- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 15, 2001

You had to figure China was going to get the 2008 Olympics, especially since Iraq and Serbia Yweren't in the running.
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Seems like just yesterday the Chinese were "breaking" all these world records and attributing it to their athletes' steady diet of caterpillar fungus.
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That's China, for you: The Sun and Fungus Capital of the World.
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The following questions have popped into my head since the Capitals pulled off the Jaromir Jagr trade:
1. Will Jagr's $10 million-plus salary make conveniently priced Peter Bondra want to renegotiate?
2. What exactly does "future considerations" mean that Ted Leonsis has to sell playoff tickets to Pittsburgh fans over the Caps' Web site now (something he resolutely refused to do in April)?
3. How will the deal impact on Mario Lemieux? Can he continue to be as productive as he was last season without Jagr on his right wing?
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Trivia question: Jagr has more goals at this stage of his career (439 at the age of 29) than all but six players in NHL history. Name the Magnificent Six. (Answer below.)
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Not to cast aspersions or anything, but that pitch Chan Ho Park served up to Cal Ripken in the All-Star Game would have been belted out of the park by Donna Shalala.
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Watching Alex Rodriguez shoo Ripken over to shortstop at the beginning of the game reminded me of a similarly classy All-Star gesture by Wizards coach Doug Collins during his playing days. Collins, a 76er, was voted to start in the backcourt for the East in 1978, but he gave up his spot to Celtics legend John Havlicek because Havlicek, like Cal, was retiring at the end of the season.
"He came up to me at the banquet [the night before] and said, 'John, it would be an honor for me if you would start in my position,' Havlicek said after the game. "And I said, 'Doug, I don't want that to happen. You deserve to be out there.' Collins, however, insisted.
"John Havlicek has always been my idol," he explained. "When John first started in an All-Star Game, I was 10 years old. Besides, when a man gets to be 38, once you get him warmed up it's hard for him to sit down."
Havlicek scored the first four points for his team and finished with 10. Collins had 14 coming off the bench along with eight assists and five rebounds as the East prevailed 133-125.
If any of the Wizards are wondering what kind of man their new coach is, that's the kind of man he is.
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It turned out to be a greater sacrifice than Collins ever imagined. Why? Because injuries curtailed his career, and he never played in another All-Star Game. Unbelievable, huh? He was only 26 at the time and probably figured he would have other chances to start down the road, but it wasn't to be.
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Havlicek, it turns out, wasn't even on the original East roster. But then Pete Maravich got hurt less than a week before the game, and Hondo was chosen to replace him. Ripken, of course, won the fan voting at third base. Conclusion: Americans are getting more nostalgic all the time.
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Speaking of the Celtics, it's interesting, isn't it, that they can sign three first-rounders within a few weeks of the NBA Draft, but the entire NFL has signed just one first-rounder (Michael Vick, by the Falcons) three months after its draft.
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Sorry, no poetry today. Ogden Nash and Grantland Rice are on vacation.
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Answer to trivia question: Wayne Gretzky (677), Mike Bossy (535), Mario Lemieux (494), Steve Yzerman (469), Jari Kurri (441) and Michel Goulet (440) all had more goals than Jaromir Jagr (439) when they were his age (by my rough calculations).
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Am I the only one who hates it when TV types conduct interviews over the P.A. system after an event (as they did at Wimbledon and with Cal on All-Star night)? The reporters are so fawning and the answers they get are so saccharine. It's an exercise in lameness, if you ask me.
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The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Not only did the Sean Gilbert trade enable the Redskins to get Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington and Chris Samuels, it also helped them land free agent Michael Bates. Carolina has so much money tied up in the under-performing Gilbert that it has had to let a number of useful players go.
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It's only a matter of time before somebody refers to the Redskins' dorm at Carlisle as the Bates Motel.
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I've got a great excuse for Central McClellion, the Redskins' secondary addition, should he ever be late for a team meeting: Just tell coach Marty your watch is set on Central Time.
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Kudos to Mark Collins of the Maryland Independent newspaper for confirming the Arrington-Serena Williams coupling. Collins spotted LaVar at a summer basketball league game in the Maryland 'burbs recently he was watching his brother Eric play and got him to admit that, yes, he and Williams are boyfriend and girlfriend. They met at a photo shoot more than a year ago, the Redskins linebacker said, and have been dating ever since.
Glad we finally got that nailed down.
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LaVar's family has moved to Croom in Prince George's County, by the way, and little brother will be playing ball for Douglass High next season. He'll be a senior.
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In case you missed it, Dan Snyder dominated the "Best and Worst" balloting in the current issue of Washingtonian. The Redskins owner was voted No. 1 in three categories: "Person I Wouldn't Marry for a Million Dollars," "Most Shameless Self-Promoter" and "Local Villain/ Villainess." In addition, his "prize" free agent of a year ago, Deion Sanders, was picked as the "Most Overrated Local Athlete."
On the plus side, Dan did finish third in the "Local Millionaire I'd Marry in a Minute" sweepstakes which just goes to show that some people will do anything for money.
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And finally, I might be able to say something intelligent about the "new, improved" BCS formula … if I understood the old one.

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