- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 20, 2005

Terrell Owens did everything he could, I hear, to avoid going to arbitration. He even offered to have his case settled by a live debate among him, Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits.

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By the way, how long do you figure it will be before these grievance hearings are televised by the NFL Channel?

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Fearless prediction: If T.O. gets an unfavorable ruling, the arbitrator will be forever known in pro football locker rooms as Richard “Chop” Bloch.

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Trivia question: Of whom was the mayor of Glen Falls, N.Y., speaking when he said in 2002, “We were thrilled to have [him] spend some time in our community. Little did we know how much we would benefit from his generosity. What a great example he sets for other athletes to follow.” (Answer below.)

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The details of this fight between Bears offensive linemen Olin Kreutz and Fred Miller are mind-boggling. Miller’s jaw, for instance, was busted up so bad that a steel plate was inserted during surgery. This kept him out of his first game since ‘98 and, even worse, caused fans to mistake him for Bill Cowher.

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Did you see the NCAA put Georgia Tech on two years’ probation for using 17 academically ineligible athletes, 11 in football?

I mean, who knew the University of the District of Columbia had an extension in Atlanta?

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“We are disappointed by the ruling,” Tech AD Dave (Lame) Braine whined. “Yes, mistakes were made, but they were inadvertent and confined to a small number of cases when you consider that we reviewed more than 800 transcripts.”

Small number of cases? Are you kiddin’ me? The Yellow Jackets put the “ineligible” in “ineligible receiver.”

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No joke: You get caught with 11 ineligible football players, you shouldn’t just have to forgo scholarships; you should have to play the entire next season with a man in the penalty box.

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Does it drive anyone else crazy that Mariano Rivera finished second to Bartolo Colon in the AL Cy Young voting but outpolled him 59-3 in the MVP balloting?

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You’d be amazed how often the Cy Young winner isn’t the biggest vote-getter among pitchers in the MVP contest. (According to my research, it’s happened 29 times since 1956.) Granted, the criteria for the two awards are different (sort of) — as are the media juries doing the judging — but still …

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Two years ago, for instance, Keith Foulke tied for seventh in the AL Cy Young voting (Roy Halladay won) but was first among pitchers in the MVP balloting. Screwy, if you ask me.

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Saw in the paper the other day that Wizards coach Eddie Jordan was drafted 33rd in the 1977 NBA Draft (by the Cavaliers). Naturally, I had to find out who else belongs to the 33rd Player Picked Club, just so I could make a few jokes about it.

Answer: Almost no one of any consequence.

In fact, Jordan — because he became an NBA head coach — might be the most notable 33rd pick of all time, even though his playing career was rather pedestrian (8.8 points a game in eight seasons for four teams). I checked out all of the No. 33s, and the best of the bunch, believe it or not, were Kevin Duckworth (1986) and Eric Money (‘74). Some of the other scintillating talents who went in that slot: Bill Zopf (‘70), Don Ogorek (‘60) and Quitman Sullins (‘58).

I had no idea the 33rd pick was such a Bermuda Triangle.

And neither, probably, did Jordan.

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But, hey, at least Eddie wasn’t one of the 28 guys that year who were drafted after a woman. Early in the seventh round, just for kicks, the New Orleans Jazz selected three-time Delta State All-American Lucy Harris, the first female ever taken in the NBA Draft.

(Two picks later, in a similar spirit, the Kansas City Kings opted for Bruce Jenner, the gold medal decathlete. The league didn’t take itself nearly as seriously back then.)

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Lest we forget, though, the Bullets/Wizards have had six coaches who were drafted higher than Jordan — Doug Collins (first, 1973), Wes Unseld (second, ‘68), Gene Shue (third, ‘54), Darrell Walker (12th, ‘83), Kevin Loughery (13th, ‘62) and K.C. Jones (14th, ‘56).

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The most inspiring moment in Virginia Tech’s 74-62 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Friday night: Hokies senior Allen Calloway, who’s being treated for cancer, sacrificing his body in an attempt to draw a charge.

Say a prayer for Allen when you get the chance.

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Answer to trivia question: The mayor of Glen Falls, N.Y., was talking about none other than … Terrell Owens. Owens played briefly for the USBL’s Adirondack Wildcats that year and donated his salary to the local community.

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All $5 of it.

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It’s not just that David Duval was In The Hunt going into the final round of the Dunlop Phoenix; it’s that he was only three strokes behind Tiger Woods (who was playing well). Now that’s cause for celebration.

Here’s hoping it isn’t just a tease, that he’s finally getting his game back.

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Don’t ask me why, but I have a feeling Duval will contend in at least one major next year and qualify for the Tour Championship.

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There’s no truth to the rumor that before she took her disputed drop in the ADT Championship, Annika Sorenstam glanced nervously at the gallery and said, “Anybody seen [Sports Illustrated’s] Michael Bamberger around?”

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Wish she had, though.

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Those who witnessed the fairway disagreement between Sorenstam and her teenage accuser, Paula Creamer, were surprised Annika didn’t, well, cream ‘er.

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“We were trying to determine where [the ball] went in [the hazard],” Sorenstam said. “We’re standing 220 yards away, and we’re talking about inches.”

We’re talking about inches. Just wondering: Would we be quite as accepting of that explanation if it were being offered by Michelle Wie?

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And finally …

Speaking of the Young and the Restless, Morgan Pressel, the U.S. Women’s Amateur champ, turned pro last week at 17. The LPGA Tour, of course, won’t let you join until you’re 18, so no one is exactly sure what Pressel will do in the meantime. Then again, the Red Sox are looking for a GM.

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