- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 5, 2002

The size of these Kentucky Derby Fields is getting ridiculous. About the only horse who didn't run in the race yesterday was My Friend Flicka.

Did you see college football is adding three more bowl games? Boy, if only the Queen City Bowl were around a few years ago. Ron Vanderlinden might still be coaching at Maryland.

There are now nearly as many football teams going to bowls (56) as there are basketball teams going to the NCAA tournament (65).

December Madness doesn't have quite the same ring to it, though. How about December Delirium?

With "Spider-Man" opening this weekend, the Sunday Column thought it would be nice to run a list of Famous Spiders in Sports History:
John "Spider" Jorgensen, third baseman, Brooklyn/New York Giants, 1947-51 Hit .266 lifetime, mostly as a reserve, and appeared in two World Series.
Carl "Spider" Lockhart, free safety, New York Football Giants, 1965-75 Intercepted 41 passes (third-most in club history) and played in two Pro Bowls.
Vladimir "Spider" Sabich, skier, '60s and '70s Finished fifth in the slalom at the '68 Winter Olympics and went on to become a two-time world professional champion. (Footnote: Was shot and killed in Aspen, Colo., in 1976 by singer Claudine Longet, his live-in girlfriend. Longet was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, a misdemeanor. She later married her defense attorney.)
John "Spider" Salley, center, NBA, 1986-00 Averaged seven points and 4.5 rebounds a game in a career that spanned 11 seasons. Won titles with Detroit, Chicago and the L.A. Lakers.
The Richmond Spiders Recently joined the Atlantic-10 and, in their first season, reached the conference championship game in the men's basketball tournament.

Speaking of "Spider-Man," based on what I saw in the movie, Peter Parker would be a good bet to bring home the gold in the 100 meters, the long jump, gymnastics, wrestling (both freestyle and Greco-Roman) and karate in the next Summer Games.

That is, provided he could pass a chromosome test.

One of the finalists for the Redskins' 70th anniversary team was listed in the Washington Post as Paul "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, an offensive tackle in the '50s. Say what? The only "Big Daddy" Lipscomb I'm aware of is Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, who played defensive tackle for the Rams, Colts and Steelers from '53 to '62. Paul was plenty big (6-foot-5, 246 pounds, to be precise), but he was no match for the real "Big Daddy" (6-6, 282).

Also, will someone please explain to me why current Redskins are ineligible for the anniversary team unless they've spent 10 years with the club (which excludes everybody but Darrell Green)? Stephen Davis has had the top two rushing seasons in Redskins history and is the franchise's No.3 all-time rusher and his name isn't even on the ballot? What a joke. Especially since Stephen has been in Washington longer than most of the finalists at running back, including Bill Dudley (three years, the minimum allowable), Terry Allen (four), Earnest Byner (five), Rob Goode (five), George Rogers (three), Mike Thomas (four), Joe Washington (four), Charlie Justice (four) and Joe "Scooter" Scudero (five).

Maybe Dan Snyder could appoint another panel to look into it.

It's just one more example of Snyder not knowing how to treat people. (And to think, at the same time Davis is being snubbed, the boss is asking him to renegotiate his contract.)
Obviously, you want a player to have some kind of track record before putting him on an anniversary team. Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington and Chris Samuels, talented as they are, haven't been around quite long enough. But Davis? Heck, he's practically a grizzled veteran.

I also find it comical that Matt Turk, who went to three straight Pro Bowls in the '90s, isn't listed among the special teamers, but Mike Bragg, who went to zero Pro Bowls, is. After Sammy Baugh (who specialized in the quick kick), Turk is the most accomplished Redskins punter ever; Bragg, on the other hand, averaged less than 40 yards a boot in his 12 years in Washington.
(You don't suppose Dan the Man had anything to do with it, do you? We all know he has a warm feeling for the Turk family.)

