- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 1, 2007

Memo to Martha Burk: I know Hootie Johnson is out and Billy Payne in as chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, but that doesn’t mean women will be invited to join anytime soon. After all, when Billy played end at Georgia in 1968, the Bulldogs led the nation in scoring defense.

• • •

Trivia question: Payne had quite a college career at UGa. in the late ‘60s. In fact, which of the following details about his days as a ‘Dawg isn’t true?

a. He was an All-SEC defensive end.

b. He caught a touchdown pass in the Cotton Bowl game.

c. He played on a team that was undefeated in the regular season.

d. He lined up alongside an Outland Trophy winner.

e. He was drafted in the fourth round by the New York Giants.

• • •

Answer: e. It was his celebrated father, Porter, who was taken in the fourth round by the Giants — as a guard in 1950. But Billy was indeed an all-conference DE (1968), did catch a TD pass in the Cotton Bowl (a 20-yarder in the December 1966 game), did play on a club that was unbeaten in the regular season (the ‘68 squad went 8-0-2) and did line up beside an Outland Trophy winner (Bill Stanfill, the ‘Dawgs’ left tackle).

• • •

Some other teammates of Billy’s at Georgia: safety Jake Scott (the erstwhile Dolphin/Redskin), defensive tackle Jiggy Smaha and linebacker Happy Dicks.

• • •

My-o-myopia: Ever so briefly Friday, ESPN.com’s main page had a story about Wayman Tisdale being treated for cancer. The item referred to Tisdale as a “three-time [basketball] All-American” at Oklahoma, an Olympic gold medalist, the second pick in the 1985 NBA Draft and a 12-year veteran of the pro ranks. But nowhere, amazingly, did it mention what Wayman has been doing for the last decade — turning out seven jazz albums and becoming a well-known base guitarist.

Now, if he’d released a rap album that sold 343 copies in its first week, like Ron Artest did …

• • •

More from the ESPN news wire:

Gerald R. Ford, who played football for Michigan in the 1930s, died Dec. 26 at 93.

• • •

Here’s hoping Wayman — the Guy Taken After Patrick Ewing in that ‘85 draft — has a quick recovery. For a man who once averaged 22.3 points a game for the Sacramento Kings, he’s a wonderfully gentle soul. “My whole thing,” he has said, “is: If I can take people away from whatever their problems [are] for an hour, get their mind off their struggles, I feel I’m helping the world.”

• • •

Meanwhile, at the NFL meetings, owners made instant replay permanent by a vote of 30-2. The only dissenters were the Cardinals, who said they were “tired of waiting for the referee to decide whether our player dropped the ball or fumbled it,” and the tightwad Bengals, who were willing to share the cost of the new high-definition equipment but only if the monitors were black-and-white.

• • •

“There wasn’t that much discussion about it,” said the Falcons’ Rich McKay, co-chairman of the Competition Committee. What he means by that, I’m guessing, is that the debate overlapped with Al Davis’ naptime.

• • •

In other action, the owners rejected a proposal to bring back leather helmets. The vote was 30-2, with the Cardinals and Bengals in favor.

• • •

Pacman Jones intends to defend himself vigorously, I’m told, when he sits down with commissioner Roger Goodell this week. One line of argument the Titans cornerback might try:

“Hey, that episode with the strippers could have been a lot worse. I mean, I could have showered ‘em with Susan B. Anthony dollars.”

• • •

Elsewhere in pro football, a judge ruled that a Bears fan cannot legally change his name to Peyton Manning — which he promised friends he’d do if Chicago lost the Super Bowl to Indianapolis. Judge Katherine McCarthy said the change might infringe on Manning’s privacy and suggested an alternative: Trent Dilfer.

• • •

Did you hear George Steinbrenner’s daughter has filed for divorce from her husband, Steve Swindal, who was in line to take over the Yankees?

Reached for comment in Pinstripe Heaven, four-time Yanks manager Billy Martin said, “Tell the kid not to worry. She’ll take him back.”

• • •

The very next day, sources say, Swindal received a bottle of Dom Perignon with the following note attached:

“Thanks for getting me off the back page of the tabloids — A-Rod.”

• • •

Quote of the Week: “It’s the most asinine thing I’ve heard in youth sports, and I’ve heard a lot.”

— Umpire Mike Epplen on a new rule in a Cincinnati-area baseball league that prohibits “negative” chatter during games, either on the field or from the stands (as quoted by the Cincinnati Enquirer).

• • •

Co-Quote of the Week: “We can still steal, right?”

— 8-year-old player Michael Staley after being informed of the rule.

• • •

The early leader in this year’s Running Up The Score Sweepstakes is the Woodinville (Wash.) High School softball team, which fricasseed Franklin 64-0 recently. That’s right, folks, Woodinville won by eight touchdowns and eight two-point conversions.

Coach Jim Weir “said he was ‘shocked,’ by the final score,” the Seattle Times reported. “He said he was concentrating more on making sure his players were playing the game right and had lost count of the score.”

He also, apparently, didn’t notice his base runners taking oxygen.

• • •

Weir told the paper he had been “questioning myself these last four, five days.”

Yeah, hitting-and-running with a 60-run lead is a questionable strategy. You could easily line into a double play and take yourself out of a big inning.

• • •

And finally …

Poor West Virginia. First the Mountaineers are excluded from the NCAA basketball tournament, then they win the NIT and are handed T-shirts that say “West Virgina” — the fault, the school says, of asleep-at-the-silk-screener’s event personnel.

If coach John Beilein has any sense of humor, he’ll revise his pregame speech the next time he gives it — and tell his players: “There’s no ‘I’ in … the last syllable of West Virginia.”

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