- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 8, 2009

The way he carries on, you have to wonder if Terrell Owens isn’t Jerry Lewis’ secret love child - never mind this lady in the news.

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The Cowboys, in case you’ve been living in a bunker somewhere, tired of Owens’ act and cut him the other day. For those hoping he’d be banished to the CFL… well, almost. His new team, the Bills, has a home game in Toronto next season.

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Hey, maybe T.O. will write a children’s book about his Buffalo experiences, a sequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Little T Learns to Share.” He could call it “Little T Learns to Shovel Snow.”

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The fans up there must be thrilled. After 41 years of searching, the Bills have finally found a replacement for Elbert “Golden Wheels” Dubenion.

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Asked if his club had any interest in Owens, 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said, “We don’t close any doors.”

Earth to Scot: The last time T.O. was a 49er, he didn’t just burn bridges, he torched the Golden Gate. What, you want to see the Bay Bridge go up in flames, too?

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Just think: In the last eight months, we’ve seen a guy with 527 homers (Manny Ramirez) and a guy with 139 touchdown catches (Owens) - both still quite productive - get dumped by their clubs.

Meanwhile, Brian Scalabrine continues to find gainful employment in the NBA.

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Wildest Story of the Week (as reported by SportsBusiness Journal): New Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants to bring former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue into the organization as his vice chairman.

Wouldn’t that be a little like Frank Sinatra coming out of retirement to sing backup vocals for Tiny Tim?

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Not really, you say?

Well, then maybe it would be like Baryshnikov appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” - with Warren Sapp as his partner.

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Then again, it might be like Lou Holtz taking a group of former Notre Damers over to Tokyo to play Japan’s national football team.

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Whoops, my mistake. Lou is actually doing that.

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First Sammy Baugh, now George McAfee. Boy, it’s been a tough few months in the Departed Football Legends Department.

McAfee, who helped the Chicago Bears win three championships in the ‘40s, might have been the greatest back of the NFL’s early years. Hunk Anderson, a longtime player and coach, certainly thought so. “I played with George Gipp [at Notre Dame], and I saw plenty of [Red] Grange,” he said, “but McAfee is better than any of them.”

In 1941, his best season, McAfee scored a touchdown five different ways - rushing, receiving, returning a punt, returning a kickoff and running back an interception - in just 11 games, no less. He even threw for a TD. He also picked off six passes and did some punting. He had speed, he had moves, he was “a fierce, feared blocker,” according to one contemporary. He had it all.

Funny thing about George: Lots of players get sick to their stomach before games; he’d get sick afterward. “It used to make me so darn mad,” he once said, “because all the guys would go out together and have a big meal and have a good time, and I wouldn’t even think of eating anything until maybe midnight.”

His statistics aren’t as glossy as they might have been because he lost almost three seasons to World War II. Once he was discharged, though - in time for the last three games of 1945 - he hustled back to the mainland to rejoin the Bears. His travel itinerary: “I was in Honolulu on Tuesday, San Francisco on Wednesday, Chicago on Friday and in Washington playing on Sunday.”

The Bears lost that afternoon to Baugh and the Redskins 28-21, and McAfee, still getting his legs under him, didn’t do much. But the next week against the Steelers, he had three of his team’s four touchdowns - including a 33-yard run and a 65-yard catch - in a victory over the Steelers.

“I was never so tired in my life,” he said.

George McAfee: What a player.

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Came across a sentence in my Internet travels the other day - I won’t say who wrote it, but you can probably find out pretty easily - that drove me (temporarily) crazy. The sentence read thusly:

“[Alex] Rodriguez has been the most durable player in the big leagues since he became a regular more than a decade ago, playing in more games than any other player since the start of the 1996 season.”

He has?

Really?

During the period in question, I’ll just point out, Miguel Tejada played in 1,152 straight games, the fifth-longest streak in major league history. Rodriguez’s best consecutive-games streak topped out at 546. But beyond that, A-Rod missed 33 games in 1999, 14 in 2000 and 24 more last year. Tejada has only once played fewer than 158 games in the last 10 seasons. (We won’t even talk about the 1,768-game streak Hideki Matsui had with the Yomiuri Giants and the Yankees.)

Is Rodriguez more of an ironman than Tejada (or Matsui)? No way. But he may indeed have played in more games than any other player since ‘96 - for what it’s worth. Tejada, you see, didn’t come up until ‘97 (and Matsui didn’t leave Japan for New York until ‘03).

This is one of those sounds-better-than-it-really-is stats. And knowing what we now know about A-Rod and his Adventures in Chemistry, why would any self-respecting sports writer want to inflate his accomplishments?

Just asking.

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There are few things I enjoy more than watching Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics’ bruiser, run up and down the court, knees pumping like pistons. Herman Munster comes to mind. So does Lurch the butler (who, I’m told, was a stud center at Stetson - or rather, the actor who played him, Ted Cassidy, was). Perkins’ sneakers strike the floor with such force, you can practically hear the sound of kettle drums. I’m not saying the man’s mechanical, but he looks like he learned how to run from an instructional video.

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Gilbert Arenas is out. Brendan Haywood is out. Etan Thomas is out. DeShawn Stevenson just had season-ending disk surgery. You know, if the Wizards hadn’t fired Eddie Jordan, he could have at least activated himself.

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Elsewhere in pro hoops, Charles Barkley had his jail sentence for DUI reduced from 10 days to three. Heck, three days is nothing for Charles. He used to spend longer than that in the lane.

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And finally…

I’d be more impressed with the Memphis Tigers’ 28-3 record if the second-place team in their conference wasn’t Faber College.

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