This week's Pethouse Pet of the Week is an adorable beagle mix, available for adoption, who has strong opinions on who will win the World Wrestling Entertainment smackdowns in Houston, Sean "Diddy" Combs' new name, and how big the crowd really was at the Astros World Series championship parade, along with some other topics.
Pethouse Pet of the Week
Name: Major, as in Applewhite, and CBS News White House reporter Garrett. Fun fact: I used to work with Major Garrett at the old Houston Post. He was a bigger deal than I was. But look at me now, I'm a once-monthly guest on the John and Raheel Show on ESPN Radio 97.5 FM. I need a new agent.
Birthdate: Oct. 28, 2010. I'm in the prime of my life, nowhere close to applying for a reverse mortgage.
Ethnicity: I ain't nothing but a Hound Dog and Beagle combo platter. I weigh a tidy 48.4 pounds (Citizens for Animal Protection must have a new scale that's very precise). I come with portfolio, I know how to walk on a leash and I've got a few tricks up my sleeve, all four of them. I just passed a complete medical and dental examination, so I'm wrapped up and ready for delivery. Just look at me, am I the classic house pet or what? I'm even fixed. Like I was broken? Oh yeah, I am housebroken. I'm super friendly with children and other animals, so what are you waiting for? Let's get this show, and me, on the road.
Come and get me: I'm available for adoption at 11 am Friday at Citizens for Animal Protection (17555 Katy Freeway; 281-497-0591). Tell them, "Ken sent me."
For years, I've suspected that the Nathan's hot dogs you buy in the supermarket are not the same hot dogs they sell at Nathan's hot dog stands in malls and airports, or the Nathan's hot dogs that Joey Chestnut eats by the dozens in Coney Island on July 4. I maintain that Nathan's supermarket dogs are "skinless" and bland because they don't have "natural casing" like Nathan's restaurant dogs. So let's call in an expert witness for the prosecution:
"You're right," said Chestnut, the reigning hot dog eating champion. "Nathan's does make a hot dog with natural casing for supermarkets, but they're hard to find. Even if you do find them, a lot of people don't know how to cook them to get the right juicy snap. You have to cook them low and slow, then finish with high temperature. If you do that, the store-bought hot dogs can taste right. It takes some work."
I've looked — can't find a supermarket in Houston that sells Nathan's natural casing hot dogs. You can order them online at nathansfamous.com, though. "Natural casing" refers to the small intestines of sheep. Not to be crude (although any discussion of hot dogs tends in that direction), but natural casing is sort of like a super-thin condom for hot dogs. It's the skin that bursts and cracks when you cook hot dogs on a grill. Mmm, they taste 100 times better that way. And natural casing hot dogs don't have unplanned births of cocktail franks.
World Wrestling Entertainment is coming to Toyota Center for four unprecedented nights of mega-watt "sports entertainment." It starts Saturday with NXT Takeover, featuring the future heroes of WWE. Sunday night is the Survivor Series pay-per-view spectacular pitting superstars of Monday Night Raw vs. the crew from Smackdown Live. Monday night has Raw, followed by Smackdown Live on Tuesday. Quite simply, this will be the biggest, craziest span of wrestling in Houston history. Tickets for all events are available at houstontoyotacenter.com. As always, be careful of websites with similar-sounding names offering tickets to Toyota Center shows. Those are secondary market sellers. Check houstontoyotacenter.com first.
Here are my predictions for Survivor Series' headline matches:
- Enzo Amore will cop the Cruiserweight title by giving Kalisto a well deserved whupping.
- In tag action, the reunited Shield will beat the daylights out of the New Day. Intercontinental champ the Miz will stomp a mudhole in U.S. champ Baron Korbin. Smackdown women's champ Charlotte Flair will stop Raw titleholder Alexa Bliss in her tracks.
- In a battle of tag-team champs, Cesaro and Sheamus will teach the Usos a lesson they won't soon forget.
