- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 12, 2001

Hide the women and children. (Dan Snyder, too.) The Sunday Column is back after a two-week hiatus.

Took my younger son to see the Orioles play the Red Sox yesterday or, as he put it, on "Fans Get Absolutely Nothing Day."

Ted Leonsis is receiving rave reviews for his dramatic turn on "Arli$$." He might even have a shot at an Emmy for "Best Performance by an Actor Playing Himself."

Nice to see Baltimore-Washington holding steady at No. 7 on the Sporting News' best sports cities list. Much of it, of course, has to do with Leonsis, who has given us Michael Jordan and now Jaromir Jagr.

College Park, by the way, is the 64th-rated sports city far behind Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. (21st), but comfortably in front of Orono, Maine (146th).

If the WNBA has many more games like the Mystics' 42-36 stinker against Miami the other night, it might have to start awarding points for hitting the rim.

Let me get this straight: The teams shot a combined 0-for-26 from 3-point territory? Heck, I could do that blindfolded.

As yet another disappointing season winds down, Chamique Holdsclaw and Nikki McCray are looking more and more like the female version of Chris Webber and Juwan Howard.

This week's trivia question: What do Owen Nolan, Petr Nedved, Keith Primeau and Mike Ricci have in common? (For the uninitiated, they're all hockey players.) Answer below.

News item: Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders accuse visiting clubs of spying on their dressing room.
Comment: Don't you miss the good old days when clubs were content to spy on each other?

After spending a day watching grown men suffer in Carlisle last week, I came away with this thought: The Redskins made Dan Snyder look bad by missing the playoffs last year, so he hired Marty Schottenheimer to punish them for it.

A few words on the Korey Stringer tragedy: Some people will blame the Vikings coaches for his death, others will target the training staff or the Game Itself, but to me the player bears as much responsibility in these situations as anyone else. One thing I've learned during my two-plus decades of covering pro football is that you can't make players drink fluids on hot days (much as the trainers might like to). You can educate them, you can fill a table with cups of Gatorade on the sideline, you can do everything except stuff a water bottle down their throats, but players still have to be intelligent enough to take a swig or 10 when they need to.
I'm reminded of the Redskins' opener against Dallas two years ago, when they blew a three-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter and had defensive backs limping off left and right with leg cramps. Does anybody think for a second that Bubba Tyer's staff wasn't doing its job that day? That was just players being players, players assuming they wouldn't be affected by the heat the way mortal men are. All it cost the Redskins that time was a game. This time it cost Stringer his life. Senseless.

Agent Jim Gould, fondly remembered in these parts as one of the founders of the Washington Federals, is having the Month From Hell. In a matter of days, he had one client (Stringer) die and another (Terry Glenn) get suspended by the NFL and go AWOL from camp. I wouldn't want to be Big Daddy Wilkinson (another athlete represented by Gould) right now. Bad things, my grandma told me, usually happen in threes.

FYI: The Bill Fischer who holds the major league record for consecutive innings without a walk (84-1/3) the record Greg Maddux is chasing is the same Bill Fischer who played for the Washington Senators from '58 to '60. (He's now the 70-year-old pitching coach of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.) Amazingly, Fischer went 4-12 when he set the mark with Kansas City in 1962. You'd think pinpoint control would be worth more than that, even on a crummy (18 games under .500) team.

Maddux, meanwhile, is cruising along at 15-6, just four victories away from his sixth 19-win season and third in a row. I kid you not. He was 19-12 in '89, 19-2 in '95, 19-4 in '97, and 19-9 the past two years. Has any other big league pitcher ever had that many 19-win seasons?

This is what five-man rotations have given us: The 19-game winner. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

Reader Challenge: Red Sox catcher Scott Hatteberg made one of the greatest comebacks in sports history last week when, in consecutive at-bats against Texas, he went from hitting into a triple play to belting a game-winning grand slam. If anybody out there can come up with a better outhouse-to-penthouse performance, I'll print it in a future Sunday Column.
Here's the best I can do: In the first game of the 1950 NFL season, Chicago Cardinals quarterback Jim Hardy threw eight interceptions still a league record and lost two fumbles in a 45-7 loss to Philadelphia. The next week he fired six touchdown passes, one off the NFL mark.

Answer to trivia question: Nolan (Quebec), Nedved (Vancouver), Primeau (Detroit) and Ricci (Philadelphia) were the four players taken before Jaromir Jagr in the '90 NHL draft. Think any of those teams would like a do-over?
The Caps, you may recall, had the ninth pick that year and selected John Slaney, an eminently forgettable defenseman. They made up for it in the eighth round, though, by grabbing an underrated winger from Slovakia named Peter Bondra. Perhaps you've heard of him. After Jagr (439), Bonzai (382) has scored the most goals of any '90 draftee.

And finally, I don't understand why they're tearing up half of Augusta National to add 300 yards to the course. I mean, couldn't they just have the players play a 19th hole every day? That would be a lot simpler.

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