Sunday, December 13, 2015

Philistine Commish Expected to Give Ruling on Goliath Hall of Fame Eligibility Soon

Fans of the former Philistine champion Goliath are anxiously awaiting the promised before-the-end-of-the-year ruling by the new Philistine commissioner on his eligibility for inclusion in the Philistine Hall of Fame. In the past, each new commissioner has steadfastly refused to revisit the case, blindly following the view of the previous regime.

The subject has long been a public relations nightmare for the Hall. Goliath, of course, was once considered to be the mightiest Philistine warrior of all time and many fans remember his enthusiastic pillaging and plundering as the very embodiment of all that Philistia stood for. He was famously quoted as saying that he would walk through Israel in a manna suit just to get on the battlefield. Indeed, if any man deserved to be enshrined on the hallowed walls of the Philistine Hall of Fame it is Goliath of Gath.

It was apparent from the earliest age that Goliath was something special. Inhabitants of his home town recalled that his father, Beelzubub the Belligerent, mercilessly stacked his youth warrior squad and they literally slaughtered all comers. Later, when local officials tried to make more equitable teams, his father pulled him out, aligned him with local youth stars Ashkelon the Big For His Age and Uliat the Held Back For an Extra Year and formed a travel gang that marauded far and wide.

Goliath shot to national prominence in his late teens when a unprecedented growth spurt caused him to swell to giant-sized proportions, gaining two cubits and a span over a period of only three months. Thereafter, he reigned as the undefeated champ until he was upset by the Israelite David in one of the biggest, well, David and Goliath upsets in history.

The fact that Goliath has not been included in the Hall of Fame until this point has long sparked debate and has been extremely disappointing to those who invested heavily in his Topps rookie papyrus, once the most prized piece of memorabilia this side of the Holy Grail. [On a side note, archaeologists have determined that the same batch of bubble gum put in those packs was still being used as late as 1971]. It was originally thought that the crushing defeat to David played the major role in Goliath's exclusion from the Hall, however, recently discovered archaeological documents have shed new light on the subject.

It has become apparent that scribes of the time speculated that Goliath's phenomenal growth spurt did not occur, shall we say, just by living clean and eating unleavened bread. There were wide-spread rumors that his father had arranged for a series of injections which were originally passed off as vitamin B-12, but actually contained anabolic steroids. The suspicion became especially acute when Goliath showed up one spring needing a helmet nearly twice the size of that used the previous fall. And, indeed, one of the problems he had against David was the fact that his head was so large that none of the helmets fit him, leaving his massive forehead exposed as an easy target.

Other scholars point to a more sinister accusation--that of illegal gambling. It had long been suspected that the infamous David match was fixed. Many eyewitness accounts claimed that they did not even see the stone--giving rise to what became known as the "phantom stone theory." It was speculated by some that Goliath was not killed by David at all, but merely took a dive and then was trampled in the ensuing melee as the Israelites stormed the field.

Adding credence to this theory is the discovery of ancient documents which reveal that although Goliath was a prohibitive favorite, local scroll-makers were taking a surprising amount of action on David just before the fight.

Newly damning evidence against Goliath shows up in the recent translation of parchments found among the holdings of Shlomo the Greek, ancient Israel's most notorious gambling kingpin.

Numerous references are found to a "Big G" who placed copious wagers--often on some of the biggest upsets of the time, such as "Big G wants a dime on the Israelites plus 2 and a half over Jerico Sunday" and "One thousand sheckels for Big G on Samsom over Philistines."

One particular inscription states that "Big G may not be good against WLSB this weekend." Biblical scholars now feel that WLSB stands for wimpy little shepherd boy and Big G is indeed Goliath. It is now thought that, despite the fact that gambling on matches by participants was expressly forbidden under Philistine law, "Big G" not only gambled regularly but did so with the other side and ultimately met with a losing streak and found himself heavily in debt to underworld figures, leaving him little recourse but to arrange to throw the fight.

Several ancient Philistine Hall of Famers were quoted in scrolls on the matter. "He should have helped us win the Ark a couple of times but just didn't get it done, now you have to wonder," said one former running mate.

"Everyone knows the rules," said another. "He knew the rules and did it anyway. I hope he never gets in."

As so with these recent findings, Goliath, despite his continued popularity among fans, may have trouble ever getting into the Hall of Fame without a ticket.