Survivor: Nicaragua. The Coach as Champion: Week 2

I hate you, Jimmy Johnson.

Not for winning two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and then up and leaving in a huff, but for luring me into watching reality TV. I really despise reality TV. And, I admit, I'm really hooked on Survivor: Nicaragua.

On CBS' hit show they call Johnson "Coach" and there's no doubt who's in charge. As the oldest contestant at age 67, Jimmy has immediately wrapped his hands around Team Espada (olds). In last night's episode he was handing out morning work assignments and even giving pep talks.

Since there is no asthma beach in Central America and Johnson needs as many players as possible, he caressed and cajoled a nut job named Holly. Sensing a slight from another one (Dan) of her team (something over eating snails, I think), she promptly stole his $1,600 alligator shoes, filled them with sand and tossed them in a lagoon to sink.

After Jimmy took Holly under his bare-chested wing for a pick-me-up (gawd, I can't believe I'm watching this shit), she decided not to quit, confessed her crime to the group, apologized to Dan and promised to play the game with "honesty and integrity."

Responded Dan (why he had expensive dress shoes on the island is beyond me), "It's too early to start playing games and hiding stuff."

Jimmy's orchestrated, under-handed dictatorship notwithstanding, Team La Flor (the youngs) is much more interesting. And fun to look at.

I think there are three girls who look damn skippy in their bikinis, even one with a prosthetic leg.

This is one dysfunctional group. Alliances were formed and then dissolved on the basis of "we're minorities" to "I don't trust him" to "I think she's hot." Silly kids.

Johnson's Espada won the challenge by navigating four balls through a muddy crawl, into a stack of hay and finally in a barrel, sending La Flor to Tribal Council. (The dumbest thing in the history of TV, by the way. You just know that next to this raw, rugged Survivor jungle there's a five-star hotel/resort for producers, etc. And somehow up popped a styrofoam, fake rock formation lit with dramatic torches and, how convenient, benches! )

It's here we get a real look into Shannon, a cocksure dude who offered the damning quote of "New York's fulla gays." But the most dramatic - and unbelievable - character is Naonka. Seriously, she's the stereotypical "Oh no he dih int!" black chick, complete with wagging finger, bug eyes, pursed lips and demonstrative head bobble. Coulda swore her kind went extinct upon the retirement of Jerry Springer.

Somehow, La Flor voted off Shannon.

Again, no doubt Jimmy is going to win this contest. As he was giving Molly his "hang in there" speech - accented by Vince Lombardi's "Fatigue makes cowards of us all!" - it took me back to training camp 1993 in Austin.

Over Heineken's and hot sauce, Johnson was regaling us with some of his tales. This one explained why his left calf was considerably smaller than his right. He tore his Achilles in college and the calf muscle never recovered from the atrophy.

Jimmy: To this day it's like a raisin. Here, feel it.

   Me: No thanks, I trust you.

Jimmy: Feel. It. Now.

   Me: No way I'm groping your leg. 

Jimmy: Feel it!

   Me: Sure enough. Raisiny.

Man I hate him. Can't wait for next Wednesday.

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