- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2003

OK, I admit it. Between columns last week, I interviewed for the 49ers' coaching job.

In fact, Rick Neuheisel and I shared a cab from the airport.

News item: Mike Vanderjagt, the Indianapolis Colts' cleat-in-the-mouth kicker, has agreed to a contract restructuring to give the club more cap space.
In return, Peyton Manning has agreed not to pull the ball away at the last second if he ever has to hold for Vanderjagt.

Yes, the Mike Trgovac who just replaced Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator of the Panthers is the same Mike Trgovac who coached the Redskins' D-line quite anonymously in 2000 and '01.

The mayor of Boise, Idaho, Brent Coles, has resigned after being charged with improperly accepting a free trip to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Obviously, a lot of people are upset with the guy, but you know what I say: Boise will be Boise.

I wouldn't expect Coles to be unemployed for too long. Sounds like he'd be a natural for the USOC.

Did you hear about the story in the Philadelphia Daily News, the one that had Michael Jordan going to Atlantic City after his 45-point effort against New Orleans on Feb.1 and proceeding to blow $900,000 playing blackjack?
Writes Neal from Gaithersburg: "Imagine if Jordan could still play like he used to. He'd be broke."

On the subject of MJ, he turns 40 tomorrow and is averaging 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists a game. How does this compare with what other athletes have done at 40, in basketball and other sports? A by no means complete listing:
(Note: In some instances, the athlete turned 40 during the season just like Jordan.)
Ty Cobb, Philadelphia A's, 1927 Batted .357, fifth-highest average in the American League. Also stole 22 bases and struck out just 12 times.
Ben Hogan, golfer, 1953 Won the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
Archie Moore, boxer, 1954 Successfully defended his light-heavyweight title twice, outpointing Joey Maxim and stopping Harold Johnson in the 14th round.
Warren Spahn, Milwaukee Braves, 1961 Racked up 21 victories, tying him for the National League lead, and led the loop with a 3.02 ERA.
George Blanda, Oakland Raiders, 1967 Topped the American Football League with 116 points (20 field goals, 56 PATs) and threw three touchdown passes in spot duty at quarterback.
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, 1968-69 Finished in the top five in the NHL in goals (44), assists (59) and points (103) and was a first-team All-Star.
Jack Nicklaus, golfer, 1980 Captured the U.S. Open and PGA Championship and placed 13th on the money list despite playing in only 13 events.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers, 1987-88 Averaged 14.6 points and 6.0 rebounds a game for title-winning L.A.
David Moorcroft, British runner, 1993 Clocked a 4:02.53 mile at a meet in Belfast, an outdoor record for the 40-and-over set.
Paul Molitor, Minnesota Twins, 1996 Batted .341 with an AL-leading 225 hits and 113 RBI.
Ray Bourque, Colorado Avalanche, 2000-01 Third among the league's defensemen with 59 points, second in the Norris Trophy voting and a first-team All-Star. Capped the season by winning his first Stanley Cup.
Jerry Rice, Oakland Raiders, 2002 Caught 92 passes, scored a TD in the Super Bowl and started in the Pro Bowl.

Comcast Sports Net in Washington is running out of NBA analysts. Ed Tapscott left in January to run the NBA's new Charlotte franchise, and he just hired Bernie Bickerstaff to oversee Charlotte's WNBA franchise, the Sting. How long do you figure it will be before Ed finds something for Adrian Dantley to do down there?

An anonymous e-mailer thinks I should have included Carl Nicks on last week's list of athletes who had the same name as a pro team but never played for it. Nicks, you may recall, did his dribbling in the '80s for the Nuggets, Jazz and Cavaliers. He's probably best known, however, for playing on Larry Bird's Indiana State club that reached the NCAA championship game in '79.

Streaks, Part I: Was anybody else surprised to learn that the Spurs are the first team in NBA history to win seven consecutive games on one road trip? I mean, the Lakers won 33 straight in '71-72; you'd think they also might have done it.
But no. L.A., believe it or not, never played more than two road games in a row until the end of its streak, when it went on a six-game trip. It won the first two but then lost to the Bucks in Milwaukee.
So I guess we should be impressed with Spurs' accomplishment.

Sonni Holland the last of the 6-foot-7 post players went into the GW Hall of Fame on Friday night. I'll never forget Mike Jarvis' description of him: "Sonni probably gets his shot blocked more than any player in Division I." Somehow, though, Holland managed to score 1,467 points in his college career, 12th most in school history, and helped get the Colonials into the NCAA tournament in '93 for the first time in 32 years.
In the opening game of the tournament against New Mexico, the ball went inside to Sonni on the very first possession. He turned, drained a fall-away 10-footer and GW was off to an 82-68 victory (and eventual Sweet 16 berth). An outstanding guy, more than deserving of HOF status.

Streaks, Part II: Lost in the hoopla about the record 62-game winning streak by the Connecticut women's basketball team is that two of the longest losing streaks in women's college hoops recently were broken. Washington State snapped a 45-game skein Thursday night, and Sacramento State ended a 44-game exercise in futility back in December.
The major college record for consecutive losses, by the way, is 58 by Long Island University from 1986 to '89. LIU rebounded from that calamity to actually earn a spot in the NCAAs two years ago only to get smoked by UConn in the first round 101-29.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The Godzilla of all college basketball winning streaks, of course, is the 88-gamer by the UCLA men from 1971 to '74. The Bruins also had an 88-1 stretch from 1966 to '69 a 47-game streak, a loss to Houston (and Elvin Hayes) in the Astrodome, and then a 41-game streak.

I loved the quote by Washington State coach Sherri Murrell after her team finally beat California. "When you get punched in the head [45] times," she said, "it's fun to get that one blow back."

Speaking of getting punched in the head, the Sunday Column would like to pay its respects to former welterweight boxing champ Kid Gavilan, who died the other day at 77. Little-known fact: One of Gavilan's 143 pro bouts was in Washington on Oct.21, 1948, to be exact. He TKO'd Vinnie Rossano in six rounds. The following year, the Kid got his first title shot but lost a decision to Sugar Ray Robinson.

Harold Baines came back to the Orioles, Mike Bordick came back to the Orioles and last week B.J. Surhoff came back to the Orioles. Now if we can just get Babe Ruth and Lefty Grove to come back to the Orioles.

Number of the Week: $15,000. (Amount of money a wealthy family offered John Elway, Julius Erving and the Angels' Tim Salmon to appear at a bar mitzvah, according to the Los Angeles Times.)
"I was invited," Elway told the newspaper, "but I couldn't make my schedule work. I never had a request like that before. I doubt that I ever will again."
Salmon also had a prior commitment, but said his wife was interested in going "just to see what kind of lifestyle they're living."
No word on whether Dr. J showed up.

And finally, there's been a big breakthrough in negotiations between Augusta National and Martha Burk. Hootie Johnson has agreed to let Martha's legions on the grounds during the Masters as long as they confine their picketing to the driving range.

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