- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 18, 2002

No matter how this PGA Championship turns out, Fred Funk has been a terrific story these past 14 years. How many guys join the Tour at 32 and end up winning $10million a figure Fred is closing in on? (A top-three finish in the PGA would put him over the top.)

Am I the only one who thinks Fred is going to tear up the Senior Tour when he's eligible in June 2006?

Speaking of old-timers, Greg Norman made the cut in all four majors this year at 47. For the record, Arnold Palmer was 53 when he last accomplished the feat (in '83). Jack Nicklaus did it at 51 (in '91) and Ray Floyd at 49 (in '92).

Guess J.C. Watts can forget about being appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

The man pulled a hamstring so fast up in Carlisle that he almost beat Santana Dotson to the injured reserve list.

Of course, Steve Spurrier isn't exactly looking for an option quarterback. Steve prefers to pitch the ball vertically, not horizontally.

Let's not forget, though, Watts once threw a game-winning 108-yard touchdown pass for Ottawa in the CFL playoffs. You'll never see Danny Wuerffel do that.

Which excites you more, the Redskins' 70th anniversary or ESPN's 25,000th "SportsCenter"?
Tough one, ain't it?

Required reading: The interview with Dan Snyder and Spurrier in the current issue of Newsweek. It's a real knee-slapper and only adds to the Snyder legend. Early on, Dan says, "People see me as impatient. But they don't know me." Then, near the end, his coach says, "I'm trying to teach him some [patience]."
Get your stories straight, will ya, fellas?

You've gotta love Spurrier. At another point in the interview, he concedes his boss "maybe went a little overboard" by giving him a five-year, $25million contract. When has a coach in any sport ever said something like that?

There's no telling what Steve is going to do. When it's bitter cold at minicamp, he wears shorts. When it's 100 degrees in training camp as it was last Wednesday he wears a long-sleeved undershirt beneath his polo shirt.

Actually, Spurrier wasn't the only one sporting the Two-Layer Look that day. So were a half-dozen defensive players: Jessie Armstead, Sam Shade, David Terrell, Eddie Mason, Ifeanyi Ohalete and Antonio Pierce.

"It might look like it's hot, but it's really not," Shade explained. "The shirts are made of pretty thin material. They breathe. I sweat a lot, and they help hold in the sweat and keep me from getting so dehydrated."

Finishing up on the Newsweek interview, I also loved the jab Snyder took at Ravens owner Art Modell. "What [kind of] model is Art Modell?" he says. "He owned the team 42 years and won one Super Bowl."
This is what happens when you've been alive for fewer years than Modell has owned the franchise. You might be interested to know, Dan, that in Art's fourth year as boss of the Browns (1964), they won the NFL title. (There was no Super Bowl then.) In three of the next five seasons, they also reached the championship game (losing to Vince Lombardi's Packers, Don Shula's Colts and Bud Grant's Vikings). Let's see if the Redskins can match that in the next few years.

In fairness, the Redskins' isn't the only 70th anniversary that has been celebrated in sports recently amazingly enough. Some of the others (and how the occasion was commemorated):
Harlem Globetrotters (1996) The team peddled 70th anniversary plates, featuring a picture of the original 1926 'Trotters with owner and founder Abe Saperstein. Price: $50.
Bobby Jones' Grand Slam (2000) Limited edition sets of playable hickory golf clubs, just like Jones used in 1930, were sold. Price: $3,500.
The University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium (1994) The stadium was dedicated on Oct.18,1924, the day Red Grange ran wild against Michigan, gaining 402 yards and scoring six touchdowns in one of the greatest performances ever. For the 70th anniversary, Red's wife Margaret was brought back to help dedicate the Grange Rock, which sits at the north end of the field.
Phar Lap Winning Australia's Melbourne Cup (2000) The legendary racehorse, who was stuffed after his 1930s exploits, was put back on display at the new Melbourne Museum.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2000) Free coffee and birthday cake were available to the first 500 fans who showed up for the anniversary party at Winnipeg Stadium. Buzz and Boomer, the CFL club's mascots, also were on hand.

Wonder if anybody on the Redskins' 70th anniversary team was stuffed.
Free coffee and birthday cake. It doesn't get any better than that.

The most idiotic comment of this or any other football season:
"John [Madden] is the best observer we've had since Mark Twain." Lesley Visser, USA Today, Aug.5.

Funny, I don't remember Mr. Clemens collaborating with Dave Anderson on "Huckleberry Finn."

A belated farewell to former Giants running back Mel Triplett, one of the first black players in the modern NFL, who died last month. Little known fact: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was such a huge fan of Triplett's growing up in New York that he wore his number 33 from the time he was in grammar school.

The producers of Dana Carvey's new movie, "Master of Disguise," missed the boat, if you ask me. When Dana's character pays a visit to the "Turtle Club," Gary Williams and Ralph Friedgen should have at least had cameos, if not speaking parts. Juan Dixon, too.

Remember the old Boston Braves refrain, "Spahn, Sain and pray for rain?" Well, it might be time to update it to "Martinez, Lowe and pray for snow."

The baseball players have chosen an interesting day to strike, though they're probably not aware of it. Aug.30, after all, is the day Ty Cobb made his major league debut with the Tigers in 1905. And why is this interesting? Because in addition to all his other achievements, Cobb inspired the first player strike.
It took place in 1912, after the Georgia Peach got suspended for going into the stands and punching out a heckler. His teammates refused to play until he was reinstated and actually boycotted a May18 game against the Philadelphia A's. Rather than pay a $5,000 fine for failing to field a team, the Tigers' owner signed a bunch of amateurs as replacements and dropped a 24-2 heartbreaker to the Mackmen. The next day, at Cobb's urging, the Detroit regulars returned.

Speaking of Aug.30 and strikes, it was on that date in 1991 that the Mets' David Cone struck out the side against the Reds on nine pitches, tying the all-time record.

Back in the '80s, one of my sportswriting idols, Ray Fitzgerald of the Boston Globe, wrote a column listing "50 Ways to Ease the Tension of a Baseball Strike." My favorites:
1. Teach your dog to bunt.
2. Rearrange your baseball cards in alphabetical order.
3. Hold hands with Rosie Ruiz and run 26 miles, 385 yards.
4. On your lunch break, practice the Statue of Liberty play with a close friend.
5. Feed a ballpark hot dog to a pigeon.
6. Feed a pigeon to a ballpark hot dog.
7. Skip a flat stone across a millpond.
8. Count the stitches on a baseball.
9. Play out your option.
10. Weep for sports the way they used to be.

And finally …
News item: Wizards first-round pick Jared Jeffries is fined $150 in Indiana for catching and keeping more than the allowable limit of two striped bass.
Comment: New Orleans Hornets GM Bob Bass could not be reached for comment.

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