"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

SHADOW GAMES: Unbeatable

The old barbershop just off West Broadway can be a tough place to play. It’s cramped and cluttered and the ceiling hangs low. The men with razors use that to their advantage and they are always tough to beat.

Alexi – the toughest of the five-man crew – pointed me to his chair.

“What are the Yankees gonna do?” he asked before I even sat down. “Can they get Sabathia? And how about Burnett?”

Alexi fired up his razor and kept going:

“Will they go after Teixeira? Should they trade Cano? And what are they gonna do in centerfield?”

“Do I look like Brian Cashman?” I asked.

“Nope, you’re too ugly,” Alexi said.

“Agreed,” I said. “Next question.”

“Okay,” Alexi said. “Who’s gonna win the fight on Saturday?”

“Roy Jones,” I said.

“Joe Calzaghe can handle him,” Alexi said. “Jones is finished.”

I shook my head and said:

“Everyone thought Bernard Hopkins was finished and he beat Kelly Pavlik. They all thought Mike Mussina was finished and he won 20 games.

“That’s the only tip I’ve got for you,” I continued. “Don’t be so quick to write these guys off. They are world-class athletes who are capable of things that people like us can’t even imagine. And you’ll be glad that the Yankees didn’t trade Cano when his big, left-handed bat is parked in the middle of the order next year.”

Alexi nodded and then asked:

“What do you call a barber who can’t hit a curveball?”

I shrugged.

“A beautician,” Alexi said with a laugh.

“Okay, you win,” I admitted.

“I’m unbeatable,” Alexi roared.

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1 ms october   ~  Nov 6, 2008 1:54 pm

there is something really fun about watching athletes we think our "washed up" show that they in fact are not.

2 Todd Drew   ~  Nov 6, 2008 3:04 pm

I completely agree, ms october. I almost think some ballplayers and boxers need for others to doubt them sometimes. They thrive on the challenge.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver