- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2003

You just never know.
That's the principle behind "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook," a best-selling book that provides illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to fend off a shark, jump from a moving car and even deliver a baby in a taxicab.
It's also the principle behind this story.
From getting caught with 87 pounds of marijuana in your trunk to finishing sixth at the basketball world championships, the sports world is full of worst-case scenarios that are just as perilous as, say, stumbling across a hive of angry killer bees. Or an angry Nolan Richardson III.
With that in mind, The Washington Times presents its own worst-case sports scenario survival guide because you just never know.
WARNING: If your life is imperiled or you find yourself pitching to Barry Bonds, safe alternatives may not exist. To deal with the worst-case scenarios presented in this story we highly recommend insist, actually that the best course of action is to consult a professionally trained expert, or, at the very least, ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO UNDERTAKE ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES DESCRIBED IN THIS ARTICLE YOURSELF. Unless you want to get hurt, like those guys from "Jackass: The Movie." THE PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR DISCLAIM ANY LIABILITY from any injury that may result from the use of the information contained herein.
How to Survive Being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals
1) Give thanks
You could be headed to Arizona instead.
2) Check for typos
Examine the draft ticker. It may be that you actually were selected by the Bears, Bills or Browns.
3) Lie still and be quiet
Even if you insist that you are "really happy to be a Bengal," no one will believe you.
4) Hire a stubborn agent
If the Bengals think they will have to sign you to a market value contract, they may trade your rights to another team.
5) Hold out for as long as possible
The less time you spent in a tiger-striped helmet, the better.
6) Get to know Jon Kitna
He will be your quarterback for at least 40 percent of the time.
What not to do
Do not memorize the steps to the "Ickey Shuffle." That was a long time ago and, frankly, you won't need them.
Be aware
Each year, hundreds of players are selected in the NFL Draft, and less than a dozen end up as Cincinnati picks. The odds are on your side, unless you are a franchise quarterback from Oregon or Houston.

How to stop Shaquille O'Neal in the low post
1) Do not run
Running into the tunnel will give O'Neal a clear path to the basket, and your coach will not be amused. Also, the footage will run on "SportsCenter" for the next six months.
2) Do not antagonize him
This is not the time to ask O'Neal why the treatment for "Kazaam II" is still languishing in preproduction purgatory.
3) Try to make yourself appear bigger by opening your arms
O'Neal may shoot a short hook instead of dunking on your head. You can also appear bigger by piggybacking on the shoulders of a teammate.
4) Call for a double team
Before O'Neal drives his elbow into your throat.
5) Carefully unfold a police baton
Choose a model that is light yet sturdy. A foam-covered handle will make for easier gripping.
6) Hit him in the kneecap
Use a quick, firm strike and aim for the center of the knee.
Alternate method
Strike him on his big toe. Or just pull down his shorts.
What not to do
Telling O'Neal that "K-O-B-E" has a better flow than "Biological Didn't Bother" is an invitation to disaster.

What to do when fans attack
1) Check for flying handbags
Your assailant may be Doug Christie's wife.
2) Seek out a safe haven
Run to the nearest dugout or exit tunnel. Avoid the bleachers at Yankee Stadium and the 700 level at the Vet.
3) Do not attempt to pull the attacker's shirt over his head
Chances are, he's already shirtless.
4) Cover your head
Airborne batteries, bottles and ice balls can cause major head trauma. Particularly if you are only wearing a referee's cap.
5) Yank the attacker into the penalty box and beat the stuffing out of him
Tie Domi only.
To minimize risk
If fans spill onto the field, try clobbering them before they can threaten you. Or the rest of the Miami of Ohio football coaching staff, for that matter.
Do not play road games in Philadelphia.
Do not poke fun at Darth Raider, then linger in the Network Associates Coliseum parking lot.

