- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2002

The business world is abuzz with the news of the largest identity theft case ever uncovered, with the identities of more than 30,000 people stolen in the scam.
Of course, this is nothing in the sports world. Identities are stolen all the time.
For instance, right in this town, we've seen a clear-cut case of identity theft. Steve Spurrier has clearly stolen Marty Schottenheimer's identity. Spurrier arrived in town with his own Fun'n'Gun identity but appears to have left much of it behind in Osaka, Japan. Now it is all Martyball.
Meet the new coach, same as the old coach.
He's not the only one at Redskins Park who's been stealing identities. Redskins owner Dan Snyder has obviously stolen Orioles owner Peter Angelos' identity, and now, after winning the power struggle with Joe Mendes, Vinny Cerrato or "Vin" as his friends like to call him has stolen Syd Thrift's identity as the owner's personal stat boy.
In fact, I think they have shared the same knife.
I don't think that anyone can argue that Danny Wuerffel didn't steal a quarterback's identity when he took the field last Sunday against the Rams. The quarterback who went 16-for-23 for 235 yards, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 102.6 was not the one who had thrown a total of nine career touchdowns and 18 interceptions in six NFL seasons.
"I've spent half of my life having people tell me I was better than I was," Wuerffel said after the 20-17 win. "I've spent the other half of my life having people tell me I was worse than I am."
It's clear that Danny Wuerffel was suffering from an identity crisis, which is understandable. It's hard to identify anyone as a quarterback who has a career rating of 53.5. That's more like a confused center than a quarterback.
I can identify with Wuerffel's identity crisis. I used to have these dreams. One night I dreamed I was a wigwam and the next night I dreamed I was a teepee. I finally went to the doctor and he said, "I know what your problem is. You're two tents."
Just a little Redskins humor there.
At MCI Center, someone has clearly stolen Michael Jordan's identity. Someone claiming to be Jordan has been occupying a seat on the Wizards' bench while the starting lineup has taken the floor. But Jordan nearly reclaimed his identity in Memphis. A loss to a winless team and coach who looks like he lives in a coffin when he is not on the basketball court will force a person to question his identity.
Michael Jordan super sub? That's identity theft.
Somebody must have stolen the identity of the general manager of the Boston Red Sox and replaced him with an office intern. Larry Lucchino hired 28-year-old Theo Epstein to run the Red Sox. Lucchino is doing all he can to distance himself from the Red Sox identity he inherited when he and his group purchased the franchise last winter the Curse of the Bambino.
Epstein probably identifies more with the curse of Harry Potter than the curse of the Babe.
The NFL was concerned that its identity was being stolen. Why else would it protest the name of the National Women's Football League? So the women's league found a new identity by simply changing one word, and now it is the National Women's Football Association.
That's one potential identity theft stopped in its tracks by a dictionary, and tonight the country is resting a little easier.


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