The question that ‘changed lives’ |

The question that ‘changed lives’

Oh, Gatorade, ye savior sports drink of many wonderful flavors. I won’t hide the fact that I drink a lot of you. Used to be a fruit-punch or lemon-lime guy. Then you came out with all shades of the rainbow. Now I favor your light blue.

Among the millions of mediums in which genius has evolved, Gatorade seems one of the more simple, no? Its commercials claim all sorts of scientific formulae, sure, but is it really that far from “Add colored sugar to water. Stir”?

Regardless, Dr. J. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, died last week of kidney failure. He was 80.

In the Associated Press story on Cade’s passing, the drink’s conception was described, as I quote below, in such a way that makes it seem like the first time anyone had thought in any detail about how to combat hard-core dehydration. And considering the billion-dollar sports-drink-vs.-dehydration market that exists today, it probably was.

“Now sold in 80 countries in dozens of flavors,” the story reads, “Gatorade was born thanks to a question from former (Florida) Gators (football) coach Dwayne Douglas, Cade said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press.

(Douglas) asked, ‘Doctor, why don’t football players wee-wee after a game?’

‘That question changed our lives,’ Cade said.” …

Johan Santana to the Red Sox? That’d mean Boston’s rotation would consist of Josh Beckett, Santana, Curt Schilling and Daisuke Matsuzaka, with a fifth to be decided later.

Wow for a number of reasons, none more provocative than: Can you imagine Santana, arguably the most unhittable pitcher in the sport, relegated to being his team’s No. 2 starter? …

Phil Jackson got a two-year, $24 million contract extension last week to remain with the Lakers until 2010. I know about all the championships he’s won, but for a coach to earn $12 million per year seems absurd, even in this world. …

Proof that College Football Needs a Playoff, Chapter 153: According to a report in the New York Times, USC coach Pete Carroll, LSU’s Les Miles and Georgia’s Mark Richt all called ESPN to make a case for their team to play in the BCS Championship Game. That such a political tactic could help a college football team’s chance at winning a national title is, well, simply idiotic. …

More BCS mumbo jumbo: Assuming Kansas would’ve lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game Saturday night, and considering the Jayhawks still earned an at-large BCS bid to face Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl (being selected over, among others, Missouri, which beat Kansas the week before to advance to the Big 12 title game), you could argue that the best move Kansas made all year was losing to the archrival Tigers in its regular-season finale. …

Magic center Dwight Howard has gone from a dime-a-dozen young big man trundling along in the big, bad NBA, to one of the league’s 10 best players ” at age 21. He’s averaging 23.5 points, 14.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game for 15-4 Orlando, which has gone from mediocrity to the third-best team in the league. …

In parting, while reporting a story about Bode Miller for another publication last week, I rode the lift with him at Loveland, tape rolling. Herewith, two quotes that didn’t make it into the article, but which I found pretty interesting.

“I know it doesn’t appear it by my results,” he said, “but the last five years, really, since I was on Fischer, we’ve put more effort by far into slalom than any other event. Every year I ski more slalom and test more slalom skis than any other event by a long shot.”

On the microscope that accompanies star athletes in their everyday lives: “People underestimate how crappy it is. I mean, it’s literally the old adage of selling your soul to the devil. It’s not far off of that. You lose the most important parts of what being a person and having freedom is. I mean, being able to not be constantly under the judgment of everyone else for things they don’t have any idea about. It’s a tough thing to trade for any amount of money. And unfortunately, most people don’t know that they’re trading it. They think they’re just doing something they love or that they’re good at, and then they find out much later that they’re too far down that road to go back.”

– Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs on Tuesdays. He can be reached at

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