- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2002

Did you see that Sebastian Janikowski, the Raiders' wild and crazy kicker, has been charged with driving under the influence?
But, hey, give the guy some credit. At least he didn't blame his dog.

Janikowski's blood alcohol level was reportedly more than twice the legal limit .19 the first time he was tested, .20 the second. Of course, at Florida State, where Sebastian played his college ball, a blood alcohol reading of .19 or .20 is considered stone cold sober.

Playing two quarterbacks in each of the last two games leaves Steve Spurrier wide open to charges of "Wuerffeling."

The Redskins' opponent this afternoon, the Tennessee Titans, gave up 52 points last week against Oakland. Which got me wondering: When was the last time the 'Skins allowed 50 or more?
Answer: Way back in '61, when the Sam Huff-led Giants creamed them 53-0. How did New York end up with such an unusual number of points, you ask? Easy: Seven touchdowns and two safeties. (Washington's Norm Snead was sacked twice in the end zone.) That was the season the Redskins started 0-12-1 before beating Dallas in their finale (thanks to four Dickie James touchdowns).

Told ya something memorable would happen in the NFL during the Redskins' bye week. To wit:
The Seahawks' Shaun Alexander became the first player to score five touchdowns in a half.
The Ravens' Chris McAlister ran a missed field goal back 107 yards for a score the longest return of any kind in league annals.
And last but not least, old friend Brian Mitchell threw the first TD pass of his pro career, a 57-yarder to Brian Dawkins.

BMitch has had one other TD throw in his 13 seasons, but it went in the books as a lateral. In the '92 home opener against Atlanta, he caught a punt and lobbed the ball across the field to Desmond Howard, who zigzagged through the Falcons for a 55-yard score.

Former offensive tackle Bubba Paris on Jeff George: "Jeff George was so narcissistic that most of his linemen wanted him to get hit, as long as it wasn't their man doing it. I look at my body today, and if there's a scratch from protecting Jeff George, I feel I did something wrong." (From the Louisville Courier-Journal.)

Bubba, who has eight kids all extra-large like him also told the Courier-Journal: "The smallest shoe size in our house is 14. You wouldn't think you'd have to worry about your daughters stealing your size-15 sneakers, but I have to hide mine from them."

This just in: Latrell Sprewell's broken hand might be the result of an errant punch he threw on his yacht during a late-night party.
I'm puzzled, I really am. It would have made much more sense, as Spree well knows, to just choke the guy.

The Nuggets say they'll pay the Wizards $200,000 if Michael Jordan plays in the preseason game in Denver much more than the standard $50,000 fee. Abe Pollin's team sure has come a long way, hasn't it? Just a few years ago, opponents would have paid the Wizards $200,000 not to show up for a preseason game.

I hear the judge in the Paul Pierce stabbing case, frustrated by the slow pace of deliberations, issued the jurors an ultimatum: Either they reached a verdict by the end of the week or he cut off their ESPN.

The judge began to get suspicious, I'm told, when the jury asked to see the knife, the floor plan of the night club and the Celtics' 1986 highlight film.

I've been having these weird visions lately. The other night, for instance, I was lounging in my La-Z-Boy, half-asleep, and could have sworn I saw Don Zimmer doing a Preparation H commercial.

Baseball Stat of the Week: Bernie Williams was hitting .243 on May 5 with two homers and eight runs batted in when he asked the Yankees' scoreboard operators to stop playing music for him before each at bat. In his remaining 122 regular-season games, he hit .352 with 17 homers and 94 RBI.

Trivia question: The A's David Justice has played in a League Championship Series with three teams (Braves, Indians, Yankees), the most of any active major leaguer. The all-time record is five. Who holds it, and with what clubs? (Answer below.)

News item: The Mets claim right-hander Doug Nickle off waivers from the Padres.
Comment: Obviously, they were looking for a pitcher who asks no quarter and gives no quarter.

Actually, it was a rough week for sports figures of any denomination. Not only did Nickle get waived, but University of Washington basketball assistant Cameron Dollar got disciplined for recruiting violations.

Answer to trivia question: Don Baylor played in a League Championship Series with five teams, all in the AL: Orioles ('73, '74), Angels ('79, '82), Red Sox ('86), Twins ('87) and A's ('88).

Have you noticed Fred Funk's new fist-pumping persona? Well, you're never gonna believe what caused his transformation: A game of pingpong with David Duval before the PGA Championship.
"You get in there," Fred told the San Antonio Express-News, "you're having fun, you're reacting and shouting. And I said, 'Wouldn't it be neat if you could do that on the golf course?' [In] all other sports you get excited when something good happens; your emotions run. In golf, you tend not to do that. I remembered that when I went back out [on the course]. It's been kind of a conscious thing, to see if I was able to do it."

Four Other Cases of a Coach Chasing a Game Official (in honor of Joe Paterno):
1. 1970 (college basketball) South Carolina coach Frank McGuire chases the referee off the court after a 42-39 overtime loss to N.C.State in the ACC tournament final. McGuire is livid that no foul was called against the Wolfpack's Ed Leftwich when he knocked the ball away from Bobby Cremins and scored the winning basket. Net result: The Gamecocks don't show up to receive their second-place trophies and later drop out of the ACC.
2. 1995 (NFL) The Steelers are flagged for having 12 men on the field during a missed Vikings field goal attempt on the last play of the first half. After the Vikes convert the three-pointer on their second try, Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher runs after referee Gordon McCarter and stuffs a photo in his pocket showing the Steelers had only 11 defenders. Net result: The field goal stands, and Pittsburgh gets pounded 44-24.
3. 2000 (Olympics) Ratko Rudic, Italy's water polo coach, "chased the officials" after a quarterfinal loss to Hungary and "was arguing so loudly a uniformed officer" had to intervene, the AP said. Net result: Italy's appeal was denied, and Rudic was suspended for a year.
4. 2000 (Olympics) U.S. men's basketball coach Larry Brown "chased the referee off the floor" after a narrow 85-83 win over Lithuania, ESPN.com reported. Assistant coach Tubby Smith "had to grab Brown and physically pull him out of the ref's face." Net result: The IOC took no action against Brown, apparently deciding that having to coach Allen Iverson for 82 games a year was punishment enough.

Re: All the hoo-ha about the Nebraska football team dropping out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1981.
What none of the news stories bothered to point out was that the '81 Cornhuskers ended up fourth in the final regular-season poll and played in the Orange Bowl against No.1 Clemson. Yeah, it was a real down year in Lincoln.

With Texas A&M;, Texas, Kansas State and Colorado still to come, however, the 'Huskers probably won't play in the Orange Bowl this season.

But there's always the Silicon Valley Classic.

It's not that Georgetown is rated only 88th among major college athletic programs in the estimation of Sports Illustrated it's that Florida Atlantic is rated 87th.

And finally, it could have been worse, I suppose. It could have been St. Leo's that was rated 87th.

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