- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 12, 2006

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler. What’s next, Florida Gov. Danny Wuerffel?

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Or will it be: Trent Green, Chairman of the Joint, uh, Chiefs?

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Number of the Week: 4.6. (The difference between Shuler’s 53.8 percent plurality in the House race and his 49.2 career completion percentage in the NFL.)

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Unless the House gives itself a raise between now and January, Heath will be paid $165,200 a year. Hope he doesn’t make the same mistake he made with the Redskins and hold out for more money.

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The modest salary ain’t the half of it. Wait until Heath finds out that congressmen have to tape their own ankles.

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Just wondering: If Santa Clara springs for a new stadium for the 49ers, will the city change its name to Santa Claus?

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News item: Donovan McNabb launches his own line of casual men’s clothing under the Reebok label.

Comment: Terrell Owens, still steamed at McNabb for throwing three interceptions in the Super Bowl, will probably try to sabotage the venture by claiming that the shirts all have tight collars.

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Memo to Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano: When you’re through with it, Bill Cowher would like his jaw back.

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Speaking of the Scarlet Knights, I’m watching Jeremy Ito get carried off by the fans after his game-winning kick against Louisville, and I’m thinking: An Ito hasn’t been mobbed like this since O.J. Simpson was found not guilty.

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I, for one, would love to see Rutgers win the national title, if only to be able to write: “the road to the championship ran through Howard University.”

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That’s right, folks, back in September, the Scarlet Knights beat up on the Bison 56-7. Isn’t that a violation of the Endangered Species Act?

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I’m not saying Rutgers’ schedule is suspect, but seven of its opponents lost their homecoming game — North Carolina (7-0 to Georgia Tech), Illinois (34-32 to Indiana), Howard (18-12 Morgan State), Navy (34-0 to Rutgers), Pittsburgh (20-10 to Rutgers), Connecticut (37-11 to West Virginia) and Syracuse (21-11 to Pittsburgh).

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Filmmaker Roger Corman reportedly wants Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn to play the lead role in a remake of “Knute Rockne: All American.” Quinn would be crazy to turn him down. I mean, better “Knute Rockne: All American” than “Brady Quinn: Second Team All American.”

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Ahmad Rashad, reminiscing to the Associated Press about his days as an Oregon football star in the ‘60s and ‘70s: “One of the coolest things was they had the ‘Soul Duck,’ in addition to the regular Duck [mascot]. It had this big huge afro.”

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Don’t suppose Notre Dame would consider a “Soul Leprechaun” — with a big huge green afro. …

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The Penn State Web site lists 109 players on the Nittany Lions’ football roster, eight of them 300 pounds or bigger. Couldn’t one of these kids have been assigned to stand near 79-year-old Joe Paterno on the sideline and keep him from getting trampled?

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One of the contestants on a special celebrity edition of “Jeopardy!” last week was Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Curt finished last behind a couple of TV actors, but he did come up with the correct question for the answer: “This British coin is worth 1/20th of a pound.”

Of course, if he hadn’t, he never would have lived it down. The correct question is: “What is a shilling?”

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If Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News has anything to say about it, Alfonso Soriano won’t wind up with the Phillies. Conlin is appalled at the thought of adding 160 strikeouts to a lineup that already includes Ryan Howard (181 whiffs last season), Chase Utley (132) and — for the time being, at least — Pat Burrell (131 in a mere 462 at bats).

But beyond that, Conlin writes, “despite Soriano’s speed and stolen base totals, he is not a particularly good baserunner. According to a formula devised by [Bill] James, … Soriano is barely middle of the baserunning pack. Using No. 1-rated Angels flier Chone Figgins’ plus-28 [rating] as the gold standard, Soriano’s plus-5 is underwhelming. In 23 chances to race from first to third on a single, he did so just seven times. He was just 20-for-32 scoring from second on a single and 2-for-4 scoring from first on a double.”

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Loved the headline that ran with Conlin’s column:

“Just say SoriaNO.”

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Critics of the NBA’s new Toys “R” Us basketball have been given plenty of ammunition in the first two weeks, what with Steve Nash and Mike Bibby both having a 10-turnover game and Paul Pierce losing the ball an even dozen times against the Bobcats.

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A dozen turnovers. Sounds like Robert Traylor’s pregame meal.

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Elsewhere in basketball, ESPN has extended the contract of college hoops analyst Dick Vitale through the 2012-13 season. There’s one potential hang-up, though: The warranty on his pacemaker only runs through 2011.

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I’ve got no problem with this new selection system for our Ryder Cup team — as long as the last berth doesn’t go to Boise State.

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I’m worried about John Daly, I really am. He just filed for divorce from his fourth wife, and his weight … well, put it this way: By 2008, he’ll probably have his own electoral vote.

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And finally …

Did you see “Price Is Right” host Bob Barker, who memorably duked it out with Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore,” is calling it a career?

Guess we can cross another name off Mike Tyson’s list of possible opponents.


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