Sports

We Are Number One

Giants Stadium is just ringed with restrooms. Still, Jockbeat has never waited less than 15 minutes to use the john during a football game there. And at certain times, well, every minute counts.

That's why we were so relieved when we stumbled upon the Stadium Pal ($29.15, http://www.stadiumpal.com). This "external catheter" allows users to stay in their seats during crucial moments and avoid the restroom rush at halftime. Essentially a condom attached to an elastic hose with a collection bag at the end, the Stadium Pal is a simple, yet ingenious, triumph of man over nature's call.

And those at Liberated Spectator, manufacturers of the Stadium Pal, have paid attention to detail. Available in five sizes, the condom should fit snuggly and without irritation, since it is 100 percent latex-free. And to avoid any separation anxiety when removing your "self-adhering" catheter, the helpful instructions suggest using "blunt scissors to trim hair away from the base of your" plumbing. They also lay out an "easy trick for getting hair out of the way" involving a paper towel with a hole in the middle. It's too involved to explain here, so let's just say that it worked.

The real test of Stadium Pal, of course, came in the stands. And at a recent Jets game, we put it through the wringer, downing several beers in a short span. Terrified at first that leaks would make us a wet bag early in the second quarter, our need to relieve overcame and we let loose. No perforations were detected and our ankle (to which the collection container was attached—no tight pants allowed when wearing the Stadium Pal) got nice and toasty warm. And we never let our eyes off the action . . . never even got up.

It turns out that Stadium Pal isn't such a new idea—the same technology was used by soldiers during World War II—and surely ain't just for the stadium-goer (imagine the applications: cabbies, hunters, bar hoppers, traveling salespeople). But we'd like to see some gender-equity advances in this field. As bad as the lines are for the men's room at sporting events, the miniscule number of facilities for women makes their experience ripe for a Stadium Pal-ette.


Another Cold Draft?

Lost in all the negative press surrounding the Giants' offensive woes this season has been the disappointing play of the team's 1999 first-round draft pick Luke Petitgout. The rookie offensive tackle was inconsistent at best while filling in for injured left guard Lance Scott, committing numerous (and costly) false start and holding penalties before being removed from the lineup two games ago.

It's early yet (and Petitgout was playing out of position), but so far he has been the latest first-round disappointment for a team that has drafted poorly for nearly a decade. Of the Giants' first-round picks in the 1990s—running back Rodney Hampton ('90), fullback Jarrod Bunch ('91), tight end Derek Brown ('92), quarterback Dave Brown ('93), wideout Thomas Lewis ('94), running back Tyrone Wheatley ('95), defensive end Cedric Jones ('96), wideout Ike Hilliard ('97), safety Shaun Williams ('98), and Petitgout—only the last four are still with the team. Only Hampton developed into an impact player.

Rumor has it the Giants were the only team to rate Petitgout worthy of a first-round pick. Now he has been replaced at starting left guard by his former teammate at Notre Dame, Mike Rosenthal, a right tackle selected in the fifth round of the '99 draft. Both players started for two seasons with the Irish, but Rosenthal fared better than Petitgout in several career statistical categories, including "pancake" blocks (where the pass-rusher is taken out of the play) (136 to 125) and touchdown-resulting blocks (15 to 11). In his two starts—losses at Washington two weeks ago and against Arizona last Sunday—Rosenthal has been penalty-free and effective.

"It's been weird but Luke's been great about it," Rosenthal says of the switch. The situation hasn't affected their friendship—the two live together during the season. But given their history, how long can the Giants live with Petitgout if he can't beat out a low-round pick for a starting job?

Contributors: Bob Eckstein, Brian P. Dunleavy
Sports editor: Miles D. Seligman

 
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