- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wouldn’t it be more fun if they made the NBA lottery a scratch-off game?

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Never mind the pingpong balls, just hand each team rep a card and a quarter - ready, set, scratch!

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On the subject of hoops, did you see Shaquille O’Neal is taking a crash course in broadcasting at Syracuse?

“After basketball,” he says, “I’d love to have my own radio show, my own TV show.”

Heck, at 7-foot-1, he could be his own transmission tower.

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Can you believe this woman who’s been tormenting Dirk Nowitzki - the one who, according to authorities in Texas and Missouri, has had at least eight aliases? If, as she contends, she was once engaged to Dirk, well, we’re talking about the Bride of Chucky here.

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She also reportedly had a relationship with Tony Banks when he was quarterbacking the Rams a decade ago. Now this is a girl who knows what she wants. She hooks up with a basketball player making $18 million and a football player named Banks.

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Eight aliases. Eight! How do you keep ‘em all straight?

Maybe she’s like that vacationer in Las Vegas in the “What happens here, stays here” commercial - the chick who changed her name to a different TV character every time she introduced herself. (“Hi, I’m Lucy… and this is my friend Ethel.”)

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Sure, he’ll be paid handsomely, but I don’t envy Blake Griffin having to play for the Clippers. In fact, I wouldn’t blame him if he pulled a Danny Ferry and started learning Italian.

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The giant TV suspended above the field in the Cowboys’ new stadium cost $40 million.

This wouldn’t bother me so much if Texas Stadium, the Cowboys’ former home, hadn’t cost $35 million.

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The screen - high definition, naturally - is 72 feet high and stretches practically from one 20-yard line to the other. There’s only one problem, from what I hear: The clicker weighs a ton - literally.

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And get this: The screen has 30 million light bulbs.

Which prompted this comment from an Austin American-Statesman reader: “30 million light bulbs… how many Cowboys does it take to change a light bulb?”

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Fortunately, Dallas fans won’t have to sit through weekly episodes of “Attack of the 72-Foot Terrell Owens.”

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Speaking of lotteries - and scratch-off games - the Redskins have reached an agreement with the Virginia Lottery to issue Redskins-themed scratch-off tickets this season.

Hey, how about a game revolving around Clinton Portis’ multiple personalities? I can see it now:

One Sheriff Gonna Getcha: $100.

Two Sheriff Gonna Getchas: $1,000.

Three Sheriff Gonna Getchas: $10,000.

Four Sheriff Gonna Getchas: Free parking at a Redskins game of your choice.

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So I’m reading about this electric car of the future that will get 100 miles per charge, and I’m thinking: Oh, great. By the year 2020, the Coca-Cola 600 will take longer to complete than the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Statistical note: Through Friday’s games, the Yankees had the most homers in the majors (69), the Rays had the most stolen bases (72), the Brewers had the most saves (16) and the Padres had the Most Guys Who Have Refused a Trade (two - Brian Giles to the Red Sox last August and Jake Peavy to the White Sox this past week).

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Perhaps we should start calling him Jake Peevish.

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You’ve gotta love the Pads. They’ve never won the Series - and yet nobody wants to leave.

Can’t be the team. Must be Shamu.

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Elsewhere in baseball, Jerry Koosman, the erstwhile Mets lefty, will plead guilty to failing to file a federal income tax return for 2002. Koosman’s attorney is Robert Bernhoft, who also defended actor Wesley Snipes at his tax fraud trial last year.

Boy, Bernhoff’s career has really taken off. He’s gone from representing make-believe ballplayers - remember Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes in “Major League”? - to representing real ones.

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Interesting discussion at SI.com the other day between Joe Posnanski and Bill James on Randy Johnson’s Place in Hardball History. They tossed many bouquets Johnson’s way, cited lots of impressive stats, and at one point Posnanski gushed, “Seems to me that Randy Johnson has in some ways been overshadowed in his own generation. It isn’t that people missed the point that the Unit has been a great pitcher - the guy has won five Cy Young Awards - it’s that I’m not sure people realize just HOW great he has been.”

Don’t get me wrong, Johnson has been a marvelous moundsman, but how could two knowledgeable baseball men fail to mention that from Game 6 of the 1995 American League Championship Series to Game 2 of a 2001 National League Division Series, Randy lost SEVEN STRAIGHT POSTSEASON STARTS. That, fellas, might be the reason “people” were slower to warm to him than, say, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux or Pedro Martinez.

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Let’s face it, in the playoffs, for the longest time, the Big Unit morphed into the Big Eunoch. Dennis Martinez outpitched him. Mike Mussina outpitched him (twice). Kevin Brown outpitched him. Sterling Hitchcock outpitched him. Woody Williams outpitched him. Johnson got outpitched by everybody but Charlie Sheen.

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A friend of Ted Leonsis’ sent him the following e-mail recently (which the Caps owner posted on his blog under the heading “Funny or True?”):

“The first testicular guard (the cup) was used in hockey in 1874 - and the first… helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for man to realize that the brain was also important and worth protecting.”

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If the Red Wings make the finals, it would be nice if they gave 47-year-old Chris Chelios some ice time. I’m pretty sure he’s the last active player who knew Lord Stanley personally.

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And finally…

Along Came Polyurethane: FINA, world swimming’s ruling body, has denied approval to 10 swimsuits, claiming they give an unfair advantage in the pool.

That’s probably why the earliest Olympians competed in the nude - so they wouldn’t have to deal with this stuff.

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Or maybe it was because the underwater camera hadn’t been invented yet.

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