Evan Centopani and Kevin English made “The Experts” eat crow this weekend. And, we even thought we know how much Yogi Avidan likes to eat, crow ain’t one of his favorite foods.
As you all realize after reading my previous blog, Yogi and I went with Silveo Samuel and David Henry to come out on top in both the main event and the 202 and under at the New York Pro this weekend, respectively. Of course, with Silveo falling all the way down to fourth, and Henry getting beat by both Kevin English AND Mark Dugdale in the smaller division, it’s suffice to say we didn’t bring our “A” game-even though the rest of our prognostications weren’t chopped liver. But, as Arnold told me way back in 1975, people only remember the winner.
If Yogi and I were a bit off the mark with Samuel, Isaac “Hardbody” Hinds went the wrong way on a one-way street with his usual zany picks. At least Silveo finished in the top five. “Hardbody”, rumored to be under Doctor’s care for exhaustion due to his hectic travel schedule of late, was waaaaaaay off course with his prediction that it would be Darrem Charles leaving the Tribeca Performing Arts Center with first place trophy in hand.
Actually, I give props to Hinds for not going with the obvious selection (Samuel or Dennis James)-but with Darrem being placed in seventh, Hinds’ ninth place pick, Marcus Ruhl, taking third and Eduardo Correa, Isaac’s choice to win the 202, falling to fourth, Hinds is the easy winner of the “Bonehead Pick of the Weekend” award. Make that “Picks.”
I know, Isaac, I know…you tabbed Cathy LeFrancois to win the women’s bodybuilding. Like, who else would you have taken? Didn’t Cathy win this same show a year ago? Nice try, but no cigar.
As always, Yogi has jumped on the winners bandwagon, and is insisting the 27-year-old Centopani may crack the top 8 at the ‘Olympia this year. Hinds says Avidan needs to be drug tested. I say Evan who, in looking at Roland Balik’s photos, deserves props for impressively bringing up his wheels since we all last saw him winning the Nationals in November, 2007, should think about pulling a Phil Heath and sit out the Big Dance to further refine his physique for 2010. Afterall, this will be the most competitive line-up in recent years. Still, a rousing pro debut for Evan, anyway you look at it. I’m glad for the Connecticut-based physique artist; he’s a nice kid with a huge work ethic. A modern day Mike Matarazzo. Congrats on your huge victory.
And, an apology is due English, who didn’t get the respect he deserved from “The Experts” after winning the 202 last year, then finishing only behind Kai Greene in the main show (since then a “no crossover” rule has been implemented.) and winding up a great 2008 with a runner-up finish to Henry at the ‘Olympia 202. . One photographer who called me after the prejudging felt that English would have won the open show as well if he could have competed. Since Kevin and Evan never stood side by side, that’s just conjecture. But, Centopani’s size advantage would have been hard to overcome.
Also want to give a thumbs up Dugdale and Hidetada Yamagishi, both who showed up in great condition. Now, I did win my wager with a Yamagishi enthusiast, who put a little cash on the line that Hide would finish in the top three but, regardless, Japan’s first ever pro bodybuilder did himself proud.
‘Nuff for now, time to chow. But, here’s a vow. “The Experts” may be down, but are never out. Look for a huge bounce back with our Mr. Olympia prediction video down the road. Just get some rest before then, Isaac.