- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 22, 2003

Did you see that Mike Price, Alabama’s short-lived football coach, is suing Time Inc. for $20million, claiming he was defamed by a Sports Illustrated article about his visit to a strip club? The money breaks down this way: $10million in lost wages, plus another $10million to cover his expenses that night.

• • •

Redskins progeny notes: Don Warren now has two sons playing football at Virginia Tech, Blake and Brett — and Russ Grimm’s kid, Chad, just walked on with the Hokies.

Meanwhile, at UNLV, Norv Turner’s boy, Scott, is vying for the backup quarterback job. The coach of the Rebels is John Robinson, Norv’s mentor at Southern Cal (and later with the Rams).

• • •

Back by popular demand, the Snyder Poll (one man’s ranking of the various Snyders in the world of sports):

1. Brad Snyder, OF, Ball State — First team All-American, Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and the 18th pick in baseball’s amateur draft (by the Indians).

2. Brian Snyder, 3B, Stetson — Went eight picks after Brad Snyder (to the A’s). It’s the highest a Stetson player has ever been selected.

3. Deron Snyder, sports columnist, Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press — Placed third in the 2003 Florida Sports Writers Association contest (50,000 to 175,000 circulation category).

4. Kyle Snyder, P, Kansas City Royals — Recently notched first major league victory, beating the Dodgers.

5. Dan Snyder, owner, Washington Redskins — Finally wised up and decided not to charge admission to training camp sessions in Ashburn.

• • •

Dwight Jaynes of the Portland Tribune on Emily Gosa, Tonya Harding’s recent boxing opponent: “Gosa was a delight. She bounced into the ring looking more like a cheerleader than a pugilist. Well, you have to excuse her if she didn’t exactly know what to do because she’d never been to a boxing match. She confessed she’d trained ‘about an hour a day for three weeks. Well, not really seven days a week — five.’”

• • •

Speaking of celebrity boxers, William “the Refrigerator” Perry appears to have finally found his calling. He’s entered the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, an event under the aegis of — get this — the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

You’d think the Fridge would have a decent chance to win, given the ease with which he used to handle the roll block.

• • •

If hot dog eating doesn’t work out, William might want to try flagpole sitting.

• • •

The International Federation of Competitive Eating, by the way, is not to be confused with the Atlantic Coast Conference, currently in the process of gobbling up the Big East.

• • •

News item:Nextel to replace Winston as NASCAR’s sponsor.

Comment: Swell, just swell. First they do away with champagne in the winner’s circle, and now they’re turning it into a non-smoking area.

• • •

Following a win in the Masters with a top-three finish in the U.S. Open, as Mike Weir just did, is no small feat. In fact, only five other golfers have accomplished it in the last 50 years: Ben Hogan in 1953 (first at Augusta, first in Open), Arnold Palmer in ‘60 (first, first) and ‘62 (first, second), Jack Nicklaus in ‘66 (first, third) and ‘72 (first, first), Nick Faldo in ‘90 (first, third) and Tiger Woods in ‘02 (first, first).

• • •

Seve Ballesteros narrowly missed in 1983, winning a green jacket but placing fourth in the Open.

• • •

If you’re looking for a sports movie to rent some summer night, I highly recommend “A Gentleman’s Game.” It’s the story of a golf prodigy and the country club to which his father belongs. Somehow I missed it when it was in the theaters, but it’s pretty well done. Gary Sinese is terrific — as usual — as a reclusive former U.S. Amateur champ.

• • •

FYI: Carl Hubbell was born 100 years ago today in Carthage, Mo. Everybody remembers King Carl striking out five straight Hall of Famers in the ‘34 All-Star Game (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin), but his performance against the Washington Senators in the previous year’s World Series was pretty amazing, too. Hubbell won both of his starts, allowing no earned runs in 20 innings, as his New York Giants took the title in five games.

• • •

Michael Jordan and the Bucks sounds like a good fit. In Milwaukee, they’re used to seeing cars with Illinois license plates.

• • •

You have to wonder what Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams was thinking when he took that little spin on his motorcycle the other day and wound up in the hospital. A (partial) listing of recent motorcycle casualties in the sports world:

• Race car driver Dario Franchitti

• Los Angeles Dodgers coach Jack Clark

• UCLA tight end Keith Carter

• Skier Hermann Maier

• San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent (who continues to contend he injured his wrist while washing his truck)

• San Antonio Spurs draft pick Robertas Javtokas

• • •

The granddaddy of all motorcycle accidents, of course, was Ron Gant’s in the winter of ‘94. The Atlanta Braves immediately released him, and he didn’t play again until the next season (with the Reds).

• • •

Then there’s the unfortunate mishap involving Christy O’Connor, the senior golfer. While Christy was polishing his bike a couple of years ago, it fell on his leg and broke it in two places. A total of 15 bolts and pins were needed to aid the healing process.

• • •

And let’s not forget Kansas City Royals pitcher Jason Grimsley, who’s missing his left big toe — the result of a motorcycle crash when he was 12.

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Going to the well one last time (promise), I bring you a few more words of wisdom from Joe Queenan’s “True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans” (Holt, $23):

“You only have to be a fan for about four months before you realize that even when something great happens to your team, it is probably not going to be remembered because it didn’t happen in New York. The 1966 Orioles shocked the world by sweeping the Dodgers. You never hear about them. The 1929-31 A’s were better than the 1927 Yankees. You never hear about them. The 1974-75 Warriors with their bizarre 12-man squad are one of the most compelling stories in the history of the NBA. You never hear about them. If you want to hear about the 1976-77 Trail Blazers, you’re going to have to go to Portland and visit the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. (It was closed for a private function the day I showed up.) All the folklore of sports is packaged by a Central Planning Commission, whose job it is to persuade the public that spare parts like Bill Bradley were stars and that the competent but unspectacular Knicks teams of the early 1970s were somehow in a class with the Celtics, Lakers and 76ers. The thing I remember most about those Knicks teams was that Red Holzman took Earl Monroe — the most exciting player on the planet — and neutered him.”

• • •

And finally, Florida police say Jose Canseco has violated his probation by testing positive for steroids. Oh, no! Does this mean his victory in that bar fight a while back will be declared a no-contest?

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