- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just wondering: If the Redskins don’t beat the Eagles today, will Dan Snyder buy another radio station?

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Snyder, set on building a sports-talk radio empire, reportedly has made an offer for WGMS-FM, D.C.’s only classical music outlet. Funny, isn’t it? He bought the team with dreams of becoming the Man Who Rescued the Redskins, but he might wind up being remembered as the Man Who Strangled Stravinsky.

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Fearless prediction: By the time the deal is done, Bonneville International Corp., owner of WGMS, will hold the Redskins’ 2008 second-round pick.

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According to a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players, two of the four “most annoying” guys in pro football are Warren Sapp and Chad Johnson. So who’s featured prominently in promos for the NFL Channel? Sapp and Johnson. The league must be trying to annoy people into subscribing.

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Thought I’d take the opportunity, with the Eagles in town this afternoon, to set the historical record straight: While Philly fans may indeed have booed Santa Claus in 1968 — a day that has lived in infamy — it wasn’t the first time in pro football that St. Nick had been mistreated.

Last week, while goofing around in the Time magazine archives, I came across this item in the Dec. 19, 1949, issue: “In Chicago, the Santa of the merchants’ State Street Council was paraded on a float into Soldier Field between the halves of a professional football game [between the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Hornets]. A group of jeering teenagers began to pelt him with snowballs, hit him squarely in the face. As Santa exited, angrily shaking his fist, he moaned: ‘There’s a dead spot in my popularity — I just found it out.’ ”

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Yolanda Banks, wife of erstwhile Redskins and Ravens quarterback Tony Banks, has co-authored a cookbook titled, “Cooking for Your Man.” Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says he “can’t wait to get [his] hands on her recipe for turnovers.”

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Trivia Question: What famous athlete penned “Fowl Tips: My Favorite Chicken Recipes”?

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I keep waiting for one of John Daly’s wives to write a cookbook, something along the lines of: “101 Dishes That Go Great With Peanut M&Ms.;”

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Remember how excited quarterbacks were that the NFL was going to start allowing visiting QBs to use their Own Personal Footballs in games — balls that had been broken in during the week? Too often, quarterbacks said, they had been forced to play with slick new balls that were hard to grip.

Well, be careful what you wish for. The Sunday Column just checked the stats of last year’s six Pro Bowl QBs, and all six have a lower completion percentage this season than they did last. I’m talking about Peyton Manning (down from 67.3 percent to 65.1), Tom Brady (63/61.2), Carson Palmer (67.8/64.5), Matt Hasselbeck (65.5/56.7), Jake Delhomme (60.2/59.4) and Michael Vick (55.3/51.1).

So, uh, what exactly was the fuss all about?

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Speaking of Brady, for the second time in two years he’s suing somebody for — according to his lawyers — improperly using his picture to promote a product. The first time he went after New England-area Cadillac dealers, and now he’s seeking damages from Yahoo! and its fantasy football game.

Notes the Boston Globe: “For a guy who once posed with a goat in the pages of GQ, Tom Brady is surprisingly protective of his image.”

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Elsewhere in pro football, Junior Seau, out for the rest of the season with a broken arm, says, “I’m definitely going to be back” next year at 39 — making him the early frontrunner for the 2007 Julio Franco Award.

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It was an up and down week for Walt Harris. On Monday he was fired as Stanford’s football coach, and on Thursday he was named the NFC defensive player of the month.

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On the subject of football coaches, Boston College’s Tom O’Brien decided to take the N.C. State job — a mere six months, I’ll just point out, after BC baseball coach Peter Hughes jumped to Virginia Tech. Which raises the question: Did the ACC add Boston College so it could expand into the New England market or so it could cannibalize the school’s athletic staff?

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As you’ve probably heard, oh, 1,000 times by now, this is Wake Forest’s first ACC football championship since 1970. Raise your hand if you have any memory, any recollection at all, of that ‘70 Wake club. OK, time’s up. Here, for the curious, are Five Things About the 1970 Demon Deacons:

1. They finished 5-1 in the ACC but only 6-5 overall.

2. As a result, they didn’t get invited to a bowl game.

3. The only player to receive any national recognition was defensive tackle Win Headley, who made the Newspaper Enterprise Association’s All-America team. (Headley was selected in the eighth round of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers but never played in the league.)

4. Brian Piccolo — of “Brian’s Song” fame — was not one of the Deacons’ running backs. Piccolo’s last college season was 1964. No, Wake’s leading rusher in ‘70 was Larry Hopkins with 984 yards. The next year, Hopkins gained 1,228 to set a school record that still stands.

5. The coach, Cal Stoll, spent one more season at Wake, then skedaddled to Minnesota, where he compiled a record of 39-39, including a 17-7 loss to Maryland in the 1977 Hall of Fame Classic.

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Now you know why the 1970 Demon Deacons have been utterly forgotten, despite their glorious ACC title.

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Check out ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose sometime — he of the gray-streaked mullet and dark pinstripe suits — and tell me he doesn’t look like Eddie Munster 40 years later.

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OK, maybe not. But if his incisors were just a wee bit longer …

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So I’m reading about former tennis queen Andrea Jaeger taking her nun’s vows, and all I can think about is the time in religious ed when Sister Claire backhanded a kid.

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What’s next, Art Monk joining the Benedictines?

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No joke: Jaeger’s gotta be the most famous nun since Freddie Joe.

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Answer to trivia question: Wade Boggs.

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And finally …

An eight-page account of the first basketball game ever played in 1891 — handwritten by James Naismith, the sport’s founder — was auctioned for $71,700. There seems to be some question about the document’s authenticity, though. The first sentence, apparently, reads: “Mutombo won the opening tip.”

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