Well, the Tennessee Titans have foiled Pacman Jones’ plans to join the professional wrestling circuit during his suspension from the NFL. The team is willing to let him have an outside-the-ring role with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, I hear, but he has to stay at least 50 feet away from any Foreign Object.
He’s also prohibited from carrying on his person more than five $1 bills.
Speaking of Pacman, he insisted last week he’d been arrested only two times, even though police records indicate the number is six. Of course, a cornerback needs a memory like that — for self-preservation’s sake. I mean, if Pacman got burned for six touchdowns last season, he’d probably tell you he gave up two.
As coaches are forever saying, “You can’t do anything about the last arrest. Just concentrate on the next arrest.”
It’s now a 5-yard penalty in the NFL if you spike the ball after being tackled at the end of a non-scoring play. Should be loads of fun watching the refs enforce that one. What happens, for instance, if you spike the ball because you thought you scored, but you actually stepped out of bounds at the 1-foot line? Will that cost you 5 yards, too?
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, it came out that erstwhile Redskins clipboard holder Babe Laufenberg had named his firstborn Joe Willie — after Joe Namath. “It was actually a prenuptial agreement,” he told the News’ Barry Horn. “No Joe Willie, no marriage. I wanted to name the second one Johnny U. [His wife Joan] put her foot down. He is Luke.”
Did you see the NFL is switching to high-definition technology to help its game officials review plays? What’s next, night vision goggles?
Also, the size of the referee’s sideline monitor is being increased from a 20-inch screen to a 26-incher. The officials association is still lobbying, apparently, for pay-per-view movies.
Elsewhere in football, the University of Miami has removed players’ names from their jerseys this season.
Fortunately, we’ll still be able to get their license plate numbers.
On the subject of the Hurricanes, a rally was held recently in support of the Orange Bowl, their home stadium, which needs $200 million in repairs and might be demolished. Sixtyfive people showed up — 62 season-ticket holders and three folks who thought it was a demonstration against Augusta National’s membership policies.
Let the record show that Tiger Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational exactly 48 days after the birth of his first child, Sam Alexis. (S.A. came into the world on June 18, and Woods closed out his eight-shot victory in the Bridgestone on August 5.)
Tiger didn’t come close, however, to breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record in that department. The Golden Bear never went more than 24 days without winning a tournament after the birth of one of his children. The specifics:
Steven was born April 11, 1963. Jack won the Tournament of Champions on May 5, 24 days later.
Nancy Jean was born May 5, 1965. Jack won the Memphis Open on May 23, 18 days later.
c Gary was born Jan. 15, 1969. Jack won the Andy Williams-San Diego Open on Feb. 2, 18 days later.
Michael was born July 24, 1973. Jack won the PGA Championship — a major — on Aug. 12, 19 days later.
(Note: Nicklaus’ oldest son, Jack II, was born in 1961, before he turned pro.)
Colin Montgomerie was spotted using an umbrella to stave off the sun at the PGA. I’m confused. I thought his nickname was “Mrs. Doubtfire,” not “Mary Poppins.”
Trivia Question: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is on pace to hit just 28 home runs this season, which would make him only the fourth player in major league history to hit 50 homers one year and less than 30 the next. Who are the other three? (Answer below.)
Number of the Week: 300.
(Temperature — in degrees Celsius — at which Chinese panda dung will be sterilized so it can be used to make odor-free Olympic souvenirs, according to Time magazine.)
Just wondering: If you’re involved in the manufacture of these souvenirs, do you consider it your civic doody?
Turning to basketball, 7-foot-6 Yao Ming is getting married in Shanghai tomorrow to 6-2 Chinese hoopster Ye Li. Members of China’s national teams say they’re still trying to decide what gifts to give the couple.
How about a gift certificate to Bed, Bath, Above and Beyond?
Can you imagine how big their children are going to be? They’ll have to buy a house in Jurassic Park, just so the kids won’t feel self-conscious.
But that’s OK. Most of the Raptors live there.
They tell me the schools are really good.
Answer to trivia question: The other three are Hack Wilson (56 in 1930, 13 in ‘31 with the Cubs), Brady Anderson (50 in ‘96, 18 in ‘97 with the Orioles) and Luis Gonzalez (57 in ‘01, 28 in ‘02 with the Diamondbacks).
(Much thanks to Alan Tieuli at baseball-reference.com for digging up this stuff.)
And finally …
I don’t know whether it means anything, but after the Tim Donaghy scandal broke in the NBA, a clean-up crew at the National Zoo found some Keno cards, a pair of dice and the bus schedule to Atlantic City in the zebra cage.
The Sunday Column will return Sept. 2, after Yours Truly has had his oil changed, his tires rotated and his shocks replaced.