- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 7, 2008

“This Time There’s No ‘If’ About It, I Really Did Do It, And I Apologized For It, But The Judge Wasn’t Buying.”

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Speaking of Judge Jackie Glass, I thought she did a great job with the sentencing. She made clear that the length of O.J.’s incarceration - he could be eligible for parole in nine years - had nothing to do with his 1995 acquittal for murder … or with his performance in any of the “Naked Gun” movies, for that matter.

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On the subject of football and jurisprudence, Jaguars receiver Matt Jones met with NFL officials Thursday to appeal his three-game suspension for a drug bust. I’m not sure it helps his case any, though, that all of his best games this season - against Cleveland (eight catches, 117 yards), Houston (eight, 104), Denver (seven, 69), Cincinnati (seven, 69) and Tennessee (six, 80) - have come on grass.

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Something we’ll never need to ask Plaxico Burress again:

Is that a pistol in your pants, or are you glad to see me?

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The Patriots, meanwhile, are so wracked with injuries on defense that they’ve brought back Junior Seau, who turns 40 next month. To which I reply (in my best Ken Beatrice voice): Tony McGee - you’re next!

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Most players who have been retired for 10 months are covered with rust. Not Seau. “I’m still brushing off the wax from the surfboard,” he told the Boston Globe.

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You’ll get a kick out of Peter Schrager’s piece in Esquire, “The Seven Commandments of Watching Football in a Sports Bar.”

An excerpt:

“Thou Shalt Not Wear the Jersey of a Player Who Now Plays for a Division Rival.

“A grown man wearing a sports jersey in public is questionable enough, but to have a guy who is now playing for a hated rival immortalized across your back is absolutely impermissible. This goes for all of you Dolphins fans with Wes Welker jerseys, Redskins fans with Antonio Pierce jerseys and Bears fans with Bernard Berrian jerseys. See also: Ty Law [Patriots], Nick Harper [Colts], Joe Horn [Saints] and Isaac Bruce [Rams]. And don’t even think of getting a personalized jersey unless you’re under the age of 12. No one cares that your name is Vinny, you like the Eagles and your favorite number is 69.”

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A moment of silence, please, for the Ball State Cardinals, whose perfect season went poof in the Mid-American Conference title game.

I suppose we should be calling them Bawl State now.

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I’m all for history - as visitors to This Space well know - but I just don’t get these throwback Zephyrs uniforms the Wizards were wearing the other night. Is there an iota of nostalgia in the nation’s capital for a team name that existed for one season (1962-63) when the franchise was located in another city (Chicago)?

And heck, if you MUST put on these unis, do it when Golden State is in town, for goodness sakes. (The Warriors were here Nov. 25, Ed Tapscott’s first game on the Washington bench.) Their coach, Don Nelson, actually played for the Zephyrs, averaging 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds as a rookie.

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Nellie was the Z’s third-round pick, the 17th player taken overall. The club’s fifth-round pick was a 6-foot-4 hotshot from Utah State who was the Aggies’ all-time leading scorer when he graduated. But the kid decided to become a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys instead. Who was he? (Answer below.)

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Turning to hockey, Stars bad boy Sean Avery took a big chance last week when he made that crude remark about his ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert. I mean, doesn’t he know her father is Jack Bauer?

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Esquire - yes, them again - once did an imaginary interview with Bauer, counter-terrorist hero of the hit show “24,” for its “What I’ve Learned” feature. In it, he said something Avery might want to keep in mind:

“If you don’t have a Taser gun, the wires from a lamp will deliver the current needed to shock your subject just enough to get him to give up the formation you need without doing any permanent damage.”

Jack also said: “If you shoot a man’s wife in the knee and he still doesn’t give you the information, he’s bad.”

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In addition to serving a six-game suspension for being a lout, Avery agreed to see an anger management counselor. Good thing Gary Bettman doesn’t make every miscreant do that. The NHL would turn into “Holiday on Ice.”

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Or as Rodney Dangerfield might have put it, “I went to a hockey game, and the Ice Capades broke out.”

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Answer to trivia question: Cornell Green was the Zephyrs draft pick who opted to play pro football.

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Did you read about the San Francisco Giants going to airline pricing for walk-up tickets? Yup, the cost of many seats might fluctuate from game to game next season, depending on demand.

Which raises the question: Why didn’t the Seattle Pilots think of that?

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Before long, teams will be offering seats - for a few bucks more, of course - with five extra inches of legroom.

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Just wondering: If the game goes into extra innings, will the ushers start handing out those little blue pillows?

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Goodbye, beer vendors. Hello, drink carts.

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No joke: I had a dream the other night that I was at a game at AT&T Park. The visiting team loaded the bases with none out, and the PA announcer said, “We’re experiencing some unexpected turbulence. Please fasten your seat belts and return your chairs and cup holders to their upright and locked positions.”

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The Giants were also in the news for signing free agent shortstop Edgar Renteria. Renteria, you may have heard, just had one of the worst years of his career (.270 BA, .317 OBP, .699 OPS), prompting the Tigers to decline his $11 million option and give him a $3 million buyout. So what does Edgar do? He cuts a deal with San Francisco that calls for a $2 million bonus and $7 salary next season (plus $9 million in 2010).

Bottom line: He’s going to make $1 million more than he would have if he’d stayed in Detroit ($3 million plus $2 million plus $7 million equals $12 million). Yeah, this is some “economic downturn” we’re in.

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Seriously, in how many other lines of work does a lousy year result in a $1 million raise - outside of Wall Street, that is?

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And finally …

The Giants will be Renteria’s fifth team in six seasons (the Cardinals, Red Sox and Braves preceding the Tigers). Guess we know now where the “Rent” comes from.

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