By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2
The problem with the Sacramento State football players who slathered themselves with nonstick cooking spray last weekend isn't that they tried to cheat.
It's that they picked the wrong lubricant.
A sideline photographer spotted two Sacramento State players spraying each other on the sidelines and took snapshots, which he then turned over to the league.
"I think it's a serious ethical breach," said Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton. "It actually does work, to a certain extent."
Maybe so, but judging by the results -- Sacramento State still lost the game -- cooking spray doesn't quite work well enough. With that in mind, Page 2 has complied a list of slippery substitutes, most of which have been approved by the FDA:
Oil of Olay
Pros: Softer, firmer, younger-looking skin. Locks in moisture for up to 24 hours. Protects against UV rays. Won't clog pores. Gives jerseys a warm, healthy sheen.
Cons: Requires headache-inducing trip to the cosmetics counter. "Non-greasy" formula not likely to cut it.
Bottom Line: May have to rub into opponent for maximum effect. Better to avoid.
Pros: Contains 50 percent less fat than butter. Does not require refrigeration. Will not scorch or burn. Adds a delicious, buttery flavor to any tackle and/or pileup.
Cons: Goopy texture makes it tough to spread. Makes a lousy salad dressing. May require an additional coating of flour, which is likely to be spotted by observant referees.
Bottom line: If you're thinking about using margarine, try this instead.
Method of application: Open bottle. Close eyes. Plug ears. Pour over head.
Pros: Fights thermal and viscosity breakdown, and minimizes deposit formation. Exceeds current U.S., Japanese and European wear tests. Voted "Product of the Year" by Lubricants World magazine.
Cons: Should not be ingested.
Bottom line: If it's good enough for Lubricants World magazine, it's good enough for us.
Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
Pros: Aging process yields smooth, mellow, yet complex flavor, the perfect compliment for a mouthful of turf. Newman donates all after-tax profits to charity.
Cons: Contains something called Xanthan Gum, which is probably a banned substance under NCAA rules.
Bottom line: An excellent match for Notre Dame and Michigan State's salad-green jerseys. And it's for a good cause!
Pros: Long-lasting. Fragrance-free. Water soluble. Gynecologist recommended.
Cons: Would work better if jerseys were made of latex.
Bottom line: It's lube in a tube. How can you go wrong?
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.