The birthplace of fame: Scappoose, Oregon!
ESPN was doing a story on Derek Anderson, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Anderson has come out of nowhere this year. He took over for Charlie Frye in the second game of the season, and most people figured he was just a place-holder until Brady Quinn took over sometime at the halfway point of the season. Unfortunately for Quinn, Anderson got hot and is thisclose to taking the Browns into the playoffs. In the process, he's probably saved Romeo Crennel's job. Anderson has looked great and shows once again that draft choices are a crap shoot. I remember when Anderson played at Oregon State (I no longer lived in Oregon then, but since we're still in PAC-10 country and I like the Oregon teams, I paid attention), and he looked decent enough, but nobody thought he would do anything in the No Fun League. He might be a flash in the pan, but this season, at least, he's a star.
The ESPN story, however, made the point that he might not be the most famous Scappoosian (don't blame me; that's what they called themselves in the story)! The reporter pointed out that the 2007 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Sara Jean Underwood, is also from Scappoose! What are the odds? Miss Underwood, naturally, has a MySpace page (both this and the previous link are safe for work, by the way), but if you're really interested, you can check out nude pictures of her here (or, you know, do a Google search - she's naturally quite popular). As it's been some years since I've paid attention to Playboy, I had never heard of Miss Underwood until this morning, but that's an achievement, I guess, being named Playmate of the Year. Miss Underwood is cute, although it's kind of creepy that she kind of looks like a 14-year-old:
Anyway, it's strange that the current Playmate of the Year and the starting quarterback of an NFL team are both from such a small town, and it's even stranger that they know each other. In a small town, that's not surprising, but they are so close in age: Anderson was born on 15 June 1983 and Underwood was born on 26 March 1984. In the ESPN story, Miss Underwood said that he was a year ahead of her in school, but they knew each other pretty well, as he dated one of her friends. This would weird me out. I don't think I'm alone in wondering if any girls he went to high school with ever became nude models (maybe I am), but to actually know someone growing up who can be seen naked by anyone in the world with a subscription to Playboy or an Internet connection would be bizarre. I doubt if Anderson hangs out with Underwood much these days, but what does he do when he sees her naked? "Hey, I used to hang out with that chick when we were twelve!" I don't know, it would be bizarre to see someone I know all unclothed. When I was younger, I guess it would have been cooler, but now it would just be strange. Maybe I have too many hang-ups. Let's call it the "J. Geils Syndrome." I don't really have a problem with women posing for Playboy and its ilk, but I think it's sad that the only way they get anyone to notice them is by taking off their clothes. But that's a whole different post!
One more thing: Miss Underwood would have been 9 when we moved to Portland and 17 when we left. We drove through Scappoose plenty of times in those 8 years. That would have been weird if we had stopped to eat at a diner and she was there with her family. Using my foreknowledge of future events (that's why I'm so wealthy, don't you know), I could have told them, "Hey, your 12-year-old daughter will pose naked in ten years! Won't that be fun?" This is the kind of stuff I would do if I had a time machine. Yes, I'm twisted.
To sum up: Scappoose, Oregon is a hotbed of NFL quarterbacks and Playmates. Who knew?