- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 28, 2007

Nice of the judge to allow the Bears’ Tank Johnson to play in the Super Bowl. There’s one stipulation, though: During media interviews, Johnson isn’t allowed to shoot his mouth off.

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Tank has been charged with possessing six firearms without a permit — giving new meaning to the expression, “Would you look at the guns on that guy?”

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I’m not sure what to make of this, but: On the same day 31-year-old Lane Kiffin was hired to coach the Oakland Raiders, 10-year-old Abigail Breslin was nominated for an Oscar for “Little Miss Sunshine.”

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There’s no truth to the rumor, by the way, that Breslin was Al Davis’ second choice.

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Check out the home page at bigcamo.com, in particular the picture of Fridge Perry modeling “big and tall” camouflage hunting gear. I’m tellin’ ya, he looks like a forest unto himself.

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You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boise State tried to work camouflage hunting gear into its offense next season.

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For sale on EBay: A media guide for the 1974 New York Stars of the World Football League (a team that, as every WFL trivia freak knows, relocated to Charlotte in midseason because of financial difficulties).

The seller: None other than Mel Proctor, the erstwhile Nationals announcer, who says, “It’s time to clean out the archives [actually the garage]. … I’m putting all the items I’ve accumulated up for auction.”

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I can’t believe Mel is willing to part with the guide. Two of the players on the Stars, after all, were future broadcasters Gary Danielson and John Dockery. (Danielson threw for one touchdown in ‘74, and Dockery intercepted one pass.)

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After this clock foul-up at the end of the Duke-Clemson game, my Virginia Tech friend says, maybe the Blue Devils should change their fight song to the old Stones tune, “Time Is on My Side.”

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Revised lyrics to “Fight Blue Devils”:

Duke is out to win today

In fact, the game’s a lock

So turn on the steam team

While we rig the clock

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It wouldn’t bother folks so much if there hadn’t been a similar timing blunder late in the Duke-Virginia Tech game three weeks earlier. Then, too, the clock wasn’t started after an inbounds pass, but the officials caught the error and corrected it.

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I’ve heard of extended-time testing, but this is ridiculous.

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There’s a funny tale about a 76ers timekeeper in “The Breaks of the Game,” David Halberstam’s paean to the 1970s Trail Blazers. Seems Portland was leading Philadelphia by a point when time was called with a second left. I’ll let Halberstam take it from here:

“Philly took the ball out, and it went in to Archie Clark. He dribbled right. No buzzer. He dribbled left. No buzzer. The Blazers coach …is dying. Clark faked right. No buzzer. Clark pumped and shot. The buzzer sounded as the ball went through the hoop. Philly wins.

“After the game, Jack Kaiser of the Philadelphia Daily News rushed over to [another writer]. ‘Where’s the timer, where’s the timer?’ he shouted. ‘I want to see him.’

” ‘He’s gone,’ [the other writer] answered. ‘Besides, you can’t interview him anyway.’

” ‘I don’t want to interview him,’ Kaiser said. ‘I just want him to time the rest of my life.’ ”

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Sports Illustrated has lost its way (which might explain why it’s been laying off staffers lately). It used to be about great writing, but now it’s about hipness, pandering to the younger demographic and Trotting Out at Least One Dead Body in Every Story. Get a load of this claptrap, the beginning of a piece in the current SI:

“At first glance, the MySpace page of Alabama forward Jermareo Davidson looks a lot like that of any other college student. There are loads of photographs, a song playing in the background and goofy, half-intelligible messages from friends. But take a closer look. Read the preamble across the top of Davidson’s page: ‘November has been a rough month for me …’ Listen to the song, Ky-Mani Marley’s mournful ‘I Pray.’ And watch the continuously looping photo montages, digital elegies to two fallen pillors of Davidson’s life.

“One shows pictures of a willowy young woman framed by electronic roses, floating hearts and a simple farewell: Live in the sky Nikki, love u 4ever, RIP. Just below that, another series of photos presents a young man with piercing eyes, a goatee and dreadlocks beneath another postscript: RIP BIG BRA.

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Heck, the magazine doesn’t even know how to spell anymore. Last time I checked, it was “pillars,” not “pillors.”

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Cancel my subscription. (But wait until after the Swimsuit Issue.)

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Donald Trump must be serious about landing a U.S. Open for his golf course in New Jersey. He just named Elin Nordegren Miss Universe.

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He’s also promised to let USGA officials party with Tara Conner.

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Interesting trial under way in Nebraska, where a veterinarian is accused of giving jittery racehorses intravenous shots of vodka. The vet faces several misdemeanor counts, including (a.) attempting to influence a race by tampering, and (b.) contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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The ploy might never have been discovered if one of the thoroughbreds hadn’t had a bad reaction. The horse apparently told investigators he’s “strictly a tequila man.”

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According to the Associated Press, “the University of California-Davis is studying the possibility of a post-race breathalyzer.” The Betty Ford Clinic, meanwhile, has begun raising money for a Mr. Ed wing.

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And finally …

Here’s hoping it doesn’t come out in the trial that Barbaro was drunk.

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