And what about Sam Baker, for goodness sakes? From 1956 to '59, Baker averaged 44 yards a punt and booted 54 field goals and 91 extra points. How can you overlook him? He's one of the best all-purpose kickers ever (along with Don Cockroft, Tommy Davis and Don Chandler).

From Dave Hyde of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel comes this startling revelation: While waterskiing in the early '70s, Joe Namath tore two of the three hamstrings in his left leg and was forced to play "my last five years that way." The hamstrings just "rolled down like a window shade," Namath disclosed, leaving what Hyde described as "a grapefruit-sized glob of tissue."
So it wasn't just Joe Willie's oft-injured knees that made him so immobile in his later seasons. One of his legs was almost hamstringless.

Namath on his high school recruitment (from Martin Ralbovsky's book, "The Namath Effect"): "I wanted to go to Maryland because I was stupid enough to think it was down South. I didn't know from outside Pittsburgh, man. All I knew was that I wanted to go down South. I think a lot of kids from the East and Midwest do because of the climate. You needed 750 on the college boards, right? I scored 745. They wanted me to take them again, but I said to hell with it [and went to Alabama instead].
"I went to visit Notre Dame, and I nearly had a heart attack when I found out that they didn't have women. They said, 'There's a girls' school just across the lake.' I said, 'Man, I don't swim after my women.'"

News item: Mets' Al Leiter becomes the first pitcher to defeat all 30 teams in the majors.
Comment: Yeah, but he still hasn't beaten the Washington Expos.

Has any recent ballplayer put together more long hitting streaks than Nomar Garciaparra? Nomar has had seven streaks of 15 games or longer in his brief career a 30-gamer ('97), a 24-gamer ('98), a 20-gamer ('00), a 17-gamer ('99), two 16-gamers ('98 and '99) and a 15-gamer that was snapped Friday night at Tampa Bay.

The hitting streak is a strange beast. Ted Williams never had a streak longer than 23 games. Tony Gwynn's best was 25, and Wade Boggs topped out at 28. And yet Jerome Walton managed a 30-gamer with the Cubs in '89.
Who said Don Zimmer wasn't a great manager?

Trivia question: Only two players in major-league history have had more than one 30-game hitting streak. Who are they? (Answer later in column.)

You know it's been a miserable year in hockey when two of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, which goes to the NHL's most valuable player, are goalies in this case, Patrick Roy and Jose Theodore.

Celebrity Auto Racing Results:
1. Terry Allen, Redskins, 133 mph, 1997. Vehicle: Ferrari convertible.
2. Ricky Williams, Saints, 126 mph, 2002. Vehicle: Mercedes SUV.
3. Jose Canseco, A's, 125 mph, 1989. Vehicle: Jaguar.
4. Kwame Brown, Wizards, 120 mph, 2002. Vehicle: Mercedes S600.
5. Teemu Selanne, Mighty Ducks, 80 to 90 mph (on a gravel road!), 1999. Vehicle: rally car. (Sorry, news stories didn't offer any more detail.)

FYI: If the aforementioned cars raced once around the track at Indy (distance: 2.5 miles), Allen would win by about 43 lengths over Williams, with Canseco another seven lengths back (according to my frenzied calculations).

From the sound of things, Kwame has all but thrown himself on the mercy of the court a far cry from how Chris Webber handled a similar situation in California a couple of years ago. "If Sacramento troubles me about a ticket," threatened CWebb, whose contract was up soon, "they will lose a nice person in the community."

Canseco, by the way, always contended that the police exaggerated, that he was only doing 120.

Answer to trivia question: Ty Cobb and George Sisler are the only players in major-league history with more than one 30-game hitting streak. Cobb had a 40-game hitting streak in 1911 and a 35-gamer in '17. Sisler had a 41-gamer in '22 and a 34-gamer in '25.

And finally, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "it takes the length of two to three football fields to stop a car running at 100 miles."
Or about the same distance it takes Tony Siragusa to put on the brakes.

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