- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 7, 2002

Oh, great. Now Dan Snyder wants to own a baseball team.

Maybe he can sign Deion Sanders to play left field.

The NFL's idea of "Flexible Mondays" deciding later in the season what the last four Monday night games will be may have gotten shot down, but I hear the league is still considering the possibility of "Casual Sundays" (when the dress code for players would be relaxed).

"Come As You Are Thursdays" is also said to be under discussion.

News item: "While the Texans are impressed by [David] Carr's accurate passing and strong work ethic, [Charley] Casserly said the team also likes that his personality is well grounded by his family life. Carr and his wife, Melody, have been married about three years and have a nearly 2-year old son." (ESPN.com)
Comment: This is much better than being married about two years and having a nearly 3-year-old son.

The appearance of the University of Miami football team's playbook on the Internet reminds me of the time quarterback Karl Sweetan, after getting cut by the Los Angeles Rams in the '70s, tried to sell their playbook to the New Orleans Saints for $2,500. Saints coach J.D. Roberts informed NFL officials of the offer, and the league called in the FBI. During negotiations with Sweetan's people, Roberts was get this wired for sound.
Sweetan was arrested and charged with interstate transportation of stolen property. Fortunately for him, though, the U.S. attorney opted not to prosecute.

Orioles right-hander Scott Erickson looks like he can be really effective on 615 days' rest.

NASCAR note: Tony Stewart won't be pulling his Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 stunt this year. Instead, sources say, he's thinking of entering the Pennsylvania 500 and the Soap Box Derby on the same weekend (July 27-28).

Since E.J. Henderson, the All-American linebacker, decided to stay at Maryland another year, it's probably too much to expect Chris Wilcox, the future All-American power forward, to do the same.

Actually, in light of his impending back surgery, E.J. is looking like a genius for putting off the pros. There's no way an NFL team would have drafted him in the first round not when he was damaged goods. He might not even have gone in the second. And after that, the money really drops off.

Stat of the Week: In the NCAA title game against the Terps, Indiana made 43.5 percent of its 3-point shots (10 of 23), 28.6 percent of its two-pointers (10 of 35) and 28.6 percent of its free throws (two of seven). Don't expect to see that happen again anytime soon.

FYI: You'd have to go back to 1944 to find a team that made as few free throws in the title game as the Hoosiers did. (Dartmouth was 2-for-5 from the line that year in its 42-40 overtime loss to Utah.)

Fearless prediction: Brenda Oldfield, the new women's basketball coach at Maryland, will take the Terps to the Final Four within 10 years.

Why such optimism? Because if there's one thing Maryland AD Debbie Yow knows, it's women's hoops. And if Deb says Oldfield is the Real Deal, that's good enough for me.

In the good old days, the NBA scoring champ was the guy who scored the most points in a given season. In 1970, though, the title started going to the player with the highest per-game average (provided he appeared in at least 70 games). And five years later, the league waived the 70-game requirement as long as a player scored 1,400 points.
Well, guess what? As his current pace, Paul Pierce will wind up with 2,163 points this season, 280 more than Allen Iverson. But the Answer (31.4 points a game) will beat out Pierce (26.4) for the title because he scored at least 1,400 points (before an injury in his 60th game finished him for the year).
Normally, I wouldn't make a big deal of this, except that it's the third time it has happened in the last four seasons and each time Iverson has come out the winner. Last year Jerry Stackhouse outscored him 2,380-2,207, but Allen had a higher average (31.1 in 71 games to Jerry's 29.8 in 80). And in '98-99, Shaquille O'Neal outscored him 1,289-1,284, but again, AI had the higher per-game figure (26.8 in 48 games to Shaq's 26.3 in 49).
This is one of those things, as Arsenio Hall would say, that make you go, "Hmmm."

The biggest joke, of course, was Bernard King winning the scoring title in '84-85 despite playing in just 55 games barely two-thirds of the Knicks' schedule. King tied for 12th in points, 509 behind Michael Jordan, but his 32.9 average led the league.

Not that Michael needs another scoring title.

A new pair of knees would be nice, though.

Former Georgetown guard Jaren Jackson is turning into the Bobo Newsom of the NBA. He just signed a 10-day contract with his ninth team, the Orlando Magic.

Jaren still has a ways to go to top Bobo, though. In his 20 years in the majors, Newsom was traded nine times and played for the Senators on five different occasions the last in 1952 at the age of 44.

If you haven't had a chance to read Barker Davis' opus on golf books that ran in Thursday's paper in particular his list of the top 10 golf books of all time by all means check it out. There's some good stuff there. I might have made room on the list for "Following Through," a collection of Herbert Warren Wind's classic articles for the New Yorker, but I'll defer to Barker's judgment (inasmuch as he's all-knowing on the subject).

In a piece on Lee Trevino, Wind recalls watching him play for the first time in the final round of the '67 U.S. Open at Baltusrol. "It was impossible to see what Trevino looked like," Wind writes. "A golf cap was pulled down low over his forehead, and most of the rest of his face was hidden by large scuba goggles. In the El Paso area, we were later told, quite a few golfers wore scuba goggles to keep windblown dirt out of their eyes, and he had got used to them. He had a 70 on that last round, and this put him in fifth place."

Then there's the story about Trevino's victory in the '74 PGA at Tanglewood. The house Super Mex rented the week of the tournament, Wind reports, "belonged to a widow, a Mrs. Mayberry. One day, when he was looking around the house, he happened to come across a bag of golf clubs that had belonged to Mrs. Mayberry's husband. He pulled out the putter, took a couple of practice strokes and said to himself, 'Isn't this something! This is the putter I've been looking for.' It was the model that Arnold Palmer had designed for the Wilson company back in the 1950s a blade-type putter somewhat resembling the immensely popular Tommy Armour model, which featured a small flange. Trevino asked Mrs. Mayberry if he could buy the putter. She didn't want to sell it but said he was free to use it, which he did. During the tournament, in which he putted very well, he again asked Mrs. Mayberry if she would sell him the putter. Again she declined, but told him that if he won the tournament she would be delighted to give it to him as a present. He played the last two rounds in 68 and 69, and edged out [Jack] Nicklaus by a stroke."

"Following Through" also includes this memorable quote from women's great Joyce Weathered on the joys of retiring from competitive golf: "I can [now] enter into the emotions of the game and enjoy them just as I like without having to preserve a state of elaborate calmness as a player over such incidents which are in reality causing me acute excitement and probably no little apprehension and alarm."

Dan Jenkins ("Dead Solid Perfect," "The Money-Whipped Steer-Job Three-Jack Give-Up Artist," "The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate") rightly dominates Barker's top 10. But I still say one of the funniest things Jenkins ever typed about golf is the passage about the difference between a hook and a slice in "You Gotta Play Hurt" (which isn't really a golf book). A hook, he says, is "just an evil, psychotic piece of [manure] that hates golfers. With a slice you can say, 'Get down, baby, whoa,' and it might do that, but when you hit a hook, all you can say is, 'That's right hook some more.' Your weekend golfer hits hooks and slices. The touring pro thinks he only hits draws and fades. [Ben] Hogan said he would rather let a cobra crawl around inside his shirt than hit a hook."

Surely I'm not the only one who's amused that Mike Tyson's spokesperson is named Scott Miranda.

And finally, "on the bubble" is such a worn-out phrase, don't you think? How 'bout if we update it to "in the panic room"?


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