- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2007

Did you see O.J. Simpson was questioned Friday — and remains a suspect — in a break-in at a casino hotel room involving sports memorabilia?

I’m hoping it’s all a big misunderstanding, that he was just auditioning for a part in “Ocean’s Fourteen.”

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Just wondering: When police talked to O.J., was he wearing a fake nose like the one Matt Damon proudly displayed in the last “Ocean’s” movie?

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Speaking of “Ocean’s Fourteen,” they’re still working on the script, I hear, but it apparently involves springing Tim Donaghy from prison.

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How funny would it have been if Roger Goodell sat down to view the tape from Bill Belichick’s Candid Camera — and it turned out to be nothing more than footage of the Jets cheerleaders?

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Goodell certainly came down hard on the Patriots coach. Not only did he fine him $500,000 and strip him — in all probability — of next year’s first-round draft pick, he also made him turn in his Blockbuster card.

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No word yet on whether Belichick is still eligible for the Sundance Film Festival.

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Former Pats (and Redskins) tight end Christian Fauria, now with the Panthers, was aghast at last week’s developments. “There better not be an asterisk by any of the Super Bowls when I was with them,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “Actually, I better go call my wife and tell her to put [my two rings] in a safe.”

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David Halberstam on Belichick in “The Education of a Coach”: “What a curious, complicated, contradictory man, a hard man to reach and to understand completely. He was completely dedicated to fighting off the virus caused by too much ego, all too aware of what it could do to his dominating purpose — playing championship-level team football. But a man like that, who was so driven to win, and who excelled again and again at such a high level, was hardly without ego. Instead, he had learned how to make his ego work for him, and to keep it from being a negative force.”

Get me rewrite!

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If Goodell really wanted to punish the Patriots, he’d take away salary cap space, not a No. 1. Alas, the league’s bylaws don’t allow it. Granted, losing a first-rounder is a blow to the Pats but hardly a crippling one. They’ll just take the money they would have invested in the pick and spend it on a quality free agent instead. As you may have noticed, there’s no shortage of players anxious to go to New England (e.g. Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Donte Stallworth, Junior Seau).

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Look for Belichick — who has been less-than-forthcoming about injuries, too — to be on his best behavior the rest of the season. In fact, if I were him, I’d submit the most detailed injury list in NFL history next week, something along the lines of:

QB Tom Brady — sore left pinky.

RB Laurence Maroney — jock itch.

CB Asante Samuel — hiccups.

LB Mike Vrabel — hangnail.

Etc., etc.

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All, of course, “game-day decisions.”

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On the subject of surreptitiously obtained information, the ‘69 Chiefs might never have gone to the Super Bowl, much less won it, had a fan not given them a diagram of a new formation the Raiders intended to use in the AFL title game. The plan — scribbled on a place mat by Oakland quarterback Daryle Lamonica and then left behind in a restaurant — called for star receiver Warren Wells to line up in the slot, something he had never done before.

In his autobiography, “They’re Playing My Game,” Kansas City coach Hank Stram said he had no qualms about using the intelligence to his advantage. He was worried, though, that it might be a ruse on the part of sneaky Al Davis. Sure enough, the Raiders put Wells in the slot in the third quarter — and the Chiefs were ready. Final score: K.C. 17, Oakland 7.

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Quote of the Week comes from Chiefs coach Herman Edwards, whose response to the Larry Johnson/MySpace/profanity-laced rap song controversy began thusly:

“First of all, I don’t even have the Internet. I wouldn’t even know how to use it.”

After that, I’m guessing, Herm hurried out to the practice field to put in a few more single wing plays for today’s game.

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Talk about a hard-luck football team. The Garinger High Wildcats of Charlotte, N.C., had to move their game Friday night to North Mecklenburg because their field was piled high with goose excrement.

The Wildcats proceeded to lose 49-0.

In the pouring rain.

Their 50th consecutive defeat.

That’s right, folks, first they got chased off their field by goose droppings, then they put up a goose egg.

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Little-known fact: Garinger is the alma mater of Dwight “The Catch” Clark, Joe Montana’s first go-to guy with the 49ers.

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Just did some quick figuring. If Tiger wins the deferred $10 million prize in the FedEx Cup this afternoon — and decides not to collect it until he turns 60, the maximum age — it would be worth, well, a whole lot of learning centers. Consider:

Ten million dollars invested at 8 percent interest — compounded monthly — would be worth $95.1 million (roughly) by Dec. 30, 2035 (Woods’ 60th birthday).

Invested at 10 percent, it would be worth $166.6 million.

And invested at 12 percent, it would be worth $291.7 million.

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Note: These projections assume that, by 2035, the polar ice caps haven’t melted and the planet hasn’t been turned into Waterworld.

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That said, Dennis Hopper — and his eye patch — would make a great PGA Tour commissioner.

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Memo to Mark Calcavecchia: Professional golf ain’t big enough for two Craig Stadlers.

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Advisory from Wikipedia: “Alistair Cooke [the late British journalist-broadcaster] should not be confused with Alastair Cook, English cricketer.”

I’ll make a note of it.

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For a mere $97,000 (70,000 euros), Real Madrid fans can fly on the team’s charter this season. The price, according to the travel agency putting together the package, includes hotel rooms, match tickets and all the 1-0 games you can eat.

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And finally …

News item: Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya buys “The Ring” magazine.

Comment: It still doesn’t make up for the Tribune Company buying the Cubs.

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