- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 26, 2003

Glad to see that fifth set between Andy Roddick and Younes El Aynaoui down in Australia didn't spill over into the Super Bowl.

In honor of their marathon set, I'm predicting the same score for today's game: 21-19, Bucs.

The main reason I'm picking Tampa Bay: Great defenses and I believe the Bucs fall in this category always win the Super Bowl. The Steel Curtain was 4-for-4, Lawrence Taylor and the Giants were 2-for-2, Da Bears won in '85, the Ravens two years ago.
Great offenses, on the other hand, don't always win the Super Bowl. The Redskins scored 541 points in '83 but lost to the Raiders. The Rams were a juggernaut last season but came up short against the Patriots.
Rich Gannon and Co. might not be quite in that class, but they were No.#1 in the league this year.

The biggest unknown factor: How much satellite time did Al Davis buy to "observe" the Bucs' practices?

One day Warren Sapp wore a Ron Jaworski No.7 jersey. Another day he wore a Wilt Chamberlain No.13 jersey. If he hadn't run out of days, he probably would have worn a Sgt. Joe Friday No.714 jersey.

For the uninitiated, that was Friday's badge number in the original "Dragnet" TV series.

My favorite T-shirt this week: "Raiders Don't Surf."

Anybody familiar with the line by sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, "I never met a man from Sandusky, Ohio"? (Perhaps not.) Anyway, guess who was born in Sandusky, Ohio?
Jon Gruden.
On Aug.17, 1963, to be exact.

Cedar Point in Sandusky is famous for its world-class amusement park and beautiful beaches. Little known fact: When they were attending Notre Dame, Knute Rockne and a number of other Irish players worked at Cedar Point during the summer. That was supposedly where Rockne and Gus Dorais practiced forward passing before using it to historic effect against Army in 1913.
Rock also met and married his wife, Bonnie, in Sandusky.

So there you have it, folks: Sandusky, Ohio, gave us Jon Gruden, the forward pass and Knute Rockne's wife.

Another Cannonism: "A sportswriter is entombed in a prolonged boyhood."

I don't know that I'd use the word "entombed." It suggests I'm being held against my will. I always thought of sportswriting as a gym class that never ends.

One last Cannon bon mot: "Fishing, with me, has always been an excuse to drink in the daytime."

Speaking of drinking, in the latest "got milk" ad the one featuring Brad Johnson and Rich Gannon that whitish substance above their upper lips looks a lot like beer foam.

Don't get too discouraged, Art Monk fans. Sonny Jurgensen also got turned down for the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility. Sam Huff didn't make it until his eighth year, and Bobby Mitchell didn't get in until his 10th.

One of the ways tourists get around in downtown San Diego is in pedicabs bicycle-propelled carriages. I've yet to avail myself of one, though. I mean, they sound like something Pete Townshend and R. Kelly would cruise the streets in.

A story in the San Diego Weekly Reader last week on an NFL marriage gone bad quoted from a divorce petition filed by the wife of Chargers defensive tackle Jamal Williams. An excerpt:
"It has been our practice at Christmastime to hire one of the most well-known photographers to take our family Christmas photograph. We would typically spend about $3,000 for our Christmas cards alone. For Christmas, we showered both of our families with expensive gifts. We would also pay the travel expenses for them to come and visit us."
"During our marriage I enjoyed frequent shopping excursions for myself and our daughter. In any given month, it would not be unusual for me to spend $5,000 on clothing. … I shopped at such stores as Gucci, Neiman-Marcus, Nordstrom, and Ann Taylor. Jewelry purchases alone were in the range of $16,000 a year. We also made frequent trips to toy stores to buy toys for our daughter, spending $200 to $500 each occasion. In short, anything we wanted we bought."

Brother, can you spare a Rolex?

In case you missed it: In ESPN magazine's ranking of the 118 major sports franchises (football, baseball, basketball, hockey), the Redskins came in 87th 61 spots below the bankrupt Ottawa Senators.

More and more I'm convinced that if Chris Wilcox hadn't left Maryland after two seasons to ride the bench with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Terps would be a lock to make the Final Four again this year.

Has an area college basketballer ever scored 2,000 points more quietly than George Washington's Chris Monroe? (He scored 28 points in the Colonials' loss to UMass yesterday and now has 2,004.) This is what happens when your team never even makes it to the NIT.

Saw in the paper recently that the SuperSonics' Brent Barry has a chance to be the first NBA player to win the slam dunk contest and the 3-point shooting competition at the All-Star Game. He won the former in '96 and is entered in the latter this year.
Which got me wondering: What are some other unique "doubles" in NBA history?
Some determined Googling turned up five more one-time-only feats. See if you can guess who pulled them off. (Answers following.)
Who is the only NBA player to:
1. Lead the league in points and assists the same season?
2. Score more than 19,000 points and never play in the All-Star Game?
3. Be named one of the league's 50 Greatest Players and also one of its 10 Greatest Coaches?
4. Have his shot blocked and suffer a dislocated shoulder?
5. Grab 23,000 rebounds and have sex with 20,000 women?

1. Nate Archibald, Kansas City-Omaha Kings, 1972-73. "Tiny" averaged 34 points and 11.4 assists a game.
2. Eddie Johnson, who scored 19,202 points in 17 seasons with the Kings, Suns and Sonics, among others.
3. Lenny Wilkens.
4. Gus Johnson of the Baltimore Bullets during the '66-67 season (according to Billy Cunningham in Terry Pluto's book, "Tall Tales"). Gus apparently made the mistake of trying to dunk one too many times on Wilt Chamberlain.
5. Wilt the Stilt. The 23,924 rebounds are verified. As for the 20,000 women, we'll just have to take his word for it.

A Few other hoops curiosities I came across:
The only player to play on championship teams in the NCAA, NBA and ABA is Tom Thacker. (Thacker won titles in '61 and '62 at the University of Cincinnati, in '68 with the Boston Celtics and in '70 with the Indiana Pacers).
The only player in basketball history to win scoring titles in the NCAA, NBA and ABA is Rick Barry. (Barry averaged 37.4 points for the University of Miami in '64-65, 35.6 for the San Francisco Warriors in '66-67 and 34.0 for the Oakland Oaks in '68-69.)
The only player to be the high scorer in an NCAA championship game and serve as an admiral in the U.S. Navy is John Dick. (Dick had 15 points in Oregon's 46-33 win over Ohio State in the '39 tournament final. He later commanded the aircraft carrier Saratoga.)
(Many thanks to basketball historian Mike Douchant for that last one.)

News item: Carbon monoxide poisoning ends Rick Mast's NASCAR career.
Let that be a warning to all you tailgaters out there.

They don't call it the Exhaust Circuit for nothing.

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything, but: If you stick around for the credits after the movie "Chicago," you'll notice that one of the key grips is named Monty Montgomerie.

And finally, I can hardly wait to see Monty demonstrate the key grip on the Golf Channel. It'll revolutionize the game.

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