Yours truly, Ruthless Ruth Silverman and Burrito Bill Comstock will get on the big bird at LAX on Thursday and head for Miami Beach, the site of this year’s NPC Nationals. I’ve heard different reports on the actual number of competitors; the first was around 900, the latter at about 800. Either way, it shatters last year’s record of about 520. This will be my 19th consecutive year hosting the Steve Karel produced event, and rumor has it people on making bets on what time I’ll be able to get the show done. All I can say is, pass the throat lozengers! Let’s put it this way–good thing restaurants stay open late in the area.
So, who am I picking the win the men’s show? Well, since I really don’t have much of an idea who’s going to be stepping on stage at the Jackie Gleason Theater, I don’t want to be held accountable if I’m off on this one. But, then again, the Swami never backs down a challenge, so here I go. I say it will be An-believeable Nguyen who takes both the heavyweight class and the overall titles. Now, if competitors would have gotten a hold of me, and let me know they are ready to steal the show, they might have gotten consideration. Thus, I’m going with Nguyen, the 5’8″, 220-pounder, who finished second in his class at the USA four months ago. Actually, I probably would have gone with a win for Nguyen anyway, but it would have made things more interesting.
Keith Williams will be back for yet another crack at a pro card, and I think he’ll be tough to beat in South Beach in the supers. Now, if Todd Jewell ever hits his conditioning spot on, the big guy from Washington could reach the winner’s circle. And, is my man Stephen Frazier ready to bring it? Frazier was better at the USA than he has been in recent shows (7th) and has to potential to knock out his opponents.
I heard Darren Glenn is doing the Nationals; Glenn is coming off a second place finish in the light heavyweight division to Tamer El Guindy at the USA, so Darren has to be considered the fave in this division. There’s not much controversy going into this season’s Nationals. JB Bartlett was the only dude with any huevos, writing me and letting me know that he thought he got jobbed at the USA in the welterweight class and that he will definitely turn the tables on Victor DelCampo this weekend. I wrote Victor, and asked him to comment on Bartlett’s words, but no response.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish every single competitor the best of luck. There’s a lot of pro cards at stage in bodybuilding, physique, figure and bikini so, as Marvin Gaye once say, let’s bring it on.