- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

A sign I expect to see at a future Houston Rockets game:
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread and Yao.

The only thing missing from that scene between Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith on TNT the other night was Bill Raftery saying, "With the kiss!"

The record for consecutive victories at the start of an NBA season currently being stalked by the 13-0 Mavericks is shared by a Washington team, Red Auerbach's 1948-49 Capitols. The original Caps ran off 15 straight to begin that year and reached the finals of the playoffs before losing to George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers. The top players on the club were Bob Feerick (who led the league with a .859 free throw percentage), Bones McKinney, Kleggie Hermsen, Fat Freddie Scolari, Johnny Norlander, Sonny Hertzberg and Jack Nichols.

McKinney, later the coach at Wake Forest, is the guy who uttered the famous line, "The trouble with officials is, they don't care who wins."

While researching my column on Hubie Brown last week, I discovered that six coaches who were coaching in the NBA in 1986-87 Hubie's last season before this one are still doing so (though not for the same teams). Ten points and a smooch from the Chuckster if you can name all six and the clubs they were/are coaching. (Answer below.)

The Nuggets scoring 53 points in a game wouldn't bother me so much if Wilt Chamberlain hadn't averaged 50.4 all by himself one season (1961-62).

Stephen Davis had better stop grumbling about the Redskins' play selection, otherwise they're going to leave his name off the ballot for the 75th anniversary team, too.

News item: Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn admits he used ephedra daily until last spring, when the NFL banned the substance.
Why would an athlete who's married to Angie Harmon ever need a stimulant?

A loyal reader writes: "McDonald's has just started a 'giveaway' (actually, a sale at $5.99 each) of two Darrell Green bobblehead dolls, one from RFK Stadium and one from FedEx Field. The information on the box accompanying the dolls contains a number of errors. For example, it says the team made three Super Bowl appearances (when, as we all know, it made five and came away with three victories). It also mentions 'the Hall of Fame careers of Vince Lombardi, George Allen, Joe Gibbs, Dick James, John Riggins, Sunny [sic] Jurgensen, Mark Moseley, Jack Kent Cooke, Joe Theisman [sic], Art Monk and, of course, Darrell Green' (without regard to the fact that James, Moseley, Cooke, Theismann, Monk and Green are not in the Hall and some of them won't ever make it)."

Dear Loyal Reader: If I were Dan Snyder, I'd form a committee, chaired by Bernard Shaw, to look into it.

The overlooked story in today's Redskins-Rams clash is that Steve Spurrier once went through pretty much what Marc Bulger is going through when he played with the 49ers. In 1972, Spurrier replaced injured John Brodie for eight games and led his club to a 5-2-1 record, throwing 17 touchdown passes. But when Steve struggled in the season finale, Brodie came off the bench, rallied San Francisco to a division-clinching victory and got to start in the playoffs the next week against Dallas. (The Cowboys won, 30-28, thanks to a Roger Staubach-inspired comeback.)
Spurrier hadn't done anything wrong, particularly. He just had the misfortune of playing behind a terrific quarterback and team icon exactly the same situation Bulger is in with Kurt Warner. Alas, that was the only time in Steve's NFL career he really had a chance to play in the postseason. The Niners went downhill after that, and he took his last snaps for the expansion Bucs in '76.

I don't know about you, but when I read about a punter (the Panthers' Todd Sauerbrun) "feuding" with two kickers (Martin and Bill Gramatica), all I can think of is: midget wrestling.

Maryland's 48-17 football win over West Virginia is looking better all the time, isn't it? Since being humbled by the Terps in Morgantown, the Mountaineers have beaten Boston College (conqueror of Notre Dame) and Virginia Tech, the latter on the road, and have given Miami a scare. (The Hurricanes led just 24-23 in the third quarter before pulling away.)

Quote of the Week: "I guess you have to be from Iowa to attempt to take an 18-foot pole through revolving doors."
Bill Lester, whose company manages the Metrodome, after Hawkeyes fans celebrated a win over Minnesota by tearing down a goal post and trying to exit the stadium with it.

Answer to trivia question: The six current NBA coaches who were coaching in the league in '86-87 Hubie Brown's last season before this one are Don Chaney (Clippers then, Knicks now), Doug Collins (Bulls/Wizards), George Karl (Warriors/Bucks), Don Nelson (Bucks/Mavericks), Pat Riley (Lakers/Heat) and Lenny Wilkens (Cavaliers/Raptors).

Don Chaney! Who woulda thunk it?

FYI: The NHL has three current coaches who were coaching in '87 (Mike Keenan, Jacques Martin, Pat Quinn). The NFL has two (Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer), and Major League Baseball has the same number of managers (Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella). In other words, the NBA has as many as the other three sports combined (seven, counting Hubie).
I'm not sure what exactly to make of that, but there it is.

The Buffalo Sabres reportedly are being sold for $65million, a pretty sad price for a sports franchise. Consider:
Chan Ho Park has a five-year, $65million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Albert Belle received a five-year, $65million deal from the Orioles.
Dikembe Mutombo is getting $65million over four years from the New Jersey Nets.
Real Madrid paid Juventus $65million for soccer star Zinadine Zidane.
But here's what really puts it in perspective: Katie Couric is raking in $65million for doing the "Today" show for 4 years.

Of course, Katie doesn't come with a Zamboni.

Watching the Franklin Templeton Shootout on the Golf Channel, I found myself making up imaginary teams to compete in the event. Instead of the predictable Greg Norman and Fred Couples how about these:
Lewis (J.L.) and Clarke (Darren).
Kane (Lorie) and Fabel (Brad).
Bell (Brad) and Howell (Charles).
Martin (Casey) and Lewis (J.L.).
Turner (Greg) and Hoch (Scott).
May (Bob) and Day (Glen).
Daly (John) and Weekley (Boo).
Poulter (Ian) and Geist (Bill, author of "Fore! Play: The Last American Male Takes up Golf).
Black (Ronnie) and White (Donna).
Orr (Gary) and Els (Ernie) just so you could see Orr-Els on the scoreboard.

Boxing note: The weight difference between David Wells (235, reportedly) and the bartender who slugged him (150) 85 pounds is the biggest since Primo Carnera (270) fought Tommy Loughran (184) for the heavyweight title in 1934. (The "Ambling Alp" won a 15-round decision; the "Supersized Southpaw" got KO'd in the first round.)

Given what Jeremy Shockey, Shannon Sharpe and now Garrison Hearst have been saying about gays, I thought it was admirable that White House press secretary Ari Fleischer admitted to traveling as "Bernie Williams" during his recent honeymoon.
Bernie is, after all, baseball's leading switch hitter.

And finally, according to a survey cited in Time magazine, 32.4 percent of adults say they've "given as a gift an item they had received from someone else."
Isn't that kind of what the Marlins did when they acquired Mike Hampton from the Rockies and then passed him along to the Braves?

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