- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 17, 2002

Who says alchemy is a pseudoscience? The IOC just turned a silver medal into gold.

Goal: Yang.
Assist: Wang.
I love the Chinese women's hockey team.

Memo to the University of Maryland: You know you've arrived as a football program when you've got schools (e.g. Troy State) paying $150,000 so they won't have to play you.

Naming an all-time Redskins team to celebrate the franchise's 70th anniversary is kind of jumping the gun, don't you think? I mean, what's Dan Snyder going to do to celebrate the 75th anniversary hold a seance and try to communicate with the spirit of Lone Star Dietz?

One of my New England correspondents writes, "[Boston sportscaster] Bob Lobel came up with a funny nickname for [the Patriots] Adam Vinatieri right after he won the playoff game against Oakland with a walk-off field goal. He called him 'Adam and Leave.'"

Whoops Dept.: Page 43 of the Super Bowl game program featured an article on "retiring" Darrell Green. (Alas, he changed his mind about hanging 'em up after that section of the program went to print.)
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Darrell's most interesting comment: "On the field, I faced a bunch of tough wide receivers. I have said there are certain attributes that make up a great wide receiver. Heart, like Michael Irvin had in Dallas. Speed, like Cliff Branch. Great routes, like Charlie Joiner and Steve Largent. Hands, like Cris Carter. Jerry Rice had most of the attributes. Now his record shows he was the greatest by numbers. But I will not say that the other guys were not great. Some guys like Steve Largent couldn't run past you, but he could do other things."

Glad to see him single out Branch in the speed category over receivers like Roy Green and Randy Moss. Cliff tied the world indoor record for the 60-yard dash when he was in college (5.9 seconds) and could flat-out fly. He also caught 501 passes for the Raiders, but he wasn't as appreciated as he should have been because he played on the same team with Fred Biletnikoff.

Saw in "Transactions" last week that the New Orleans Saints had hired two quality control guys Danny Langsdorf (offensive assistant-quality control) and Paul Chryst (defensive assistant-quality control). Funny, I didn't realize the Saints had so much quality to control.

When I heard Jon Voight had been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Howard Cosell, I found myself wishing Howard was still around. He no doubt would have had something priceless to say about the situation, something along the lines of: "I am not now, nor have I ever been, a sup-por-ting ac-tor."

Say this for Jose Maria Olazabal: His game travels as well as anybody's in the last 25 years. Not only has he won as many tournaments on the U.S. Tour as any European during that time (six, including last week's Buick Invitational), he has done it without ever becoming a full-time member of the tour. By contrast, Nick Faldo (six U.S. victories) did most of his playing Over Here in the years that he won; the same goes for Sandy Lyle (five) and Bernhard Langer (three). Only Seve Ballesteros (six) compares with Olly in his ability to fly across the pond, fend off jet lag and play championship golf.

With his victory in tennis' Australian Open, Thomas Johansson joined a long line of Johanssons who have done great things in sports. A partial listing (only native-born Swedes eligible):
Ingemar Johansson Heavyweight boxing champ from June 26, 1959 (when he knocked out Floyd Patterson in three rounds) to June 20, 1960 (when he got knocked out by Patterson in five rounds).
Ove Johansson Kicked a 69-yard field goal for Abilene Christian in 1976, a college record that still stands. Later played in the NFL (briefly) for the Eagles.
Per-Ulrik Johansson First Swedish golfer to play in two Ryder Cups ('95, '97). Five European tour wins.
Ivar Johansson One of only three wrestlers in Olympic history to earn a gold medal in both the freestyle ('32) and Greco-Roman ('32, '36) categories. In '32, he won a freestyle gold in the 174-pound division and just four days later won a Greco-Roman gold in the 159-pound division. Try that sometime.
Greta Johansson Took the gold in platform diving at the 1912 Olympics at the tender age of 17.
And last but not least …
Calle Johansson Classy defenseman for the Capitals for lo these many years. Has scored 514 points (116 goals, 398 assists) in 1,019 games. Sidelined this season with a torn rotator cuff, but rest assured he'll be back.
Note: Ingemar Johansson's daughter Maria recently launched a boxing career. When told of her plans, Ingemar is said to have remarked, "Will she be fighting girls?"

There was much caterwauling at American University when the school switched to the Patriot League. But if the men's basketball team earns an NCAA berth and it's in first place right now I suspect it will swallow its pride and go.

Chris Webber and Tyra Banks? Oh, well, I suppose it's better than Chris Webber and Tony Banks.

Unless I'm mistaken, Popeye Jones' 8-for-8 shooting performance against the Knicks earlier this month is the best by a Wizard/Bullet since Terrible Tom Kozelko had an identical game against New York in the '74 playoffs.

Tom Kozelko. Now there's a blast from the past. He averaged just 2.9 points a game that season, shooting 44.4 percent from the floor, but in the finale of the Knicks series he was Mr. Automatic. (Unfortunately, his heroics weren't enough; the Bullets were eliminated 91-81.)

In case you were wondering, Wilt Chamberlain holds the NBA mark for most field goals in a game without a miss 18 for the 76ers against the Bullets (when they were in Baltimore) in '67. But if it makes you feel any better, the Bullets' Bailey Howell went 14-for-14 against the San Francisco Warriors two years earlier. (To balance things out, though, Bailey went 0-for-14 for the Pistons against the St. Louis Hawks in '63.)

Did you read about the Stanford baseball player, Carlos Quentin, who got hit by a pitch five times the other day against Florida State? He set two NCAA records, I understand most times hit by a pitch in one game and most times hit by a pitch without charging the mound.

Some other details about Quentin's historic day:
(1) He was the only batter to get plunked in the game.
(2) He was hit by five different pitchers.
Needless to say, he bats cleanup.

News item: Anaheim Angels discover that pitcher Ramon Ortiz is actually 28, not 25 as his passport says.
Comment: Heck, he's practically old enough to be Danny Almonte's father.

And finally, I hear one of the Red Sox relievers is putting together a one-man show for Broadway. He's going to call it "The Urbina Monologues."



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