- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 11, 2009

If only President Obama had made his Olympics pitch to the Nobel Prize committee. It would have been a slam dunk.


Speaking of which, did you see golf and rugby have been reinstated for the Rio Games (and beyond)?

But hey, it’s not like the IOC doesn’t know where to draw the line. For instance, despite intense lobbying by the Brazilians, tanning will only be a demonstration sport.


Rugby games, it was announced, will feature only seven players on a side instead of the usual 15. Heck, that ain’t rugby, that’s beach rugby.


Golf, I’m guessing, will be a bigger deal the second time around. The first time (1900, 1904) it was kinda overshadowed by the tug of war.


Little-known fact (extracted from David Wallechinsky’s “Complete Book of the Olympics”): The last Olympic champion in golf, Canadian George Lyon, “was an eccentric athlete” who didn’t begin playing until he was 38 and “wielded the club more like a cricket bat.” He “was awarded a $1,500 sterling silver trophy, which he accepted after walking down the path to the ceremony on his hands.”

Memo to John Daly: Don’t try this at home.


News item: Rush Limbaugh makes bid to buy St. Louis Rams.

Comment: Talk about an NFL owner for our times. I mean, Rush would come equipped with his own painkillers.


There’s only one real drawback to Limbaugh taking over the Rams: The offense would become too predictable.

It would always run to the right.


Did you see the Pontiac Silverdome is being auctioned off? Boy, the memories that place brings back. One Lions playoff victory in 27 years… the Cherry Bowl games in ‘84 and ‘85… that 1-1 tie between the U.S. and Switzerland in the World Cup.

“Auctions are all about price discovery through competitive bidding,” a spokesperson for the auction house said. “All of us will understand the value of the Pontiac Silverdome when the auction ends.”

To which I reply: Anybody got change for a twenty?


LaVar Arrington is convinced Dan Snyder and Greg Blache have made a secret pact - and told me so when I was on his show Thursday on FM-106.7. In the world according to LaVar, Snyder has already decided to fire Jim Zorn as the Redskins’ coach and replace him with Blache. That’s why Sherman Lewis, who used to work with Greg in Green Bay, was brought aboard last week as an offensive consultant. Once Lewis familiarizes himself with the personnel - so he can take over the play calling - Zorn is out and Blache is in, Arrington says.

Interesting theory, you have to admit. About the only thing missing is a grassy knoll or a one-armed man.


Another possible theory: Mr. Snyder did it in the conservatory with the candlestick.


Mr. October, Chip Caray ain’t.

The TBS baseball announcer has been having his problems in the playoffs, miscalling plays and dispensing erroneous information. In the 10th inning of the Twins-Tigers tiebreaker the other night, he offered this description of a liner to left by Minnesota’s Nick Punto:

“Line drive. Base hit. Caught out there. The runner tags. Throw to the plate. On target. And in time! A double play.”

Just wondering: Is he really a Chip off the old Caray (as in Harry), or might he actually be a Chip off the old Coleman (as in Jerry, the Padres’ legendary broadcaster, who once said, “The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It’s ball one. Low and outside.”)


Just be thankful Caray didn’t call Mark Buehrle’s perfect game for the White Sox. He probably would have had Tampa Bay’s Gabe Kapler homering in the ninth to break it up - and completely missed DeWayne Wise’s above-the-wall catch in center field.


Something I stumbled upon while researching the previous item: Jerry Coleman has something in common with Stephen Breyer (who I’m pretty sure is a Supreme Court justice), Carol Channing (actress), Rube Goldberg (famed cartoonist), William R. Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett-Packard) and Eugene Meyer (former publisher of the Washington Post). Anyone want to guess what it is?

Answer: They all graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco.


Revelation of the Week (courtesy of the November issue of Esquire): Rocker Joan Jett “was Mike Tyson’s wake-up call for several fights - he would have me call him on the morning of a fight,” she says. “He was so sweet to me.”


Which of Jett’s hits do you figure is Mike’s favorite, “Bad Reputation” or “Do You Wanna Touch Me?”


Unfortunately, she’s never performed a song titled “Would It Be OK If I Bit Off A Chunk Of Your Right Ear?”


Two more sound bites from Joan’s Esquire interview:

• “I never lived in Wisconsin. One of those images you see as a kid - I might have been six or seven - it was a Sports Illustrated cover. Everybody was completely muddy, so muddy you couldn’t see who was wearing what uniform. One guy had a swipe across the helmet where the mud was wiped off, and you could see part of the G through it. For some reason, as a kid, just seeing that G, I became a Green Bay Packers fan. Isn’t that weird?”

• “The national anthem is a very hard song to sing. You gotta start in the right spot or you’re screwed.”


Monday being Columbus Day, I thought I’d put together a list of Great Dates in Sports History Involving Anybody or Anything Named Columbus (excluding the obvious - anything having to do with the Ohio State Buckeyes). The job was much harder than I expected. (How was I to know there hasn’t been a single NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL player - not one - whose last name was Columbus?)

The meager fruits of my labor:

Aug. 1, 1939 - Bill Seinsoth of the Columbus (Ga.) Red Birds in the South Atlantic League throws 11 no-hit innings against Augusta but loses in the 13th.

Sept. 11, 1942 - Lawrence Columbus “Crash” Davis (yes, the man who inspired Kevin Costner’s character in “Bull Durham”) belts his second and last major league homer, this one off the Tigers’ Dizzy Trout, to help the Philadelphia A’s win at Detroit before a crowd of 1,084.

Sept. 12, 1976 - In the Tampa Bay Bucs’ NFL debut, Houston safety Columbus Lorenzo “C.L.” Whittington picks off two Steve Spurrier passes as the Oilers breeze to victory.

April 8, 2009 - Fedor Tyutin’s shootout goal lifts Columbus past the Blackhawks and enables the Blue Jackets to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their nine-year existence.


And finally…

Coming in February: Great Dates in Sports History Involving Anybody or Anything Named Groundhog.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide