- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 6, 2005

Even if the Eagles hadn’t suspended him for Conduct Detrimental, Terrell Owens probably wouldn’t have had much of a game against the Redskins tonight. His right ankle is sprained, and his left foot is in his mouth.

• • •

Owens dissed his quarterback again last week, saying Philly would be better off with Brett Favre calling the signals. Let’s see, he doesn’t like Jeff Garcia, he isn’t too keen on Donovan McNabb … before long, he’ll be pushing the club to re-sign Sonny Jurgensen.

• • •

Trust you saw T.O.’s latest end zone antics against the Chiefs — that bit where he draped a towel over his arm and impersonated a waiter. Obviously, he’s unhappier about his contract situation than any of us realized. What other player has ever scored a touchdown and then scrounged for a tip?

• • •

Speaking of TDs, Owens is also miffed that his employers didn’t acknowledge his 100th touchdown catch a while back. He was unaware, it seems, that the club doesn’t recognize individual achievements. That’s why the Eagles didn’t break out the champagne after his recent interview with ESPN.com, even though it was the 200th time in his pro career he’d acted like a jerk.

• • •

Oh, and another thing: I’m not convinced T.O. even has a sprained ankle. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if his limp was the result of an ingrown Sharpie.

• • •

The Redskins, meanwhile, are doing everything they can to beef up their pass rush with McNabb coming to town. Heck, they even gave a tryout Tuesday to Wolf Blitzer.

• • •

Did anyone else — other than the ghost of Jimmy the Greek, maybe — notice this? Nine of the 14 home teams in the NFL this weekend are underdogs. Doubt that’s happened many times.

• • •

While researching the item in Thursday’s column on LaDainian Tomlinson’s passing prowess, I stumbled across a Hidden Great Season — Tom “The Bomb” Tracy’s feats for the Steelers in 1960. Tracy, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound dynamo from Tennessee, accounted for five touchdowns rushing, four receiving and four passing. Wow. No other back in modern times has had even three TDs in all those categories in the same season. (Which gives Tomlinson something else to shoot for.) And get this: Tracy also kicked three field goals that year, all in the same game — a 22-10 victory over the Redskins.

AARP-ers may recall he finished his career in Washington in 1963 and ‘64. “The Bomb” was one of those unique talents who, for whatever reason, has fallen through the cracks.

• • •

Turning to college football, Nebraska coach Bill Callahan received a public reprimand from the Big 12 for making a throat-slashing gesture at an official during last week’s game. Callahan claims the gesture was misunderstood. He was merely, he says, signaling to the ‘Huskers’ film crew to “cut and print.”

• • •

You’ve heard of the vertical passing game? Well, at Nebraska, apparently, they’ve got a cervical passing game.

• • •

Seventy-one years ago this month, Catholic University’s Tom Oliver boomed an 84-yard punt against Western Maryland to set a college record (since broken). Alas, Catholic lost the game, played here in D.C. on Nov. 3, 1934, 2-0.

“A blocked punt that resulted in a safety in the second period was the margin between the teams,” the New York Times reported. “By a strange quirk of fate, it was Tom Oliver’s punt that the visitors converted into the winning points after the Cardinal fullback previously had kicked 65, 70 and 75 yards on three tries to extricate his team from embarrassing situations.”

Obviously, one of those punts was an 84-yarder. Newspaper accounts in those days tended to be — how shall I put it? — approximate.

• • •

By the way, the Western Maryland Terrors were a powerhouse that season. They finished unbeaten, defeating — among others — Bucknell, which went on to play in the first Orange Bowl (and pounded host Miami, 26-0). WMU’s big star was fullback Bill Shepherd, who led the nation in scoring with 133 points; he also had a pretty fair NFL career with the Boston Redskins and Detroit Lions, twice finishing in the top five in rushing.

• • •

Catholic, you’ll be pleased to know, bounced back from its 2-0 loss to go 8-1 the next season under coach Dutch Bergman. That earned the Cardinals a berth in the second Orange Bowl, which they won by edging Mississippi, 20-19.

• • •

So I’m reading a story headlined, “Man kills buck with bare hands in bedroom,” and I’m thinking: Boy, has this guy got an anger-management problem. I mean, if Joe Buck were getting on my nerves, I’d just hit the mute button.

• • •

Amusing piece in Golf Digest on Hollywood’s Top 100 golfers. (No. 1: Dennis Quaid, 1.1 handicap; No. 100: Tom Cruise, 36-plus.)

Brad Garrett on “Everybody Loves Raymond” costar Ray Romano: “I love Ray. He’s had 12 lessons with [David] Leadbetter, and he’s squeaking out a 98. I never heard him curse in nine years on the set. But on the golf course he says things about his mom … and she’s one of the loveliest ladies you’ve ever met.”

Jack Wagner, formerly of “Melrose Place, on winning a “sizable” bet against John Daly (thought to be $10,000): “He gave me three a side and something on the medal bet. We each shot 69. John was playing with graphite-shaft irons, and he broke all of them over his knee. That’s when I went, I really love this guy. Two weeks later we went to Palm Springs, and he beat me so bad I asked him if he’d help me break mine.”

• • •

Jason Giambi, who lost his shoe deal with Nike because of suspected steroid use, has signed on with Reebok after being voted AL Comeback Player of the Year. “Reebok has a long-standing history of being loyal to their athletes,” Giambi said in a statement.

Uh, Jason, you might want to check with Kobe Bryant on that.

• • •

In related news, a noted scientist, Patrick Arnold, has been indicted on charges of supplying BALCO with the performance-enhancing drug known as “the clear.” I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if he beats the rap — and gets voted 2006 Comeback Chemist of the Year.

• • •

Hasta la vista, Vinny Castilla. Your homer in the Nationals’ home opener — the first by a Washington player at RFK Stadium since the days of Frank Howard — will never be forgotten.

• • •

Unfortunately, the Padres made the Nats an offer they couldn’t refuse — Brian Lawrence’s 15 losses for your 12 dingers.

• • •

Speaking of baseball, did you hear Theo Epstein, the ex-Red Sox GM, ducked the media on Halloween night by donning a gorilla costume and strolling out of Fenway Park?

Whoops, I’d better rephrase that. You can’t, after all, duck anything in a gorilla costume.

But you can, I suppose, make monkeys out of reporters.

• • •

My Boston friends thought Epstein was surprisingly upbeat at his goodbye press conference, but I don’t buy it. I still think he has a major chimp on his shoulder.

• • •

And finally …

After clearing up some loose ends in the Hub, Master Theo will escape to his mountain retreat … San Simian.

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