- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2006

Steelers offensive guard Kendall Simmons will miss today’s game against the Chiefs with “the equivalent of frostbite,” ESPN.com reported — suffered when he “fell asleep with a cooling device on his [ailing left] foot.”

The team is still deciding whether to list him as “deactivated” or “defrosted.”

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Just wondering: How come that never happened — not once in 10 NFL seasons — to John Friesz?

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Or to George “Iceman” Gervin, for that matter?

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Now that Terrell Owens has gotten the Screaming Match With The Assistant Coach out of the way, it’s only a matter of time before he accuses Drew Bledsoe of being gay.

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Former Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler, seeking a Congressional seat in North Carolina as a Democrat, spent $10,000 to put his name on a car driven by Brad Keselowski in a NASCAR Busch Series event. Imagine Heath going from a checkered end zone at Tennessee to a checkered career in the NFL to a checkered flag at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

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By the way, does anyone else find it funny that Shuler is running against an eight-term Republican incumbent known to his friends as Charley Taylor?

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On the subject of cars, erstwhile pro and Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips was convicted of driving onto a field after losing a pickup football game and hitting three teenage boys — a crime that could carry a 20-year prison sentence. Twenty years! Heck, by the time he gets out, there might not even be an NFL Europe.

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Phillips fled the scene afterward, prosecutors said, giving new meaning to the term “yards after contact.”

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Did you read about the Wisconsin band getting put on probation because, according to the university’s chancellor, “certain types of sexualized and hazing behavior are an ingrained part of the band’s culture”?

By sexualized behavior, we’re talking about what, illegal use of a slide trombone?

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Chancellor John Wiley called particular attention to an episode in which a number of band members danced seminude during the bus trip to Ann Arbor last month. If that keeps up, the school will be forced to change the name of the football stadium from Camp Randall to Camp Randy.

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Speaking of misbehaving bands, it just dawned on me why Stanford never plays Georgia in football: It’s afraid of what might happen if the Georgia bulldog gets too close to the Stanford Tree.

• • •

News item: University of Michigan police arrest man they say stalked and sent threatening e-mails to football coach Lloyd Carr.

Comment: Don’t you wish John Cooper would just let it go?

• • •

Moving to baseball, the White Sox have struck a deal with 7-Eleven to start their weeknight home games next season at — when else? — 7:11. Chicago’s previous starting time was 7:07. Guess Boeing didn’t submit a high enough bid.

• • •

What are the White Sox going to play over the PA system during pregame, “Hang on, Slurpee”?

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All together now:

Slurpee lives in a very bad part of town

And everybody, yeah, tries to put my Slurpee down.

Slurpee, I don’t care what your daddy do

Cuz you know, Slurpee girl, I’m in love with you.

And so I sing out:

Hang on, Slurpee; Slurpee, hang on.

Hang on, Slurpee; Slurpee, hang on …

• • •

I wouldn’t be surprised if this started a trend. In fact, next year, the Nationals’ radio outlet will probably insist that afternoon games start at 1:07.7.

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Don’t tell Dan Snyder. He’ll want to have the two-minute warning cut in half so the NFL can sell the rights to Minute Rice.

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Can you believe Fox’s radar gun clocked Kenny Rogers at 94 mph the other night? I mean, come on, that’s almost as fast as Esteban Loaiza drives.

• • •

The players knew the gun was on the blink, I’m told, when Tigers coach Gene Lamont registered 90 during batting practice.

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Let the record show that in Frank Robinson’s last year as the Nats’ manager, his pitching staff led the majors in hit batsman with 92.

Robinson, of course, got plunked 198 times in his career — the eighth-highest total in MLB history — and finished first in the league in that department on seven occasions (six NL, one AL).

• • •

That’s one of the reasons, I suspect, that Robby was always winning those “worst manager” polls. His pitchers never backed down from hitters — even when they crowded the plate like he did.

• • •

In hoops, meanwhile, the NBA’s new non-leather basketballs continue to draw complaints. Commissioner Dave Stern is confident, however, that the furor will die down once the regular season starts — and the players get back to ripping the referees.

• • •

One of the balls’ biggest critics is Shaquille O’Neal, who says, “I look for shooting percentages to be way down.”

And I look for the Heat to distribute helmets to fans in the first few rows — inasmuch as Shaq made 46.9 percent of his free throws last year with the “good” balls.

• • •

Number of the Week: 70,000. (Dollars the University of Florida spent to buy the floor on which it won the NCAA basketball title last March. It’s now the Gators’ homecourt at O’Connell Center.

• • •

That was quite the practical joke Florida coach Billy Donovan pulled at the Gators’ Midnight Madness, dropping a replica of the championship trophy and breaking it into a bunch of pieces. Obviously, the trophy wasn’t made of the same microfiber composite — with moisture management — that gives the new NBA balls such a “superior” grip.

• • •

And finally …

Since Michelle Wie was born and bred in Hawaii, I’m assuming she’d never seen a snowman before when she carded that “8” on the 12th hole at Bighorn the other day.


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