How to Watch Figure Skating
1) Do not panic
Katarina Witt could be a part of the program.
2) Resist the urge to punch the TV set
No matter what you think of Scott Hamilton, driving your fist through the picture tube may result in serious injury and/or electrocution.
3) Ask your wife or girlfriend to get you a beer
Ask nicely. When she gets up, immediately seize the remote control. Change the channel.
4) Turn on picture-in-picture
Isn't it about time you figured out how to use it?
5) Sound knowledgeable
At every opportunity, scream "he two-footed the quad!" Follow with brooding silence and a remorseful shake of the head.
Be aware
If you have a heart condition, male figure skating costumes may drive you into dangerous and uncontrollable paroxysms of laughter.

How to deal with a bad tattoo
1) Relax
If it turns out that the Chinese characters on your neck are actually the first three items on the Maxim Palace take-out menu, don't sweat it. It's not like anyone will notice. Except maybe Yao Ming.
2) Do not airbrush the tattoo out of your photos
Leave that to the NBA.
3) Look Into possible endorsement deals
If your tattoo resembles a prominent corporate logo like the Nike Swoosh, you may be able to profit from it.
3) Alter the tattoo
Be creative. With enough skill, a tat that reads "T-H-U-G L-I-F-E" today can read "B-O-R-N A-G-A-I-N" tomorrow.
4) Get yourself pierced
A body piercing will draw attention away from the tattoo. Consider the nose, the tongue and the genitals.
To minimize risk
Visit a reputable tattoo artist; make sure he uses a clean needle.
Avoid getting a tattoo of your girlfriend's name. Your wife may see it.
When picking a design, sobriety is advisable.
Be aware
An abundance of dubious tattoos may land you on the cover of Sports Illustrated, even if you have never made the NBA All-Star team nor averaged more than 15 points in a season.

How to sit next to Mark Cuban
1) Ask to exchange seats.
With someone in the upper deck.
2) Be polite
Extend a warm greeting to the Dallas Mavericks assistant coaches alongside you. All seven of them.
3) Remain calm
Remember: Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's expletives are not directed at you. Nor are Cuban's air kisses.
4) Cup your hands
And place them over your ears. If necessary, hum the entire score from "H.M.S. Pinafore."
5) Stay in your seat
Even when Cuban leaves his to harangue an official. Stadium security will not be pleased with a rush to the court. Also, you could run face-first into Shawn Bradley's hip.
What not to do
Do not ask Cuban where he gets his hair done. Unless you want to look like a roadie for the Cure, or maybe Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator."
Be aware
You likely will be on camera at least a dozen times. So wear something nice.

How to survive a bench-clearing baseball brawl
1) Unclench your fists
You won't be needing them.
2) Mill around
And try to look upset. A furrowed brow works wonders.
3) Shove somebody on the other team
But not too hard. Alternately, grab one of your teammates and pull him toward you.
4) Stay close to a manager
Or any other member of the coaching staff. As a rule, they don't throw punches.
5) When in doubt, head for the dogpile
Ironically, it's the safest place on the field.
What not to do
If you are not prepared to actually fight, do not charge the mound. You could end up in an embarrassing headlock, taking blows to the head.
Avoid yukking it up with your buddies on the other club. It's bad form, and resentful teammates might challenge you to a subsequent dugout throwdown.
To minimize risk
Steer clear of dogpiles containing Rich Garces.

How to coach the Washington Redskins
1) Invest in quality luggage
Choose a sturdy set. We recommend something in ballistic nylon which is bulletproof or a shell made of ABS (the material used in motorcycle helmets).
2) Keep a bag packed
Make sure it contains a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. If you can include a candy bar, clean socks and fresh underwear, all the better.
3) Rent
Don't buy. And don't fall in love with the local schools either.
4) Open the phone book
Locate the following numbers: a) Allied Van Lines; b) American Airlines; c) UPS. Add them to your speed dial.
5) Check your resume
Is it up to date? Is it printed on high quality stock paper? Have you selected a font that demands attention but also pleases the eye? Make changes if necessary.
Be aware
Your players might be learning their fifth system in as many years, so be patient. However, do not expect similar forbearance from the team owner.
To minimize risk
Throw the ball 50 times a game, even if you don't have the personnel for it.
Beat the Dallas Cowboys at least once a season, preferably in the final game.

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