- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2002

First it's basketball for Manute Bol. Then it's celebrity boxing. Now it's hockey. Maybe it's just me, but I think the guy is missing a major opportunity. I mean, wouldn't everybody like to see Manute bowl?

Actually, Manute was only the second choice for the publicity stunt, I'm told. The Indianapolis Ice originally tried to talk John Henry Williams into letting them use Ted.

Did you see the story about the Sacramento State football players who got caught greasing their jerseys with nonstick cooking spray? The Big Sky Conference ultimately decided to reprimand them, but it considered a much more serious punishment: making them change their majors to home economics.

It's funny. In college football, it's against the rules to put a foreign substance on a uniform. But in college basketball, it's perfectly legal to put a foreign substance in a uniform (e.g. Manute Bol).

Speaking of which, to capitalize on the interest in such players as Pau Gasol and Yao Ming, the NBA is printing some All-Star ballots in Spanish and Chinese. I can hardly wait for the league to offer ballots in French (in honor of Parisian Tony Parker). Then I can vote for Vin Boulanger (Baker), Rick Renard (Fox), Jason Enfant (Kidd), Eric Neige (Snow) and Antoine Promeneur (Walker).

What do you suppose Darius Miles translates into, Darius Kilometres?

Defensive end Julius Peppers is the second Carolina Panther this month to test positive for ephedrine or a derivative of the stimulant ephedra, according to reports. Coach John Fox must be Sudafed up.

It was a tough week for the NFL. A couple of days before the Peppers story broke, Colts owner Jim Irsay admitted he was battling addiction to prescription drugs. This came as a shock to Indianapolis fans, who for many years thought Irsay was addicted only to losing.

Shaquille O'Neal on drug testing: "To tell you the truth, I don't know what's legal and what's illegal by NBA standards. For example this is a true story I had a poppy seed muffin during the Olympics, right before I took the test. A couple of days later, they thought I was doing coke. We later found out that poppy seeds in a muffin were the same thing as cocaine."

I knew there was a reason I liked poppy seed muffins.

So I'm watching the 500th "Monday Night Football" telecast, with John Madden in one of those old ABC blazers, and I'm thinking: That's gotta be the biggest yellow jacket since the league had a team in Frankford.

Most Inane Gesture of the Year: "[Bill] Walsh was the first coach in the NFL to script his first 15 plays," Ricci Graham of the San Francisco Examiner writes, "but [49ers coach Steve] Mariucci altered that approach two weeks ago. Mariucci said he now scripts his first 19 plays in honor of the late Johnny Unitas, the former Baltimore Colts quarterback who recently died."

Is anyone else surprised that the Redskins would waive Jacquez Green the week they played the Giants when Jim Fassel desperately needed a receiver? (This, not long after they cut Kevin Lockett and watched him get picked up by a future opponent, Jacksonville.) Fortunately for them, the Giants signed Herman Moore rather than Green (who went with Detroit).

The Redskins' Super Bowl hopes are all but extinguished, and now they can forget about winning the Madden Bowl, too. Jacquez, you may recall, is the two-time defending champion of EA Sports' football video game tournament, which is held every year at the Super Bowl. He took the "Madden 2002" title in New Orleans last February by waxing the Saints' Sam Knight 43-8 in the final.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Steve Spurrier must really miss the worshipful SEC media. Commenting on the Superior One's bumpy first season in the NFL, Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi wrote: "He has been kidnapped by pro football. Brainwashed. They have turned him into the worst thing you can possibly imagine. They have taken one of the most refreshing, rollicking college coaches in history and turned him into just another NFL clone, just another NFL drone."
"They," Mike? "They"? No, Steve did that himself by stocking his roster with former Florida quarterbacks and receivers and telling everybody, "Watch us go." Well, we're still waiting. Maybe next year. Or the year after.

It's kind of hard to be "rollicking" when you're getting your butt beat by scores like 37-7, 43-27, 30-9 and 26-7.

Back by popular demand, the Snyder Poll (one man's ranking of the various Snyders in the world of sports):
1. Kirk Snyder, basketball, Nevada-Reno Sophomore swingman figures to be one of the top players in the WAC after making the All-Newcomer team last season. Averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Wolfpack's two exhibition wins.
2. Rachelle Snyder, women's soccer, Penn Not only does she hold the school record for points in a game eight against Delaware last year the soph forward/midfielder is also a Total Babe.
3. Snyder (Texas) High School Tigers District 3-3A co-champions with a 6-4 record heading into the playoffs. Quarterback T.J. Jones leads them with 715 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
16. Earl Snyder, first baseman, Cleveland Indians Batted .200 in 55 at-bats this season, with one homer and four runs batted in.
21. Dan Snyder, owner, Washington Redskins His team is 4-5, his offensive genius coach is struggling to score points same old story, in other words.
25. Steven Snyder, interim athletics director, Miami of Ohio One football coach gets charged with shoving a fan, another tears up the coaches' box after a last-second loss to Marshall. You don't really want to become permanent AD, do you, Steven?
(They're lovin' it down in Coral Gables, Fla., though. For the first time in history, they're being referred to as "the good Miami.")

A few words about Tulsa football legend Glenn Dobbs, who died Tuesday at 82. Dobbs was, in my mind, one of the 10 best players never to play in the NFL.
After starring as a single wing tailback for the Golden Hurricane in the '40s, he signed with the All-America Conference the league that gave us the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers and put up numbers that are impressive even by today's standards. In 1948, for instance, he threw for 2,403 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 539 yards and averaged 49.1 yards a punt for the Los Angeles Dons.
Dons coach Jimmy Phelan invented a spread formation just for Dobbs. It was sort of a precursor of the run-and-shoot. Glenn was the only back behind center (in a shotgun set); all the others lined up as receivers. As Phelan described it, the quarterback "must be able to outrun rushers, he must be able to pass long and accurately while on the dead run, and in the event that no receiver is open, he must be a great running back. In all those requirements, Dobbs is without peer."
Paul Brown was another big Dobbs admirer. He once told the L.A. Times: "My Otto Graham is [the best] T-formation quarterback, but for all-around football ability give me Dobbs. I wish I had him."
After the Dons folded following the '49 season, Glenn finished his career in Canada, pulling down a then astronomical $25,000 a year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In '51 he racked up 28 TD passes in just 274 attempts. Try that sometime.
I'm not old enough to remember him as a player, but I do remember, fondly, the wide-open Tulsa teams he coached in the '60s. The Golden Hurricane was way ahead of its time offensively, averaging 317.9 passing yards per game in '64 (with Jerry Rhome throwing to Howard Twilley) and 346.4 yards in '65 the top two totals in major college history up to then. (The previous record was 255.)
The '40s often seem like football's Dark Ages, but Dobbs was truly a modern player and a forward-thinking coach. He was 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, and, unlike a lot of players from that era, could have played (and probably excelled) today.

And finally, one year with the Dons, Dobbs may have faced the longest third down in football history. In a '48 game against the old Baltimore Colts, his team had a third-and-72 that's right, third-and-72 at its 21-yard line late in the first half. "Dobbs being smeared on an attempted pass and penalties set up the unusual statistical situation," the L.A. Times reported. Glenn didn't convert it, of course, but if anyone could

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