Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Return of the Native Son

Aside from the (predictable, but predictably irritating) overhyping of Kody Lostroh’s presence there, the story most obviously emerging at the Nile Invitational was the return of Flint Rasmussen to the arena. Flint had missed four events while he recovered from a mild heart attack in March. We attended the second night of the event, and there Flint was in his new white jersey, kicking up the dust.

His performance was definitely less energetic than we were used to seeing, and featured a lot more talk and a lot less action. Gone was the high-speed, impossibly kinetic dancing, the running up the stadium steps into the nose-bleed section, the charging around in the dirt like a maniac five-year-old on speed. In place of all that, we heard a bunch of jokes about his medical condition and treatment, the changes in his exercise regime, and his new diet. Probably the most interesting moment came when Travis Briscoe bucked off Big Mack and threw a small temper tantrum as he stalked out of the arena, which apparently he followed up with a bigger temper tantrum as he stalked down the hall to the locker room. Said Flint: “Boys, remember the movie Footloose? From now on when you fall off a bull, don’t stress! Dance!”

I really wish he were in a position to take his own advice, because as much as I wish Flint well, I didn’t particularly enjoy his performance Saturday night. My disinterest had nothing to do, really, with the lower energy level—I really just don’t find the man particularly funny, and there was a lot more that reminded me of how un-funny I find him. The low point was definitely when he donned a fake-fur coat and climbed up on the shark cage to sing a parody of Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long”—arguably the dumbest rap song ever written, right down to the opening riff that sounds like it was lifted right out of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.” Kid Rock is way overrated and Flint’s choice didn’t do anything to elevate my opinion of his taste. Just a sample of the lyrics: “Drinking Jack out of the bottle/Have a heart attack tomorrow.” Get the picture?

The evening had its moments, of course. One sweet turn transpired when Flint asked to have the spotlight turned on a group of fans in the middle level of the arena. There they were, all the way from Hungry Horse, Montana—damned near a seven-hour drive—decked out in their Flint outfits and holding up their “We ♥ F-L-I-N-T” signs. Even if I can’t fully appreciate his performance, I can certainly join those folks in heartily wishing him a complete and uneventful recovery.


shannon said...

Flint still comes up with a funny line every now and then, but he definitely gets old after a while. I am glad, though, that he's better and hope he continues to do well.

As for him interacting with the audience more--the kids want to make a sign that says "Hi Grandma and Grandpa!" so my parents in VT can see them on TV. I'm nervous that Flint will make something of it because I don't handle being in the spotlight well and Rick gets a little too outrageous, ya know?

And finally a confession: I loved his remake last year to the Kid Rock song (I haven't heard the new lyrics, though). I thought it was fun.

Stockyard Queen said...

Well, since I didn't like the Kid Rock song to start with, Flint's parody really fell flat for me.