Yesterday evening, Squawker Jon and I were trying to figure out what would be the big sports story in the tabloids in today's papers. Would it be Hank Steinbrenner dissing Derek Jeter, or would it be A-Rod's very funny, self-deprecating remarks explaining that he really wasn't ticked off over the country seeing Cameron Diaz feeding him popcorn? Jon and I both thought it would be Yammering Hank, but as it turns out, the Knicks' trade for Carmelo Anthony knocked them both off the back page -- and in some cases, the front page!
By the way, I checked today's Chicago Sun-Times to see if Bill Zwecker, the Chicago Sun-Times gossip guy who reported that some anonymous insider claimed A-Rod "really went ballistic" after being seen on camera at the Super Bowl, would have a followup to the story. After all, Rodriguez isn't exactly known for a poker face (or for being a convincing actor), and he seemed pretty pleased recounting the story yesterday, directly contradicting Zwecker's claims. "I thought it was humorous," A-Rod said. "Who would be upset about getting fed popcorn?"
Anyhow, I didn't expect much from Zwecker as a followup, given that the columnist didn't even try to ask for A-Rod's side of the story in the first place. And there was nothing at all today on the Sun-Times' site about what Rodriguez said, although the sports department did have an article about Hank Steinbrenner's mansion-building comments.
Funny thing is, though, that Zwecker, whose source claimed A-Rod "really went ballistic" over being shown on TV, also used the word "ballistic" again in a column today about Miley Cyrus' supposed reaction to her father's disparaging interview in GQ, writing that Billy Ray's criticism of her show "Hannah Montana" is what "really made her go ballistic, according to sources close to the young superstar."
This got me curious as to how often Zwecker, or one of his anonymous sources, uses the word "ballistic" to describe a celeb's behavior. So I did a Nexis search of his Chicago Sun-Times columns, and found that word in Zwecker's column several dozen times. Now, it's one thing if a writer uses the same favorite words over and over, the way I use "good grief," "sheesh," and "puh-lease." But I do find it interesting that Zwecker's anonymous sources also use the word "ballistic" to describe anger. Here are some examples:
* An anonymous source told Zwecker that Cybill Shepherd had "gone ballistic" over her son's arrest -- January 14, 2010
* An anonymous source told Zwecker that Gerald Butler "went ballistic" over being linked romantically to Lindsay Lohan -- November 5, 2009
* An anonymous source told Zwecker that David Letterman "went ballistic" when a Letterman staffer moved in with the man who later reportedly blackmailed him -- October 8, 2009
* An anonymous source told Zwecker that LeAnn Rimes' new boyfriend Eddie Cibrian's wife Brandi Glanville went "completely ballistic" over the reported affair -- July 23, 2009
* And an anonymous source told Zwecker that Ryan O'Neal "went ballistic" when his son Redmond was arrested -- April 7, 2009
All quotes taken from a Nexis search of Zwecker's Chicago Sun-Times' columns.
What do you think? Tell us about it!