- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can you believe all the fascination with Tim Tebow’s (purported) virginity? If this is what it’s like now, imagine how it’ll be if he decides to go after A.C. Green’s all-time record for sports celibacy.

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The NFL made a huge mistake, if you ask me, when they decided to spread their draft over three days instead of two. I mean, who can wait that long to find out who Mr. Irrelevant is?

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Scary thought: It’s possible now for a kid to be stuck in the green room, praying for his name to be called, from Thursday until Saturday.

There’s no way the peanuts will stay fresh that long.

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Don’t worry, if the last few rounds run a little short, Roger Goodell can always show slides of his Mount Rainier expedition.

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Elsewhere in pro football, Chad Ochocinco reportedly bumped into Denzel Washington at a Lakers game last season, and Denzel “got on me about the way I handled myself last offseason,” the Bengals receiver said.

When Washington was through, I’m guessing, the outspoken Ochocinco took him to task for playing a private investigator in “Devil in a Blue Dress,” a detective in “Fallen,” an FBI agent in “The Siege,” another detective in “The Bone Collector,” a narcotics officer in “Training Day,” a police chief in “Out of Time,” yet another detective in “Inside Man,” an ATF agent in “Deja Vu” and suggested, in summation, that Denzel was “not stretching himself enough as an actor.”

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I’m mystified, I truly am, by the stir caused by this LeBron James video, the one of him getting dunked on in a pickup game. To me, it’s about as significant as Brett Favre getting intercepted by one of those high schoolers he works out with in Hattiesburg, Miss. Would anyone dream of trying to confiscate footage of that?

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Trivia question: What’s the significance in today’s sports world of the letters P, C, Z, Y and N? (Answer below.)

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I’m not sure what to make of this, but…

It wasn’t until the 66th season of baseball’s modern era that a left-hander threw a perfect game (Sandy Koufax against the Cubs in 1965). But now five of the last seven perfectos, in a span of just 21 years, have been by southpaws - the Reds’ Tom Browning, the Rangers’ Kenny Rogers, the Yankees’ David Wells, the Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson and, last week, the White Sox’s Mark Buehrle.

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Answer to trivia question: They’re the middle five letters in Blue Jays pitcher Marc Rzepczynski’s name.

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And finally…

Somewhere, King Corcoran is smiling - if not laughing hysterically. To his dying day, which came last month the age of 65, the much-mythologized Maryland quarterback had folks believing he led the Terps to a 27-22 victory over Navy and the great Roger Staubach in 1964.

Actually, the QB that day was Phil Petry, pride of Hagerstown, who accounted for all three of the offense’s touchdowns by throwing for two and running for another. (The last six points came on a game-winning 101-yard kickoff return by Kenny Ambrusko.) As for King, there’s no indication in any of the newspaper accounts that he even stepped on the field.

So how did one of the highlights of Petry’s career turn into one of the highlights of Corcoran’s - to the extent of being mentioned in King’s obituaries (as well as on his Wikipedia page)?

“Well,” Petry says, “knowing him, he probably waited 20 years and then started telling people he beat Roger Staubach. As time passed, people would forget the details of the game - or maybe they wouldn’t be old enough to remember them… and - so he made himself the star, as he usually did in his stories. He had very high self-esteem, all these visions of grandeur.”

It was a good game for Corcoran to make himself the star of. Staubach had won the Heisman Trophy the year before, when the Mids went to the Cotton Bowl and were ranked as high as second in the nation. What quarterback wouldn’t want be able to say that, on a given Saturday, he outplayed the future Dallas Cowboys legend?

But just as it’s forgotten that Petry, and not Corcoran, was Maryland’s quarterback that afternoon, it’s forgotten that Staubach hit 25 of 39 passes for 231 yards and two TDs against the Terps, breaking the school record for completions in a game - by six. (Petry, on the other hand, was a modest 6-for-9 for 81 yards.) Translation: Maryland might have gotten the “W,” but nobody outperformed Roger.

“Corcoran Conquers Staubach” is typical of the tall tales spun by King - whose friends, it seems, were nice enough not to ask too many questions. He was, after all, such an engaging guy - and sure could tell a yarn.

Another of his fables involved his brief stint with the Philadelphia Eagles in the summer of 1971. According to his version, he was competing for a roster spot with King Hill - imagine two Kings in the same training camp - and one day Hill, the veteran, told Corcoran, the rookie, to pick up some balls on the practice field. Corcoran, nobody’s slave, refused, then declared his intention to take Hill’s job. A few days later, the Eagles cut the free-spirited rook (who went off to play for the Norfolk Neptunes).

It’s a great story, you have to admit - especially the this-town-ain’t-big-enough-for-two-Kings part. There’s only one problem: Hill’s last season in Philly was 1968. So whoever told Corcoran to pick up the balls - if, indeed, anybody did - it wasn’t King Hill.

Corcoran was your basic Legend in His Own Mind. He was a hero in the bombs-away minor leagues - and even threw 31 touchdown passes one year to lead the World Football League (the XFL of the ‘70s) - but his sip of coffee with the Boston Patriots in 1968 produced nearly as many interceptions (two) as completions (three).

(Former Dolphins quarterback Don Strock, a Pottstown, Pa., native who saw King play for the local Firebirds, once summed him up thusly: “I learned by watching King Corcoran that you can’t learn anything by watching King Corcoran.”)

Phil Petry, by the way, went on to play some semipro ball himself for the Hagerstown Bears. He isn’t bothered in the least, he claims, that Corcoran retroactively inserted himself into the 1964 Maryland-Navy game.

“It doesn’t change my life one way or the other,” he says. “But I’m grinnin’ from ear to ear that all this is coming out now. Besides, my friends here still introduce me as the guy who beat Staubach when he was a senior.’ ”

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