This And That From A Strapping Jock.
By Tom Danehy
JULY 20, 1998:
THINGS YOU MIGHT have missed while glued to the TV set
watching the World Cup. Yeah, right....
- Don King got acquitted again. He was on trial for about
the 19th time in the past six years and they can't convict this
clown. Apparently, the prosecutors are graduates of the Marcia
Clark Night School of Law and Long-Haul Trucking.
King was on trial for insurance fraud, and while that can be
confusing and boring to prove, they had him dead bang. Geez, even
the tobacco industry loses these days.
Hey Don, can you say...jury tampering?
- TV ratings for the World Cup plummeted in the United States.
Some soccer aficionados claim the poor showing by the U.S. team
doomed the ratings, but most American TV viewers didn't even know
the U.S. had a team in the tournament. The Iranian team would
probably agree with that.
Still, soccer people keep claiming their sport is on the rise
in America. I think what we need to do is have the World Cup here
in the United States so maybe it'll catch on. Yeah, we could have
games all over the country and give the American people a chance
to catch soccer fever. It would be great.
My son Alexander just told me he read somewhere that we did
have the World Cup here in 1994. Darned if I can remember it.
Well, next time they'll have it in Japan and Korea, so we'll
have games coming on a day later at four in the morning. That
should send ratings through the roof.
- Our girls' basketball team at Amphi this summer is a model
of ethnic diversity. At one time they had a starting lineup consisting
of Summer Raymond, whose dad is from the island of Truk in the
Federation of Micronesia; my daughter Darlene, whose background
is Mexican, Spanish, Irish and Italian; Charron Campbell, who
is black or Puerto Rican or something; Allison Mains, our token
generic white kid; and Eagle Woman Ereaux, a Lakota Sioux. Eagle
Woman has a sister named White Thunder Woman.
When we have a fast break, it looks like a fire drill at the
United Nations. We were thinking of changing the school's mascot
to an immigrant.
- Baseball had its annual All-Star Game. Really, they did.
I think it was in Denver. In all seriousness, I'm more than a
casual sports fan and I swear to God I couldn't tell you who won
the game. That's how little I care.
I do know that Ken Griffey, Jr., whined about having to be in
the Home Run Derby and then won the thing. But then, to get back
to his dark mood, he went to the press hotel accompanied by two
large bodyguards to make sure no one would dare ask for an autograph.
Here's the state of baseball as we enter the new century: People
are talking seriously about downsizing. Rather than expanding
like other sports or even having weak franchises move to Sun Belt
cities, baseball is thinking about killing off franchises in Montreal,
Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.
It's actually not that bad an idea. The product is weak, the
haves are running away from the have-nots, and things are just
going to keep getting worse.
- Major league baseball also has a new commissioner. His
name is Bud Selig. He's the first commissioner in almost a decade.
He's been sitting in the commissioner's office and sleeping in
the commissioner's bed for several years, but he just last week
got the official title.
The owners who hired him are quite impressed with his résumé,
especially the part where he helped cancel an entire World Series.
Hey, not even Hitler could do that.
- Former Notre Dame assistant football coach Earle Mosley
has accused his former boss, Lou Holtz, of assaulting him during
halftime at a game against Boston College.
Hey Earle, if you want to retain any self-respect at all, drop
the case. We've all seen Holtz. Celine Dion could kick his butt.
Why not go with something realistic, like maybe claiming that
Richard Simmons pimp-slapped you?
- Mike Tyson is eligible to ask for reinstatement as a boxer
in Nevada. Maybe he can bite the winner of the Dennis Rodman-Karl
Malone wrestling match. If you spend money for that thing on pay-per-view,
we're kicking you out of the trailer park.
- Without cheating, answer these questions:
1. Which teams are in first place in all six major-league baseball
2. Which division has six teams, and which has only four?
3. If the playoffs started today...THAT WOULD MEAN WE'RE IN FOOTBALL
SEASON! I'm sorry; if the playoffs started today, which teams
would make them as wild-card entries?
4. Which playoff team(s) from last year currently hold sub-.500
records this season?
If you can answer two of those correctly, you're above average.
If you can answer three, you need to get away from the radio and
maybe start watching that new-fangled TV thing. If you can answer
all four, the rest of your kind are holding a meeting in the phone
booth at the Famous Sam's on Ruthrauff.
- ALERT! ALERT!! Radio sports sissy Jim Rome actually said
something mildly amusing when he referred to beaded tennis player
Venus Williams as "Predator." I mean, it's not that
funny, but for the painfully unentertaining Rome, it might mark
I heard that some local pub even has a Rome Room where people
can eat lunch without ever having to worry about laughing or nodding
The Rome Room is fashioned after the Rush Room, where Mark David
Chapman types used to gather on their lunch break from middle-management
jobs to plot the overthrow of the House of Representatives. At
the height of its popularity, there were tens of Rush Rooms around
the country. Rome will never get close to matching that lofty
- Seven weeks until the UA football season kick-off. Seven