- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 26, 2006

You’ve heard of “Hercules Unchained”? Well, if the NFL doesn’t come up with a new labor agreement soon, it’s going to have to deal with “Dan Snyder Uncapped.”

• • •

Marvin Lewis wants to get rid of the player who told the media about a blow-up in the Bengals locker room during the playoff game against the Steelers. Great idea, Marvin. If every coach handled leakers your way, they’d have to call it the National Six-Man Football League.

• • •

Saw in the paper the other day that D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia’s All-American tackle, got his first name from Richard Chamberlain’s character in “The Thorn Birds.” I’ll bet his parents also loved Chamberlain’s performance in two football movies, “The Man in the Iron Mask” and “The Snap Count of Monte Cristo.”

• • •

Here’s hoping D’Brickashaw’s NFL epitaph doesn’t read:

Named after Richard Chamberlain’s character, blocked like Rachel Ward’s.

• • •

We don’t even blink anymore when a veteran like Ty Law gets released after a 10-interception season with the Jets. How crazy is that? I mean, Law’s 10 picks are as many as any player has had in the last 24 years. You’d have to go back to Everson Walls in ‘81 (11) to find somebody who had more.

• • •

By the way, I just noticed this: The four INTs by the Redskins’ Lemar Marshall last season were the second most in the league by a linebacker (after the Bengals’ Odell Thurman, who had five). They’re also one off the club record for a ‘backer, shared by Wilber Marshall (1991) and Jack Pardee (1971).

• • •

Thought of a way to spice up the Match Play Championship: Have a prime-time play-in the night before between the 64th- and 65th-ranked players in the world.

• • •

The loser, as a consolation prize, would be allowed to compete in the NIT … I mean the Chrysler Classic of Tucson.

• • •

On the subject of the Match Play Championship, perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on Stephen Ames for going down in flames, 9 and 8, to Tiger Woods in the first round. Heck, Bobby Jones once got walloped 12 and 11 by Walter Hagen in a 72-hole challenge match. Bobby couldn’t have made too many “strokes of genius” that week.

• • •

The historic encounter took place in 1926 on two Florida courses, one in Sarasota (Jones’ turf), the other in St. Petersburg (Hagen’s). The Haig later recalled: “I started out like a hacker but was still 1 up after the first three [or] four holes. Henry Topping [father of future Yankees owner Dan] had just given me a new set of woods with laminated shafts. I didn’t use them until the day before the match and was driving badly but recovering and putting well. I was 8 up after the front 36. Bobby, trying hard to catch up, began pressing and I coasted.”

Hagen earned $6,800 for his efforts. Jones, an amateur, had to settle for a set of platinum cuff links, adorned with diamonds and emeralds, that Walter gave him as a token of appreciation.

“Walter, you have ruined me twice!” Bobby told him (in sportswriter Charles Bartlett’s version of the story). “First, there was this licking, and now I’ll be busted the rest of my life trying to buy shirts to fit this jewelry!”

• • •

Jones wasn’t down for long. Three months later at St. Andrews, he trounced Cyril Tolley by the same 12-and-11 score (over 36 holes) in the Walker Cup. It was supposed to be “the great match of the day,” the Chicago Tribune reported, but “proved to be the worst match of all. Tolley is regarded as the foremost exponent of British golf, but [he] played with pitiful inability. He lost the first four holes and, going from bad to worse, was nine down at the end of the first round.”

In the next Walker Cup, at Chicago Golf Club in 1928, Jones brutalized T.P. Perkins, the British Amateur champ, 13 and 12. He was a Tiger, that Bobby. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

• • •

The Sunday Column celebrates the opening of training camp with a baseball trivia question: What do Jose Offerman, Jose Cruz and the Nationals’ Brian Schneider have in common? (Answer below.)

• • •

Speaking of the Nats, did you read that some memorabilia company in Cincinnati might own the rights to their name? The firm, Bygone Sports, verbally agreed to drop its claim to “Washington Nationals” for $130,000 and other considerations, according to reports, but now it’s holding out for more. Not only does it want Major League Baseball to cough up $1.5 million, it also wants the Nationals’ play-by-play man to call home runs thusly:

“Going … going … Bygone!”

• • •

Good thing RFK Stadium is a pitcher’s park.

• • •

And can you believe this? Just 43 Nats games will be aired on WDCA and Fox Channel 5 this season, down from 81 a year ago. What are we supposed to watch instead, “Barbecuing with Peter Angelos”?

• • •

Jim Rice, venting to the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy about falling short in the Hall of Fame balloting again: “[Bruce] Sutter went in. So I was compared to Sutter. Would you want to start a game with Sutter or Jim Rice? Is he going to finish 29 games in a row? Is Jim Rice going to play 29 games in a row? Or 162 games? So are you going to start with Sutter or are you going to start with me? Is Sutter going to drive in 100 runs, hit 30 homers or get 400 total bases? So why is Sutter in and I’m not?

“Is it longevity or [being] dominating? [Tony] Gwynn didn’t dominate nothing. Cal Ripken didn’t dominate nothing. If you look at Bruce Sutter, Bruce Sutter ain’t dominated nothing.”

• • •

Answer to trivia question: Offerman, Cruz and Schneider were the only major leaguers active in 2005 to have been victimized by the hidden-ball trick. Offerman got caught by the Expos’ Delino DeShields in ‘92, Cruz by the White Sox combination of Robin Ventura and Ray Durham in ‘97 and Schneider by the Marlins’ Mike Lowell in ‘04. (Fortunately for Brian, Lowell is out of the National League now, having been traded to Boston.)

• • •

Ozzie Guillen, the White Sox’s managerial genius, had the trick turned on him three times in his career. (Much thanks to the folks at retrosheet.org for compiling this information.)

• • •

And finally …

After its drunken escapades at a recent game, Stanford’s Tree mascot has entered rehab, I’m told. The Tree wants to get back on a healthy diet of chlorophyll and Ortho-Gro.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide