He once was the biggest, baddest bottle on the planet: "The Appliance of Defiance" is what they called him. Forty ounces of mayhem and a twist top.
He was "The Freezer," star of Budweiser's victories over Bud Light in Bud Bowl I in 1989 and then Bud Bowl II. So big, he didn't need a real name. Like Bono. Or Pink. Or Voltaire. Or Ichiro. Sort of like will.i.am.
By now, you know the story: How the Bud Bowl went flat. How it tapped out in 1997 with that forgettable Howie Long-Ronnie Lott spot, which seemed such a sad way to end it all.
It would soon be over for The Freezer, too.
There was a short-lived comeback during which he attempted to become the first domestic to break into the Guinness League. A brief stint as an analyst, before he was dropped for Tony Kornheiser. A guest appearance on Wrestlemania, where he was matched again the old "Six-Pack Defense" - Bud Light's "The Washer," "The Dryer," "The Kitchen Sink" - in a bottle royal.
And then The Freezer's born-on date was up. Like Jeremy Lin and John Stamos and Chumbawamba, he virtually disappeared.
When at last I tracked down The Freezer, he'd been relegated to the bottom shelf of a lonely guy's refrigerator, along with three cans of Milwaukee's Best (still in their plastic ring top), two Bartles & Jaymes fuzzy navel wine coolers and a bottle of Zima. He was playing a forlorn tune on the harmonica.
The Freezer has gained weight. He looks to be at least 55 ounces. Bigger than a dorm-room pony keg.
He was wearing a throwback red, white and blue tearaway label, crinkled at the edges. But it was clean, and despite his humble surroundings, The Freezer seemed in good spirits. 5.0 percent alc/vol. Like it says on the label.
He says he spends most of his days trolling for catfish. He doesn't own an iPhone. People know where to find him, he says. Behind the mayonnaise jar and the box of Arm & Hammer.
He lives mostly off royalties from "The Super Beer Shuffle" and income from sports memorabilia shows, where he signs autographs and poses for photos with Pete Rose, and the other Budweiser Football League (BFL) stalwarts: Budway Joe, Bud Dry, Bobby Bud and Billy Bud, the vaunted "Beechwood Backs." And Budsky, the little 7-ounce field-goal kicker, and hero of Bud Bowl I.
The Freezer says it could be worse. Much worse. Despite repeated hits to the bottle cap, he got out of the cooler with his carbonation intact. He never has been tempted, he says, by deer-antler spray and/or the feminine wiles of Denise Richards.
Life is good, he says.
He said "his people" were pitching a musical based on his BFL career to Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA, and that there is talk of him fighting Tonya Harding in one of those celebrity boxing matches on Fox Sports Network.
■ It would be really cool if, during its seven hours of Super Bowl pregame coverage, CBS sent Terry Bradshaw (or Irv Cross - yes, he's still alive) to interview former NASA astronaut Gregory J. Harbaugh, who flew four Space Shuttle missions, because then it will have interviewed every Harbaugh at least once.
■ Butch Goring, the first coach of the defunct Las Vegas Thunder of the equally defunct International Hockey League, co-hosted Cisco NHL Live on the NHL Network on Wednesday. Goring, whose real first name is Robert, looked sharp. I don't know how he sounded, because the volume at Hooters was turned down.
■ When local sports radio personality Ken Thomson and local gym owner Mike Waters learned of former Durango High basketball star Martrel Johnson's kidney disease - and that he didn't have transportation to dialysis - they raised $2,700 within a matter of days. So Martrel now is driving to dialysis in a spiffy 2000 Mercury Marquis with very low miles.
■ Commenting on the excellent piece by the R-J's Ed Graney on former Las Vegas casino owner Ralph Engelstad's contributions to North Dakota hockey, reader Stu Ungar - not the real Stu Ungar, the Texas hold-em ace who died in 1998 - said he had never heard of a hockey goaltender who wore jersey No. 23 (Engelstad's number at North Dakota). Since the NHL began tracking jersey numbers in 1950, there have been two: Al Rollins wore 23 for Toronto in 1950-51; Marcel Paille wore 23 for the Rangers in 1958-59, 1961-62, and 1964-65.
■ In case you are Charlie Sheen and wondering what happened to the Lingerie Bowl, the game formerly played in Las Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday by sexy women in their dainty things, it (sort of) no longer exists. The Lingerie Football League has been rebranded the Legends Football League (to use up what's left of the LFL stationery). It has moved to the spring and will now feature "performance gear" instead of dainty things for uniforms. Prediction: There still will be occasional "performance gear" malfunctions.
■ Beyonce Knowles insists she "absolutely" will sing at halftime of the Super Bowl instead of lip synch as she did at President Obama's inauguration. But I've got to be honest here: I remember watching Eric Carmen lip synch "All by Myself" on "American Bandstand" and didn't think it was that big a deal.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.