Manila Vanilla

What it's like to be a U.S. Fulbright scholar, basketball player, journalist, and the whitest man in Metro Manila.

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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

New Yorker by birth, shipped across the globe to the world of malls, shanty-towns, patronage, corruption, basketball and a curious burnt-toast smell that wafts around at dusk

Friday, October 09, 2009

Revisiting Rudy Hatfield

Has anyone looked at Rudy Hatfield's Wikipedia entry lately?

About the Man

Rudy retired from Basketball to follow his true passion. Teaching innercity quadrapalegic kids the wonderful sport of dodgeball. He even became a big brother to one of the kids from his dodgeball team (Matt Groundstone). It was with his time with Matt that Rudy decided to learn the Appalachian art of whittling.

"Rudy has really come a long way in his artwork. His unicorns easily sell anywhere from $500-$1500 each" says Sebastian Motiff (A whittling expert who has been seen on the Antique Roadshow in both the US and Canada).

"When I whittle, its like I'm in a whole new world. Its a happy place with flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where children dance and laugh and play with gumdrop smiles" said Rudy in his most recent interview.

Rudy has since opened up his on boutique where he sells his unicorns, and has earned the nomiker "The Unicorn Whisperer". It was his wife,Bethany, who first called Rudy 'Unicorn Whisperer' after seeing how whittling those unicorn figures from wood, just seemed to calm the rage inside of Rudy. Bethany has been Rudy's biggest fan, supporting his whittling and aspirations of making it big in the Unicorn art world.

Before the crazy rumor mill cranks up, let me state that I'm fairly positive Rudy "The Unicorn Whisperer" is a hoax. None of the names included in this description appear anywhere else on the Web. It also seems like the kind of joke worthy of Rudy Hatfield's unhinged sense of humor. I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote the whittling myth himself, and if it wasn't him then it's probably a clever fan's homage.

For those who aren't caught up on Rudy Hatfield, he was the PBA's premier rebounder and garbageman for much of this decade. He was so good that I saw opposing coaches devote most of their scouting time to keeping Hatfield off the boards and keeping his energy from spreading to his teammates. Like that other great boardsman, Dennis Rodman, Hatfield had an eccentric side. He left the Philippines in the prime of his career to try out as a professional wrestler and then attend fire department training, because "they’re crazy enough to run into a fire when everyone’s heading out and I get to wear suspenders all day," he wrote in an E-mail to Quinito Henson. "Chicks dig guys in suspenders, if you smell what the Rock is cookin’." To give you an idea of what the H-Bomb was capable of, here's the YouTube video of his immortal post-game speech after Ginebra bagged the 2007 All-Filipino championship. Wherever Rudy Hatfield is, the PBA misses him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice brief and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came across this somehow. I spend all day on the computer now, so sometimes I check out the old memories to see what's going on in the Philippines.
That Wikipedia was in fact written by someone in my office, and I thought it was hilarious. Fit perfectly.
I appreciate the good stuff you wrote. Spending a lot of time with the family and allowing God to mold me into the image of Christ.
Although every week I make sure to turn on that TV and get my dose of WWE Raw! I even got my 16 month old daughter sayin "I got 2 words for ya...", but we stop there.
Thanks again for the blog and you never know when they'll be a return of "The end it all...MR. 110 percenntttttahhhhh!"

4:42 AM  

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