Sunday, October 5, 2008

Al Davis is asking for trouble by firing Lane Kiffin and refusing to pay off his contract. I mean, what if Kiffin’s attorney tries to have Al brought up on child labor charges?


There’s a holdup in the Michael Vick bankruptcy case: His legal team is reportedly having trouble tracking down his assets and liabilities. Guess it isn’t just Michael that’s elusive. His money also has escapability.


Elsewhere on the jurisprudence front, Lawrence Phillips is headed off to prison for Unnecessary Roughness with an Automobile. But here’s the part of the story that really jumped out at me: The former Rams/Dolphins/49ers running back is just 33 years old. He could still be carrying the ball for somebody in the NFL.

Heck, there are two players on the Redskins roster, Pete Kendall and injured Phillip Daniels, who were drafted the same year as Phillips - 1996. (And at some point today, Kendall figures to run into another guy taken in that ‘96 draft: Eagles free safety Brian Dawkins.)



Trivia question: Kendall (21st overall selection) is one of six 1996 first-round picks who are still in the league. How many of the others can you name? (Answer below.)


Top 33-year-old rushers in NFL history (in case you were wondering):

1. John Henry Johnson, ‘62 Steelers - 1,141 yards.

2. Franco Harris, ‘83 Steelers - 1,007.

3. Emmitt Smith, ‘02 Cowboys - 975.

4. Larry Csonka, ‘79 Dolphins - 837.

5. Ottis Anderson, ‘90 Giants - 784.

What about John Riggins, you ask? Riggo’s biggest years came at the ages of 34 (1,347 in ‘83) and 35 (1,239 in ‘84).

Also: Marcus Allen led the NFL in rushing touchdowns when he was 33 (12 for the ‘93 Chiefs).

Note: Johnson actually turned 34 late in the ‘62 season. (So sue me.)


Speaking of elder statesmen, how did you like Brett Favre throwing six touchdown passes for the Jets less than two weeks shy of his 39th birthday? Little-known fact: The last three quarterbacks to throw seven TDs in a game were 31 (Joe Kapp, ‘69 Vikings), 36 (Y.A. Tittle, ‘62 Giants) and 34 (George Blanda, ‘61 Houston Oilers).


Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle had neck surgery last week and will be lost for a month. When he comes back, I assume, he’ll be wearing a neck Rolle.


So I’m reading about this Chicago woman buying an abandoned home on eBay for $1.75, and I’m thinking: I wonder if it’s the House That Ruth Built.


Imagine if Mark Teixeira got traded at the deadline every year. He might make the Hall of Fame just on his Augusts and Septembers alone.

In each of the last two seasons, Teixeira has been swapped at the end of July - first to the Braves, then to the Angels. In his 108 games for those teams (54 for each), he has hit 30 homers (one every 13.4 at bats), driven in 99 runs (one every 4.1 at-bats) and batted .337 with a .425 on-base average and a .623 slugging percentage.

His totals in the other 796 games of his career: one homer every 17.4 at bats, one RBI every 5.2 at bats, .283 batting average, .371 on-base average, .530 slugging percentage.


Who do you suppose would win the following race (one lap around the bases, two false starts and you’re disqualified):

Lane 1 - David Ortiz.

Lane 2 - Vlady Guerrero.

Lane 3 - The left field foul pole.


We all know how speed-challenged Big Papi is, but when Vlady tried to go from first to third on a bloop single the other night … yikes. I’m convinced more than ever now that if it’s OK for Champions Tour golfers to use carts, then it should be OK for designated hitters to use Segways.


The Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly the Seattle SuperSonics) have been credited with the first steal of the NBA season. Thunder, you see, was the name of the Golden State mascot- but no more. The Oklahoma City club stole the Warriors’ Thunder - or rather, the rights to the name - and now Golden State has to find a replacement.

Not that it will be that difficult. Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle described Thunder as “a steroidal mascot who fit the franchise like a kidney stone. He did all the standard mascot tricks - the trampoline dunk, the posing like Usain Bolt on a four-day bender, and the throwing out of T-shirts and other bric-a-brac to the customers.

“He was, in short, a distracting, unoriginal cartoon without any of the things that make cartoons valuable. He was a stupid idea carried to its logical extreme. … De-thunderizing the Warriors almost makes up for Monta Ellis.”


Still, it seems like the Warriors should get something in return - maybe Squatch, the Sonics’ old mascot, and a Super Soaker to be named later.


Dwight Howard, who wore a Superman costume while winning the NBA dunking contest last February, has entered into “a working relationship with the comic-book trademark,” the Orlando Sentinel reports. “He says he will wear the Superman emblem on the back of his basketball shoes in games, with more marketing tie-ins to come.”

The Magic, I’ll bet, are the last team the Celtics want to face in the playoffs this season. Why? Because Superman can not only “leap tall buildings in a single bound” and “bend steel in his bare hands,” he can also “change the course of mighty Rivers.”


Answer to trivia question: Willie Anderson (10th overall), Ravens; Walt Harris (13th), 49ers; Eddie Kennison (18th), Rams; Marvin Harrison (19th), Colts; and Ray Lewis (26th), Ravens.

Selected other survivors from Phillips’ draft: Amani Toomer (Giants), Lawyer Milloy (Falcons), Muhsin Muhammad (Panthers), Terrell Owens (Cowboys), Tedy Bruschi (Patriots) and Zach Thomas (Cowboys).


And finally …

News item: Two-time Indy champ Helio Castroneves was arraigned Friday on charges he used offshore accounts to evade U.S. taxes on millions of dollars in income.

Comment: Does anyone else out there feel shortchanged? If it were up to me, there would be a constitutional amendment that says: No racecar driver is allowed to be arrested without a high-speed chase.

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