- In a traditional Survivor Series match, I'm going with the Smackdown team led by Shane O'Mac and John Cena over the Raw team captained by Kurt Angle and Triple H.
- In the hot main event, let's pick Smackdown champ AJ Styles to tie up Suplex City like the George Washington Bridge (political humor in a homeless dog feature) by upsetting Raw's" Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman.
Rap artist, fashion designer and killer businessman Sean "Diddy" Combs has changed his name ... again. Now the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy, or P Diddy wants to be called, ready, Brother Love.
Combs may want to do hit up Wikipedia next time he changes his name. "Brother Love" is sort of taken, twice. First there was the Neil Diamond hit, "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show." More recently, and way more famously, Brother Love was a spoof character played on WWE television by Houston's own Bruce Prichard. Brother Love was the insincere, phony, money-grubbing televangelist who pretended to be interested in helping people, but really only cared about his personal wealth. Does Brother Love remind you of anybody?
Prichard now hosts a wildly popular podcast called Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, available at mlwradio.com. He will host a live performance 1 p.m. Sunday at Houston's House of Blues. His special guest will be Josh Reddick, mullet-wearing wrestling nut and rightfielder for the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION HOUSTON ASTROS (never get tired of saying that). Tickets are $35 and $75, available at all Ticketmaster locations.
Astros crowd estimate
I'm getting a lot of emails asking for my estimate of how many people attended the Astros victory celebration downtown. Houston's excitable Mayor Sylvester Turner claims between 750,000 and one million. Here's the deal, I'm not going to rain on the Astros parade by giving a more realistic crowd estimate. The Astros brought so much joy to Houston, let's leave it at — it was a massive celebration and just what the doctor ordered for our city. I loved the whole thing, from spring training to Carlos Correa popping the question after Game 7 to our guys going on Saturday Night Live.
There will be another celebration next week our annual Thanksgiving Parade. Let's see what city officials claim for attendance, and then we'll bring that number back to Planet Earth.
Flying by the seat of his pants
It happened again - Monday night I flew from Frankfurt, Germany to Houston on a United Airlines flight (operated by Lufthansa). The pilot announced, "We've arrived 20 minutes early." Yay!
Uh-oh, "It seems our gate is occupied by another plane, so we're going to sit here a while until it opens up." That's grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. I refuse to believe there wasn't one open gate at Bush-Intercontinental. It's a pretty big airport. So new rule (thanks Bill Maher): Pilots can't brag about an early arrival until the plane is at the gate, the seatbelt sign is turned off, and flight attendants are saying "buh-bye."
On a plus note: Lufthansa hands out a sensational welcome cookie to all passengers as they get on the plane. It's a giant Chocolate Chip and Cranberry cookie, weird combination but it works, and it's every bit as delicious as Doubletree Hotels' check-in cookie.
Buffet joins The Eagles
I don't know how to feel about this: the Eagles and Jimmy Buffett will do a stadium tour in 2018. Yes, it's a great pairing of perennial favorite acts, but Parrotheads love seeing Jimmy at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, where they can wear hula skirts and coconut bras and bounce beach balls on the lawn and do "Fins to the left, fins to the right." It's going to be different watching Buffett from the upper level at a stadium, and waiting for the Eagles to go on last. And should the Eagles go on last? Without singer Glenn Frey, are they still the act you've known for all these years?
Let's hope that Jimmy does his regular solo tour, too, and that includes a stop in The Woodlands.
The best two-sports athlete is......
I think the argument over "Who's the best two-sport athlete?" is now settled. And it's not Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders (baseball and football). It's got to be Mookie Betts, star outfielder for the Boston Red Sox. In addition to leading the BoSox to the American League East title in 2016 and 2017, Betts has a lifetime batting average of .292, higher than Jackson (.250) and Sanders (.263). Betts started the last two All-Star Games for the American League and won two straight Golden Glove Awards.
Betts also is an incredible bowler and last week rolled a perfect 300 game in an official Professional Bowlers Association tournament. Top that ... anybody.