Juicy Taco Hell

The Bird chortled its freakin' tail feathers off the other day watching Arizona's daily press get played like a $2 harmonica by billionaire hucksters Peter and Harry Morton, and their PR butt boy Jason Rose, who by now should have about the same aura of believability as the kid who cried wolf.

On August 21, Rose announced a surprise news conference at the Phoenix Hyatt, where pop Peter of Hard Rock Casino fame, and his playboy son Harry, who runs the fledgling Pink Taco restaurant chain, would detail their bid to rename the new Cardinals nest either Pink Taco or Morton Stadium.

Frenzied members of the fourth estate swallowed whole the whopper that this was a $30 million deal in the making. Rose's press release promised the Mortons would unveil "visuals of a proposed logo" (a Penthouse spread, perhaps?) and let reporters "hold the $5,000,000 check" the Mortons "presented" to the Cardinals.

The fact that media morons could hold the check should've been a clue that there was no real deal from jump. A day or so later, Cards flack Mark Dalton confirmed that though Big Red was entertaining offers on naming rights from businesses, a synonym for the Fuchsia Beaver was not among them.

Admittedly, this comedic catbird chuckled over some of the off-color zingers posted on message boards such as, including the suggestion that, if painted Larry Flynt's favorite hue and named Pink Taco Stadium, the arena might have to "close every 28 days." Then there was the one about the moniker being perfect 'cause the Cardinals "play like pussies." This before new QB Matt Leinart and the Cards kicked some preseason Chicago Bears ass, 23-16.

When The Bird rang Rose to press him on the publicity ploy, his skin was thinner than a $50 bill.

"If you think it's just some publicity stunt, tell the Cardinals to call our bluff," growled Rose, doing his best Jerry Maguire impersonation. "Call in the money, and we'll make a deal!"

Uh, that's the point, Jason, dear. The Cards never wanted your masters' dough to begin with. And The Bird's got to say, good thing. 'Cause the last thing the revamped Cards need is their stadium's name to be a euphemism for "coward."

The Bird says screw the Mortons and especially their juicy Pink Taco! They get ink every time Prince Harry's spotted with the Hollywood slut du jour. Team owner Bill Bidwill and family are right to turn a cold shoulder to these Vegas carpetbaggers, even if The Bird agrees that their signature Pink Tacos are durn tasty.

If the Cardiac Cards wanna go local with naming rights, this plumed penman believes they should pick a bidness that practically screams "The Zona." How 'bout Danny's Car Wash Stadium? Or Discount Tire Stadium? Even Macayo's or Tee Pee Field, if the Bidwills wish to pay tribute to Sand Land's gringo bastardization of Mexican cuisine.

Maybe the Cards could select a Valley biz with a slammin' logo, something to spruce up their big gray bedpan in the desert, like the bull's head of Earnhardt Ford, or the sombrero-wearin', pistol-packin' panda of Chino Bandito Takee-Outee. For Cheech 'n' Chong fans out there, we might even hoist a giant spliff atop the Glendale sports edifice, and christen it Cheba Hut Stadium!

Or why not the grinning, gill-bearing icon of the Pete's Fish & Chips chain? Nothing says central Arizona quite like this fast-food outlet that has, ahem, nurtured so many Zonies from youth. Pete's Fish & Chips Stadium. You've got to admit, it's got a ring to it!

Milquetoast Mitchell

Why, oh, why are the Democrats always saddled with wishy-washy wusses like Harry Mitchell while Republicans end up with red-meat eaters like J.D. Hayworth?

AZ's pinto Dems pander to conservative voters and slither like scaredy-cats along the middle of the road, while the Hayworths and Jon Kyls of the state's political landscape barrel down the highway in their right-wing four-runners, crushing everything in their paths, leaving Congressional contenders like Mitchell as roadkill in their wake.

Such are the thoughts of this annoyed albatross upon learning that former Tempe mayor Mitchell decided to suck up to blue-nosed prudes like Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross (herself a DINO, "Democrat in Name Only") and wing-nutty organizations such as Len Munsil's Center for Arizona Policy, by coming out in support of Prop 401, Scottsdale's anti-lap-dancing ban, on the September 12 primary ballot.

In fact, this leftist lark was preparing to write a column excoriating Maricopa County Attorney Candy Thomas for wasting the taxpayers' time recording automated phone calls to Scottsdale residents asking them to vote yes on Prop 401. But then it heard that Hayworth-challenger Mitchell, without needing to take a stand on the issue, volunteered one on his Web site, stating that the initiative will "protect Scottsdale's quality of life" and ensure that Snottsdale, land of fake boobs and balding millionaires, "remains a great home for families and businesses."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons