- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 11, 2005

Boy, that Andre Agassi-James Blake match in the U.S. Open quarters was one of the all-timers, wasn’t it? A real marathon. In fact, when it started, I’m pretty sure Andre had long hair.

• • •

Just think: Had the Redskins pulled the trigger on that trade with the Bears three years ago, they’d be facing Patrick Ramsey for the third time today.

Hypothetically, at least.

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Just for the sake of argument, let’s say: Washington 20, Chicago 10.

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The Outside World doesn’t hold the Redskins in very high regard, talent-wise. On the Sporting News’ list of the NFL’s 100 best players, the highest-ranking Redskin is Cornelius Griffin at No.64. Sports Illustrated’s numbers crunchers, meanwhile, rate none of the team’s skill position players higher than 10th at their position (tight end Chris Cooley). Clinton Portis projects as the 22nd most valuable player in the league this season, according to SI, but he’s still only 15th among running backs.

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The most hideous uniforms in the NFL, according to a survey conducted by Directions Research, Inc., belong to the Browns, Bengals, Packers, Ravens and Dolphins.

This makes veteran punter Kyle Richardson the worst dressed player in the league. In his nine seasons as a pro, Richardson has kicked for — among others — the Dolphins (1997), Ravens (‘98-01), Bengals (‘03) and now the Browns (‘05).

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The unpopularity of the Pack’s unis kinda gives new meaning to the expression, “winning ugly.”

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Why, after he’d just gotten rid of Randy Moss, would the Vikings’ Mike Tice want to pick up another high-maintenance receiver, Koren Robinson?

I mean, unless Robinson had some really choice Super Bowl tickets he wanted to unload.

• • •

Should the Saints wind up playing some of their games in San Antonio or Baton Rouge, they won’t be the first NFL club to make temporary quarters in a non-NFL city. The Bears, you may recall, played their home games in Champaign, Ill., three years ago, the Tennessee Oilers (later Titans) played theirs in Memphis in ‘97 and the Panthers played theirs in Clemson, S.C., in 1995. Further back, the Giants did their scrumming in New Haven, Conn., from October ‘73 through the end of ‘74. All four teams were waiting for stadiums to be built or rebuilt.

• • •

The Bears’ record at the University of Illinois: 3-5.

The Oilers’ record at the Liberty Bowl: 6-2 (and 3-5 the next year at Vanderbilt while their stadium was still under construction).

The Panthers’ record at Clemson: 5-3.

The Giants’ record at Yale: 1-11.

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Of course, in those days, one out of 12 at Yale was considered a “gentleman’s C.”

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Suddenly the college football game of the year might be USC at Notre Dame on Oct.15.

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Fearless prediction: Irish coach Charlie Weis will be getting NFL feelers by November and will be back in the league by 2007.

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Any NFL team with a young quarterback would be a good fit for Weis. (Especially if the young QB is Matt Leinart.)

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Can you believe all these stories about voters being bounced from the new Harris college football poll because of conflicts of interest? Any day now, I expect to read about a guy getting replaced because, one Saturday 20 years ago, he filled in for the Syracuse Orangeman.

• • •

FYI: Virginia Tech’s 20-16 victory over N.C. State last Sunday was the highest-rated and most-watched college football game in the history of ESPN2.

“We may not be America’s team,” writes my friend Robert, the Tech zealot, “but we’re ESPN2’s team.”

• • •

News item: After watching Barry Bonds play a simulated game, Giants manager Felipe Alou said, “He ran better than … in the last month of last year.”

Comment: No surprise there. After all, Bonds has so much more to run from.

• • •

I can hardly wait, by the way, for Barry to hit his 756th home run — and then shaft the media at the postgame press conference by saying, “I’m not here to talk about the blast.”

• • •

Who would have thought at the start of the season that Tim Wakefield and David Wells — a 39-year-old knuckleballer and a 42-year-old knucklehead — would be the backbone of the Red Sox pitching staff?

• • •

Turning to cycling, the head of the sport’s governing body told a French newspaper that Lance Armstrong had proposed before the Tour that all of his urine samples be kept for tests over the next 10 years.

If you held on to them any longer than that, apparently, the samples would lose their bouquet.

• • •

Former Maryland basketballer Lonny Baxter seems to be patterning his career after another ex-Terp, Tony Massenburg. Lonny just signed on with the Rockets, his fifth team in four NBA seasons (following stints with the Bulls, Raptors, Wizards and Hornets). “Suitcase” Tony, as we all know, has been around the block and then some, banging bodies for the Spurs, Hornets, Celtics, Warriors, Clippers, Raptors, 76ers, Nets, Grizzlies, Rockets, Jazz and Kings — 12 clubs total (plus another in the Italian League and two in the Spanish League).

• • •

Memo to Baxter’s family: If you’re looking for something to buy him for Christmas, I’d suggest a Global Positioning System.

• • •

Now that the NCAA has bought the National Invitation Tournaments, will it attempt a hostile takeover of the NBA’s Development League?

• • •

Interesting piece by the Boston Globe’s Jim McCabe recently on why golfers take off their gloves to putt. They left them on in the Arnie and Jack Era, and part of the reason, Nicklaus told McCabe, was that “we had to pay for our gloves, and I always felt that every time you took it off, you stretched it [by pulling at the fingers]. So I left them on.”

• • •

Nowadays, golfers are so flush, they can afford to turn down invitations to the World Match Play Championship, which offers the biggest first prize in golf, nearly $2million. The tournament will get under way this week without Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Chris DiMarco, Sergio Garcia, Fred Couples and Davis Love, all of whom, I guess, are getting their chests waxed.

• • •

Speaking of the Spaniard, my 15-year-old was amused to see a feature in Sports Illustrated for Kids titled, “Improve Your Putting with Sergio Garcia.”

Sergio has mucho trouble with the short stick and is currently ranked 203rd on the PGA Tour in putting.

• • •

Next month in SI for Kids: Fitness tips from John Daly.

• • •

And finally …

Show jumper Ludger Beerbaum lost his appeal of a doping offense that cost Germany the team gold medal at the Athens Olympics.

The news wasn’t all bad for Beerbaum, though. His horse, Goldfever 3, has successfully completed rehab, I’m told, and is currently living in a halfway barn.

• • •

Taking it one neigh at a time, no doubt.


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