- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 7, 2008

Now that Chad Johnson is done changing his last name to Ocho Cinco, maybe Tatum Bell, the culprit in the Case of the Stolen Samsonite, should change his last name to Bellhop.

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Neal from Gaithersburg writes: “Reminds me of former Yankees outfielder Ruben Rivera, who stole Derek Jeter’s bat and glove from his locker - and sold them to a memorabilia dealer - while he was Still With The Team. (But not for long.)”

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And it reminds me of ex-Redskin Albert Connell lifting money from Deuce McAllister - it was just a prank, a form of rookie hazing, Connell claimed - and getting run out of New Orleans. Albert never played in the NFL again, though he did find work in Canada.

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Any way you look at it, it’s not the greatest career move, this kind of stuff. I mean, it’s like putting yourself on waivers.

Does anyone else find it funny that Jimmy Kimmel - described as “classless” and “cheap” by an ESPN producer after his appearance on “Monday Night Football” last season - is now the spokesman for DirectTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package?

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Actually, we should probably thank Kimmel. Thanks in part to his classlessness and cheapness, MNF has decided to do away with booth visits by celebrities this year. Not that it wasn’t fascinating to listen to Drew Carey talk about the soccer team he owns a piece of.

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You know the Redskins have had a rough night when their Hit of the Game is Chris Samuels’ tackling of Giants pass rusher Mathias Kiwanuka (which left the latter with an injured ankle).

Give Samuels credit, though. He did a nice job of wrapping him up.

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As Jim Zorn and his club have discovered, losing the Thursday night league opener is no fun. For the next 48 hours, there no place to hide - nothing else to talk about, NFL-wise, because the other teams (Giants excepted) haven’t played yet. So all the focus is on the Redskins - what they did wrong, what the loss means, whether Zorn was a good hire, whether Jason Campbell is cut out to be the starting quarterback. A lonely time, to be sure.

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Getting back to the Receiver Formerly Known As Chad Johnson …

Something just dawned on me: By changing his last name to Ocho Cinco, Johnson has essentially appropriated the number 85, claimed it for himself. Somebody should ask the Ravens’ Derrick Mason how he feels about this. Mason, after all, has caught more passes for more yards than any No. 85 in NFL history (710 and 9,024 to Johnson/Ocho Cinco’s 559 and 8,365).

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It’s interesting, though. The number 85 hasn’t been worn by many of pro football’s better wideouts. Indeed, by the time Johnson/Ocho Cinco retires, he could indeed be the most famous No. 85 ever - at least on offense. (There are already two defensive No. 85s in the Hall of Fame - defensive end Jack Youngblood and linebacker Nick Buoniconti.)

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The best receivers, other than Johnson/Ocho Cinco and Mason, to wear the number 85 (not counting guys like Henry Ellard, who wore it during his days with the Redskins but is better remembered for being No. 80 with the Rams):

c Mark Duper, Dolphins, 1982-92 - 511 receptions, 8,869 yards, 17.4-yard average, 59 touchdowns, three Pro Bowls.

c Isaac Curtis, Bengals, 1973-84 - 416/7,101/17.1/53, four Pro Bowls.

cSammy White, Vikings, 1976-85 - 393/6,400/16.3/50, two Pro Bowls.

c Mel Gray, Cardinals, 1971-82 - 351/6,644/18.9/45, four Pro Bowls.

c Del Shofner, Rams/Giants, 1957-67 - 349/6,470/18.5/51, five Pro Bowls.

c Max McGee, Packers, 1954-67 - 345/6,346/18.4/50, one Pro Bowl, MVP of Super Bowl I.

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Johnson/Ocho Cinco is such a hot dog, he probably should have changed his name to Chad Mustard. Unfortunately, there was already a Chad Mustard in the NFL - a veteran tight end recently let go by the Broncos.

Mustard’s number: 85.

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Virginia Tech’s Greg Boone, who’s been seeing some action at receiver (in addition to tight end and H-back), is 6-3, 280 pounds.

Or to phrase it another way, he puts the “wide” in wideout.

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Turning to baseball, the Brewers plan to have a special seating area at Miller Park next season for Harley-Davidson owners. Fans using the 42-seat deck will “be able to park in an exclusive, motorcycle-only lot,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

It’s all part of the club’s No Hell’s Angel Left Behind policy.

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First David Eckstein, 5-foot-7 with his spikes on, is voted Most Valuable Player of the 2006 World Series. And now Dustin Pedroia, listed at 5-9 but said to be closer to Eckstein’s size, is making a serious run at the American League MVP Award.

Welcome to post-BALCO baseball.

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I’d love to see the Red Sox second baseman win it - and then do a TV commercial where he looks into the camera and shouts happily, “I’m going to Munchkinland!”

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As I’ve always said, Eddie Gaedel was a man ahead of his time.

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And let’s not forget Albie Pearson, the 5-5, 141-pound outfielder who was AL Rookie of the Year for the Original Washington Senators in 1958.

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News item: The LPGA changes its mind about a rule requiring players to speak intelligible English at tournaments - or face suspension.

Comment: Heck, if baseball had a rule like that, there would have been no Yogi Berra.

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And finally …

A Russian high jumper is suspected of being a bit tipsy - vodka, maybe? - during a track meet in Switzerland last week.

According to the Associated Press, Ivan Ukhov “failed with each attempt to clear the bar … before being asked to stop competing.”

After looking at the footage on YouTube, I’ve come to the following conclusion: The reason he couldn’t clear the bar was that he kept trying to belly up to it.

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