- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 27, 2003

You could have cut the tension with a spoon yesterday at the Redskins' draft headquarters.

Did you get a load of Denny Green's act on ESPN? The man has a great future ahead of him in infomercials.

This just in: The Raiders marching to their own drummer, as usual have taken the Best Asomugha Available.

Speaking of Al Davis, I hear he might sue the producers of "The Sopranos" next. Al thinks the outfits worn by the strippers at the Ba Da Bing are too similar to those of the Raiders cheerleaders.

E.J. Henderson deserved better.

Of course, Mike Singletary went in the second round, too, and things turned out OK for him.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the Redskins bring in another Gator second-round selection Taylor Jacobs.

Steve Spurrier said, "I don't know why [Jacobs] was still there [at the 44th pick]."
Heck, I can give you five reasons why: Ike Hilliard, Reidel Anthony, Jacquez Green, Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell. None of those former Florida receivers has exactly redefined the position in the NFL.
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Undaunted by the Redskins' lack of a first-round pick, the Sunday Column proudly presents the Top 10 Second-Round Picks By Teams That Didn't Have a No.1:
1. Bills, 1988 RB Thurman Thomas (40th overall). Went on to rush for 12,704 yards and play in four Super Bowls.
2. Lions, 1951 OG Dick Stanfel (18th). Voted to the all-'50s team.
3. Chiefs, 1968 DT Curly Culp (31st). Held down the middle for some very good defenses in Kansas City and Houston. Appeared in six Pro Bowls.
4. 49ers, 1976 OG Randy Cross (42nd). Won three rings blocking for Joe Montana.
5. Raiders, 1984 DE Sean Jones (51st). You can't argue with 113 sacks.
6. Steelers, 1965 WR Roy Jefferson (18th). Led the league in receiving yards in '68 and caught a total of 451 passes. Stats would have been even better if he hadn't spent the last half of his career in George Allen's conservative offense.
7. Rams, 1967 RB Willie Ellison (33rd). Held the record for rushing yards in a game (247 vs. New Orleans in 1971).
8. Giants, 1973 LB Brad Van Pelt (40th). Formed one of the greatest linebacker trios ever with Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson.
9. Vikings, 1969 OG Ed White (39th). Durable enough to last 17 seasons and 241 games with the Vikes and Chargers.
10. Jets, 1999 OG Randy Thomas (57th). Dan Snyder just handed him a seven-year, $28million contract, so he must be good, right?

And let's not forget, the Lions didn't have a first- or second-round pick in '52 and still came away with a Hall of Famer in Round3 safety/punter Yale Lary.

More draft minutiae:
First area college player drafted by the NFL: Tuffy Leemans, RB, George Washington (first round, Giants, 1936).
First Maryland player drafted: Bill Guckeyson, B, 1937 (Eagles, sixth round).
First Virginia player drafted: Jim Gillette, B, 1940 (Packers, 16th round).
First Virginia Tech player drafted: Herm Dickerson, B, 1937 (Cardinals, seventh round).
First Georgetown player drafted: Joe Meglen, B, 1936 (Pittsburgh, ninth round).
First Catholic University player drafted: Ed Karpowich, T, 1936 (Pittsburgh, eighth round).
(Note: Guckeyson and Meglen never played in the league.)

The recent death of Leonard Tose, whose gambling debts forced him to sell the Eagles in the '80s, brought to mind this comment by one of his wives: "He bets five horses at a time. [So] even when he wins, he loses."

The wrongful termination suit brought by a former Indiana basketball assistant against Bob Knight is making for great theater in Hoosier country. Consider the following exchange between an attorney and Knight's son Pat during a deposition (as reported by the Indianapolis Star):
Attorney: Did your father ever get physical with you as you were growing up to discipline you?
Pat Knight: No. But my mom used to spank me with a wooden spoon. … Does that allow me to sue her for a million dollars?

Other Pat Knight highlights:
Attorney: If you had been in your father's shoes, you would have [purposely knocked into the assistant coach]?
Pat Knight: Yes, and I probably would have done more.
Attorney: What more would you have done?
Pat Knight: I'd beat the [expletive deleted] out of [him], because I do not put up I mean, you guys can live in whatever world you live in, but I don't think there's anything that should be dealt [with] more severely than disloyalty. … It would have been confrontational, and we wouldn't be having all this crap. There would have been evidence, and I would've just paid the money. We wouldn't be going through all this [expletive deleted].

It's kind of amazing, when you stop and think about it, that Pat Knight didn't foul out of every game when he was at Indiana.

Even playing as little as he did.

I don't know about you, but I'm rooting for Tom Davis, erstwhile American U. basketball coach, to turn things around at Drake.
(And so, I suspect, is Comcast SportNet's Carol Maloney, who played hoops at the school in the early '90s.)

FYI: Since Davis was forced out at Iowa in '99 after his team had made the Sweet 16 the Hawkeyes have gone 25-39 in the Big Ten and have earned just one NCAA bid (losing in the second round two years ago).

Not that anyone's counting or anything.

I've been a big fan of Dr. Tom's ever since he played a 5-11 guy, Michael Bennett, at power forward occasionally for Boston College. (Bennett might have been undersized for the position, but he could jump to the stars.)

According to Sports Illustrated, New Orleans Hornets guard Kenny Anderson is being sued for $2million by an ex-girlfriend who "accuses Anderson of, among other things, demanding that she dye her hair blonde to satisfy a sexual fantasy." Who was the fantasy about, Dennis Rodman?

News item: Minor league pitcher deliberately hits a protected bird with a baseball during pregame drills.
Comment
: What a cheap shot. I mean, everybody knows ospreys never charge the mound.

On the subject of ballpark violence, ESPN.com ran a list last week of the greatest baseball brawls of all time, and checking in at No.8 was one at Griffith Stadium on July 4, 1932. The details (as provided by the Web site):
"After Senators outfielder Carl Reynolds and Yankee catcher Bill Dickey collided hard on a play at the plate, Dickey swung and, with a single punch, broke Reynolds' jaw. It was one of the quickest KOs in baseball history. The league suspended Dickey for 30 days and fined him $1,000.
"'It was hot, and the games had been close, and I had been banged around for days,' Dickey said. 'When Reynolds came at me high, I just had to hit somebody.'"

I just had to hit somebody. I love that.

Nowadays we have heavyweight champions who don't even feel the need to hit somebody.

Can't say I'd ever heard of Reynolds before whichis sort of surprising, inasmuch as he was a .302 hitter in his 13-year career (with a high of .359 for the White Sox in 1930). The Senators traded him to the Tigers after the '32 season in a deal for Goose Goslin, but they got him back from the Red Sox four years later in a swap that involved Heinie Manush.

Turns out Dickey wasn't the only famous Yankee Reynolds bumped into. On June 8, 1935, Carl almost ended Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak four years early when he collided with him at first base in the first game of a doubleheader at Fenway Park. Gehrig went to the clubhouse with "arm and shoulder injuries," BaseballLibrary.com notes, but toughed it out and played in Game 2.

BaseballLibrary.com check it out sometime. (Pack a lunch, though, because you'll probably want to spend all day there.)

Another Reynolds nugget from BaseballLibrary.com: "July 2, 1930 Carl Reynolds of the White Sox hits three consecutive HRs in the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Two of them are hit inside the park. The feat is second-billed, as headlines tell of [Babe] Ruth tearing a nail off his finger on the OF screen."

And finally, I've got no problem with LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw dating one of the players on his tour as long as Tim Finchem doesn't follow suit.

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