAL: INSANE - THEY CALL THE WIND "IDA"

So, two-and-a-half weeks after the competition starts, it ends at the world famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena. George greets the teams and, after Dale hands Brad his only autographed Dan Marino card, says that, since it's a football stadium, the players will be running some wind sprints. It's only after they suit up when they find out the sprints will be...into a HURRICANE!

The players will have small parachutes strapped to their back, just like football players do during wind sprints. They will run down a stretch of grass, into a tunnel and get the football they'll be carrying into an equipment bag. Whoever gets it in the bag in the fastest time - or the one that gets the ball CLOSEST to the bag - wins the Final. When they hit the tunnel, though, they'll be faced with 100 MPH winds and stinging rain.

Dale won the coin toss and decides to go second, so Jessica dons the headgear and the chutes. She's a decent sprinter...but, when she hits that tunnel, it's almost a dead stop. The main problem is her chutes, wide open amid the wicked winds shooting out the opening. Once in the tunnel, though, movement seems a bit easier...though by NO stretch a cakewalk. What's more that there are lights flashing in her face as she struggles against Hurricane Ida. She collapses and tries to crawl her way through the tunnel...but, after close to two minutes of struggling, she calls it quits, collapsing as the fan and rains die down. She's all right...just exhausted. Once things settled down, we learn she was stopped about 20 feet from the equipment bag. So, if Dale doesn't get further, Dorkus will be playing her best AGAINST the best in the sport where love means nothing.

Again, since Dale has all day to do the deal, he JOGS more than sprints to the tunnel. He likewise has trouble ENTERING the tunnel and, like Jessica, the going gets a little easier once the chutes get all the way in. As George and Brad run towards the tunnel, Dale pushes hard against the wind He likewise collapses on the floor...and decides to forgo the bag and just try his best to get past the line. The only problem is that, with all the rain blowing in his face, he can't SEE the line! He tries to pull the chutes to give him more leverage...but he finally quits after about 90 seconds. When the rain stops and the wind dies down, George and Brad run in to see where Dale ended up. And the result, by less than a FOOT, is that DALE wins the Final!

PRIZE: Brad Taube will flown from Vegas to Miami, Florida. He will then be driven to Pro Player Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, and will talk and toss the pigskin with arguably the greatest QB never to win a Super Bowl, Dan Marino.

If Brad is ANY better at catching footballs than the Dolphins are NOW, they MAY just want to sign him up while he's there!

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