- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 7, 2009

Storm clouds continue to gather around the University of Memphis. Now folks are questioning the SAT scores of a second member of the Tigers’ 2008 hoops team, which finished second in the NCAA tournament.

On the heels of the Derrick Rose Revelations comes news that Robert Dozier did suspiciously better on his SATs than on his PSATs. How much better? Well, on the PSAT, according to reports, he placed in the fourth percentile in the verbal and math sections, and on the SAT he placed in the 76th and 89th percentiles. This is difficult to do unless Dozier dozed through the first test.


Actually, I think I read a story once about this kind of thing. It was called “Flowers for Algernon.”


Here’s all you need to know: Georgia had enough doubts about Dozier’s scores to deny him admission. And this is the school, I’ll just point out, that gave us the infamous course on Coaching Principals and Strategies of Basketball, the one that asked students on the final exam: How many halves are in a college basketball game?


These situations come up often enough to make you wonder if there might be an agency that hires out people to take college boards for athletes.

Receptionist: “Could you hold for a moment? (Cups hand over phone.) … Hey, Harry, UNLV needs a 6-10 guy for the PSAT in October.”


Speaking of academics, Michelle Kwan got her degree Saturday from the University of Denver. Wait a second… didn’t Condoleezza Rice also go to Denver? If that’s the case, the school is now the alma mater of a Secretary of State and a Secretary of Skate.


Of course, if Kwan and Rice strike you as an odd couple, it might be because Neil Simon also went to Denver.


Here’s why Stan Van Gundy has become such a cult figure: Because 99.9 percent of the guys in America have had a gym teacher who looked exactly like him.


Every time I see the guy, I want to start doing jumping jacks.


Memo to poor suffering Cleveland souls, who haven’t won a pro championship since the 1964 Browns - and were denied again when the Cavaliers got bounced from the playoffs: If it helps any, you can always claim a piece of the Dallas Stars’ ‘99 Stanley Cup. Don’t forget, the short-lived Cleveland Barons (1976-78) merged with the Minnesota North Stars, who later moved to Texas and dropped the “North.”

Still, I’ll understand if you don’t want to vote Mike Modano into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.


Chapter 1: All season long, the Magic’s Mickael Pietrus wears Kobe Bryant Nikes.

Chapter 2: With Orlando facing the Lakers in the finals, Pietrus makes a much-publicized switch to Michael Jordan Nikes.

Chapter 3: In Game 1, a 100-75 blowout, he and his teammates look like they’re running around in Will Ferrell Nikes.


By the way, I wouldn’t read too much into that first game. After all, the ‘85 Lakers dropped the opener of the championship series to the Celtics by the slim margin of 148-114 - and wound up winning in six.

In fact, the only one they lost after that was on a shot at the buzzer by Dennis Johnson.


Then again, that L.A. club had four Hall of Fame players (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo) and a Hall of Fame coach (Pat Riley). How many do you figure the Magic have?

And no, the Turkish Hall of Fame doesn’t count.


Trivia question: Which major league pitcher needs just 22 wins to become his storied franchise’s all-time leader in that department? (Answer below.)


While we’re on the subject - of wins, that is - Randy Johnson earning his 300th the other day got me thinking: Which milestones in professional team sports are the hardest to achieve, which “clubs” are the most exclusive? If you restrict it to the expansion era (since 1960), the membership rolls look like this:

Baseball • 1,000 consecutive games played - 4.

• 300 wins - 12.

• 3,000 hits - 20.

• 500 homers - 21.

Football (NFL)

• 300 touchdown passes - 5.

• 1,000 receptions - 5.

• 10,000 rushing yards - 24.

• 100 sacks - 24.

• 30,000 points - 4.

• 25,000 points - 14.

• 20,000 points - 32.

Hockey (NHL)

• 400 wins by a goaltender - 9.

• 500 goals - 40.

• 1,000 points - 73.


Interesting, isn’t it, that 3,000 hits gets so much more media attention than 10,000 rushing yards, and yet the degree of difficulty is fairly comparable?


Incidentally, Sergei Fedorov is 17 goals shy of 500. Would he really go back to Russia to finish his career when he’s so close?


Randy Johnson, Part 2: Where do you suppose he would rank among the Top Johnsons in Sports History? Would he crack the Top 10? One man’s list:

1. Jack Johnson, boxing.

2. Magic Johnson, basketball.

3. Walter Johnson, baseball.

4. Michael Johnson, track.

5. John Henry Johnson, football.

6. Mark Johnson, hockey.

7. Shawn Johnson, gymnastics.

8. Bill Johnson, skiing.

9. Randy Johnson, baseball.

10. (tie) Rafer Johnson, track, and Judy Johnson, baseball.

(Yes, Mark had a relatively modest NHL career, but he scored two goals in the monumental upset of the Russians in the ‘80 Winter Olympics. You get big points for that.)


Answer to trivia question: Tim Wakefield of the Red Sox. The knuckleballer, 7-3 this season, has won 171 games in a Boston uniform. The club record is 192, shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.


There were a lot of raised eyebrows when it was announced that Chris Berman would present Ralph Wilson, the Bills’ 90-year-old patriarch, at his upcoming Canton induction. Chris Berman? Why not Marv Levy… or Jim Kelly… or Bruce Smith?

Heck, why not Terrell Owens? What a spectacle that would have been. By the time T.O. relinquished the microphone, Ralph probably would have been hooked up to a ventilator.


And finally…

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau will be throwing out the first pitch Tuesday at the Nationals’ game against the Reds.

I hear he throws BBs.

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