- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2006

I seem to remember Michael Vick doing something objectionable after the Falcons dropped their fourth straight last Sunday, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

• • •

In other football news last week, Michael Irvin “joked” on Dan Patrick’s radio show that the athleticism of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is because of black ancestry.

Irvin suggested that Romo’s “great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma pulled one of them studs up out of the barn … back in the day” — which, as Harold Reynolds will tell you, constitutes an “inappropriate hug.”

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ESPN was in full damage-control mode. Not only did it downplay Irvin’s remarks, it also pointed out that Joe Morgan has “never said anything like that about Scott ‘The Base-Stealin’ Machine’ Podsednik.”

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From the Boston Globe’s Mark Blaudschun: “Oops award goes to Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love, who said one of the reasons she fired [football coach Dirk] Koetter was because 7-5 [the Sun Devils’ record this season] was not acceptable. This is the same AD who gave Koetter a contract extension last season in which Koetter got a bonus if ASU went, yes, 7-5.”

• • •

The signing of Japanese reliever Hideki Okajima fills a huge void for the Red Sox. They desperately needed someone who can come in from the bullpen and explain to Daisuke Matsuzaka that he’s being taken out of the game.

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Matsuzaka, Okajima — if this keeps up, they’ll have to change the name of the team of the Red Dragons.

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Elsewhere in baseball, Bud Selig announced he’s stepping down as commissioner when his contract ends in three years. I don’t know if there’s any connection, but 2009 is when MLB will begin testing for formaldehyde.

• • •

Selig says he wants to return to doing what he does best — rolling back the odometers on used Buicks.

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What a loss for baseball. In ‘09, after all, Bud will be 75 — the minimum age at which you can tell Congress “I have no recollection” and actually be believed.

• • •

I’ve been going back and forth about what to get him for a retirement gift. Right now, I’m leaning toward a tie — as a kind of thank-you for the 2002 All-Star Game.

• • •

Turning to basketball, “Desperate Housewives” hottie Eva Longoria will wed Spurs star Tony Parker in his home country of France next summer. The couple was reportedly on the outs not long ago, but Eva apparently decided it’s less painful to marry him than to have the tattoo of his initials removed.

• • •

A group featuring former NBA’er Christian Laettner has moved closer to buying the Memphis Grizzlies. Hard to say how Laettner and friends will run the franchise, but this much seems clear: Headbands will be allowed.

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And while we’re on the subject … Doesn’t Bulls coach Scott Skiles, with his hard line against headbands, come across a bit like Elmer Gantry? I mean, this is the guy who missed his Michigan State graduation because he was serving a 30-day sentence for a marijuana conviction.

• • •

A story I keep waiting for The Onion to break: “U.S. speed-eating star Sonya Thomas, the famed “Black Widow,” was arrested yesterday for devouring her mate.”

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Chinese officials are worried about smog becoming an issue at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. If the problem persists, I hear, they might have to tell marathoners to “forget about the 26 miles and just run the 385 yards.”

• • •

Another step being considered by the Chinese: Changing the name of the triple jump to the hop, skip and wheeze.

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NBC should hire Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw to announce the track and field events. They’ve had a lot of experience with poor-visibility assignments, having done the “Fog Bowl” between the Bears and Eagles in ‘88. Broadcasting that game, Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times once wrote, “was like trying to look through a gallon of milk.”

• • •

Bears guard Tom Thayer got off the best line, though. “The fog was so bad,” he said, “that I was waiting for Boris Karloff to come out of the stands.”

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Imagine Bradshaw saying in Beijing, “I can’t see Asafa Powell winning the 100 meters” — only he says it after the race instead of before.

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Good thing the Capitals aren’t paying Olie Kolzig by the save. They’d be over the salary cap by now.

• • •

Kolzig had 48 stops in Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory over the Lightning. The entire game was like the last scene of “Bonnie and Clyde.”

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Just wondering: If an ice arena worker claimed to have steered a Zamboni through a Burger King drive-thru, would you assume he was telling a Whopper?

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Well, if you did, you’d be wrong. In fact, the stunt was pulled by two Zamboni drivers recently in Boise, Idaho. In addition to losing their jobs, the pair could face charges of (a.) operating unlicensed motor vehicles on a public street and (b.) giving Adam Sandler the idea for his next movie.

• • •

I can hardly wait to see their attempted getaway on “Cops.”

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They were probably driving so slowly that Al Cowlings passed them.

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Memo to the Boise Police Department: You might want to keep an eye on those Zambonis. The Miami Hurricanes will be in town later this month to play in the MPC Computers Bowl.

• • •

And finally …

Bode Miller skied the downhill in 1:46.15 on Friday at Beaver Creek, Colo., the fastest time posted in the World Cup competition.

Unfortunately, he was competing in the slalom.

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