- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fifteen months? Greg Norman and Chris Evert are separating after 15 months?

What do you call that, a marriage or “playing through”?

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Fifteen months? Heck, I’ve seen Sergio Garcia take longer than that to address the ball.

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As for Evert, she’s been wed now to an Australian (Norman), a Brit (John Lloyd) and an American (Andy Mill), which puts her only a Frenchman away from the matrimonial grand slam.

Memo to Eva Longoria: Don’t let Tony Parker out of your sight.

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Say this for Chrissie: She’s a competitor. In her playing days she matched strokes with Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong Cawley, and in retirement, she’s matching husbands with Zsa Zsa Gabor, Liz Taylor and Lana Turner.

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Tiger Woods just passed $1 billion in career earnings, according to Forbes. Or to put it another way, 20 years ago, he was playing $2 Nassaus; now he can buy Nassau.

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He’s one lucky fella, Tiger is. Not only has he raked in $1 billion, but he somehow managed to avoid getting ripped by Michael Jordan ($800 million) in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

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Now you know why Woods moved to Florida, where there’s no state income tax. At this point, though, he might want to consider Monaco.

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Alexis Thompson is/was:

a. A 14-year-old ninth-grader who tied for the 36-hole lead in this week’s Navistar LPGA Classic.

b. A guy who owned the Philadelphia Eagles from 1941 to ‘48 and brought the franchise its first NFL title.

c. Both of the above.

(Correct response: c.)

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If NBA fans can put up with players on 10-day contracts, they can put up with replacement officials.

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Speaking of the replacement refs, the league is trying to do what it can for them by expanding the scope of instant replay. Replay can now be used:

1. To determine whether a 24-second violation occurred before the release of a successful field goal attempt or before a foul being committed.

2. To determine in the last two minutes of regulation or overtime which player last touched the ball before it going out of bounds or whether the ball was last touched simultaneously by two opponents.

3. If they just want to see themselves on TV.

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The United Football League - aka “the USFL without the S” - begins play Thursday night when the California Redwoods meet the Las Vegas Locomotives. Which raises the question: If a whistle blows in Vegas and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

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The team based in Orlando is calling itself the Florida Tuskers - a tusker being a wild boar indigenous to the Everglades. Me, I’m just hoping the UFL isn’t a wild bore.

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They say revenge is a dish best served cold, so it’s too bad Brett Favre will return to Green Bay with the Vikings on Nov. 1 (Week 8) and not Jan. 3 (Week 17).

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Neal from Gaithersburg e-mails: “I see where the Eagles signed Jeremiah Trotter. I guess they couldn’t come to terms with Chuck Bednarik.”

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A bronze sculpture of Knute Rockne was unveiled at Notre Dame last week. It depicts the famous Irish football coach in his coaching sweatshirt and baseball pants with his hands on his hips. Good thing the sculpture wasn’t unveiled last October, after ND’s 3-9 season. Rockne’s hands might have been over his eyes.

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Somewhere in those 100-odd pounds Ralph Friedgen lost, I’m convinced, is the Terps’ defensive playbook.

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News item: Oregon might reinstate pugilistic running back LeGarrette Blount later this season, provided he meets certain guidelines.

Comment: Like what, promising to wear 12-ounce gloves?

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Chalk up another record for Shaquille O’Neal. When he swam against Michael Phelps in his “Shaq Vs.” reality show, he became - by a considerable margin, I’m told - the Largest Man Ever to Wear a Speedo.

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Seriously, which would you rather watch, Shaq racing against Phelps or Phelps competing in a cannonball contest against Shaq?

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Angels 11, Rangers 0. Blue Jays 12, Red Sox 0. Cardinals 13, Reds 0. Don’t you just love the last week of baseball’s regular season? I mean, it’s more fun than a split-squad game.

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Other end-of-the-year baseball notes and observations:

• Why hasn’t more been made of this? The Phillies’ Chase Utley has stolen 23 bases without getting caught. If he doesn’t get too greedy in Sunday’s finale against the Marlins, he’ll set a major league mark for most thefts in a season without being gunned down.

• On the subject of base-running, two players who have been in training camp with the Redskins have led the National League in caught stealing (or whatever you’d call getting thrown out more than anybody else). Who are they? (Answer below.)

• Victor Martinez of the Red Sox had a 25-game hitting streak snapped last weekend when he was sent in to pinch hit and made an out. Just wondering: Did the DiMaggio family slip Terry Francona a twenty or something? I’d love to know if a streak that long has ever been broken by an unsuccessful pinch-hitting appearance.

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Did you see the report about Ted Williams’ severed head being mistreated at an Arizona cryonics facility? There’s apparently a book coming out that claims Williams’ head, which was frozen and put in storage after his death, was abused by a technician who took “baseball-like swings” at it “with a monkey wrench,” according to the Associated Press.

And you thought the NFL had concussion problems.

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Answer to trivia question: Vince Coleman (Redskins training camp, 1982) and Deion Sanders (2000). Coleman, during his Cardinals days, led or tied for the NL lead in caught stealing in ‘85 (25 times), ‘87 (22) and ‘88 (27). Deion did it in ‘94 (16), the season he split between the Braves and Reds.

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Everybody thought Chicago had a shot at the 2016 Olympics - and then it went down in the first round, like Floyd Patterson against Sonny Liston at Comiskey Park in ‘62.

(I told the Obamas before they flew to Copenhagen, “Watch out for Jacques Rogge’s left hook.” But did they listen?)

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And finally…

The IOC was probably worried about how the scoring would be tabulated in a town that, well, remember the 1960 presidential election?

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