- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 3, 2007

Good news for the Duke men’s lacrosse program. The NCAA has granted 33 players an extra year of eligibility to make up for the ‘06 season being cut short because of the Exotic Dancer Episode.

Call it their Wet T-Shirt Year.

• • •

A Duke alum took out a full-page ad in USA Today last week to congratulate the Blue Devils for finishing second in the NCAAs. “For a team very few people stood by,” the headline read, “how about a standing ovation?”

Forget the standing ovation, how about a lap dance?

• • •

“Effective immediately,” the NFL has announced, “clubs are prohibited from providing alcoholic beverages in any club setting, including locker rooms, practice or office facilities or while traveling, including on team buses or flights.”

Or to put it another way: BYOB.

• • •

Teams must be lining up to play in one of those preseason games overseas. After all, the policy doesn’t say anything about rickshaws or gondolas.

• • •

In a related story, commissioner Roger Goodell has asked Steelers tight end Heath Miller to change his last name to O’Doul.

• • •

Goodell also has a call out, I’m told, to Tedy Bruschi.

• • •

Elsewhere in pro football, Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman was sentenced to six days in rehab following his DWI conviction.

Imagine: a drive-through treatment program. (Hopefully, Thurman won’t be the one doing the driving.)

• • •

Seriously, what’s the hurry? Is there a two-for-one drink special on the seventh day?

• • •

Meanwhile, at Cook County Jail in Chicago, the Bears’ Tank Johnson spent $665 on junk food during the 60 days he spent there for violating probation (as a result of gun charges). According to records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, the 300-pound defensive tackle consumed — among other things — 162 beef sticks, 40 honey buns, 35 bags of barbecue chips and 27 blocking backs.

• • •

Boy, it was a tough week for the NFL. Even Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr, Mr. Clean during his playing days with the Lombardi Packers, got his name dragged in the mud. Seems an 81-year-old Texas woman tried to extort $2 million from him, threatening to reveal a relationship she says they had half a century ago.

Her attorney advised her to plead guilty, a wise move if you ask me. No jury would ever believe that Starr had an affair with a woman who now looks — just guessing here — like Fuzzy Thurston.

• • •

I’m sure the NFL will be mentioning Thurman, Johnson and Starr at this year’s rookie orientation. The moral of their stories couldn’t be clearer: Stay away from alcohol, stay away from guns and for goodness sakes stay away from 81-year-old women.

• • •

Braves manager Bobby Cox is closing in on John McGraw’s major-league record for ejections in a career — 131.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are closing in on their 10,000th all-time loss, another record.

Dream scenario: The Phils, one out away from No. 10,000, rally to beat the Braves on a disputed call — and an enraged Cox gets tossed to break McGraw’s mark.

• • •

Not to diminish Bobby’s accomplishment, but when a manager gets the heave-ho that many times, well, you’ve gotta wonder if it isn’t steroid rage.

• • •

Once Cox passes McGraw, the Braves plan to honor him at the next home game by having him throw out the first base.

• • •

First Alex Rodriguez slaps the ball out of a Red Sox player’s glove in the ‘04 ALCS, now he’s messing with a Blue Jays fielder by calling for a popup while running the bases. What’s next, A-Rod, putting Crazy Glue on the Orioles’ pine tar rag?

• • •

“It’s just an unwritten rule,” the Mariners’ Richie Sexson says of Rodriguez’s latest transgression — like stealing with a big lead, bunting to break up a no-hitter or waving a magnet over Don Zimmer’s head.

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In other Yankees news, Jason Giambi will be out at least three weeks because of a partial tear of the left plantar fascia. The injury probably happened, team doctors speculate, the last time he put his foot in his mouth.

• • •

My Virginia Tech source, a big NHL fan, e-mailed me this reminiscence of Washington Times staffer Dave Fay, who’s going into the writer’s wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame in November:

“I remember listening to a Caps game in ‘82-83, the first year they were winners. It was a home game against the Penguins, I believe, and the Caps were blowing them out. Anyway, they used to have a guest commentator come on with [radio play-by-play man] Ron Weber in the second period, and that night it was Dave Fay. He had such enthusiasm for the sport! At one point, the Caps scored two goals in about a minute, with the second deflecting off Ted Bulley’s face and into the net. Dave said excitedly, ‘I don’t know which is harder, Bulley’s head or the puck!’ I still laugh when I think about that and have been a fan [of his] ever since.”

• • •

By the way, between periods of the Stanley Cup Finals, you might want to check out MyHockeyTV.com. It has some great old clips (e.g. Wayne Gretzky’s first pro goal for the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers — against his future team, the Edmonton Oilers, in 1978.)

Almost as good: The footage of Gordie Howe, 47 years young, shoving a referee after a dubious penalty call and getting kicked out of the game.

• • •

And finally …

Let the record show that on May 31, 2007, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Michelle Wie all had to withdraw from golf tournaments because of injuries.

Next thing you know, Tim Finchem will be commissioning a concussion study.

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