POSTCARD from Hades. An other week in paradise. Wish you
If Kris Benson's wife were a microbiologist in pursuit of a cure for a deadly
disease — instead of a hot babe who's apparently allergic to clothing — we
wouldn't yet know a thing about her, would we?
Robbie Knievel, by the way, was only the latest of thousands — but the first
in years — to have performed a death-defying feat aboard the USS Intrepid.
Coming soon: X-Games bungee-jumping from the Washington Monument and the
Mountain Dew NASCAR 400 through the cemeteries at Gettysburg.
ESPN's "SportsCenter" guys, Thursday, did a good job catching up to and then
getting in front of the Ricky Williams story. But then they blew it by giving
credence to Williams' incredulous claim that he planned to quit the NFL even
before taking his last drug test. Then why did he take it?
Never let it be said that we don't hold empathy for Mike Francesa and
Chris Russo. Both returned from vacation to be confronted by a conga line
of callers who wanted to trade everyone for everyone else. Only Francesa seemed
annoyed by the nonsense.
Gee, we'd have liked to believe ESPN's self-congratulatory claim on Friday,
that ESPN's Peter Gammons broke the story about that Marlins-Dodgers
trade. But ESPN, in recent years, has taken credit for so many "scoops" it
simply lifted from newspapers or wire services that our conditioned response is
ESPN Radio recently credited ESPN.com with the scoop on the Kenyon Martin-to-the-Nuggets
deal. But the same story appeared in that day's newspapers. Had ESPN.com had it
first, it would've run before the newspapers were published.
Dave O'Brien yesterday risked his Mets' TV job when, while working on
Ch. 11, he said that the Mets, should they lose, will go from one game back on
July 15 to nine out on Aug. 1. Fran Healy would've told us that the Mets
are really sockin' that ball.
Reader Dom Nunziato wrote to recall
that as a kid he was encouraged to root against Soviet-bloc Olympic athletes
because they were professionals on performance-enhancing drugs. And he's now
supposed to cheer for U.S. Olympians? Why, because they're Americans?
Connecticut's Cal Ripken League tournament games for 10-year-olds, last
month, began with the p.a. speakers blaring, "Let's get ready to rumble!" Mark
Yusko, inquisitive dad of a participant, asks, "Rumble? Was this kids' baseball
or West Side Story?"
But all dads should know that there's now a fail-proof way to instill
sportsmanship in their kids: Just keep them away from sports. A commercial for
ESPN's new NFL video game stars Terrell Owens. From hundreds of NFLers,
ESPN chose Owens, an inveterate me-firster, taunt-artist and show-boater. It's a
Darrell Kestner, Long Island club pro, was among the leaders in
Thursday's first round of the U.S. Senior Open. But the ESPN/NBC telecast
virtually ignored him until he made a birdie putt on 16, which might've appeared
on tape (why would it have otherwise suddenly appeared?). Kestner just wasn't a
big enough name. We did, however, see plenty of Ray Floyd, who was well
Cliff Floyd runs the bases like Mike Piazza. He'll wait to see
what happens to the ball before bothering to run. Always a good idea, especially
until your team is eliminated.
Finally, the Most Honest Quote of July goes to Colts VP Pete Ward.
Explaining why single-game tickets to Sept. 26's Packers game have been attached
to must-buys to a preseason game against the Bills, Ward told the Indianapolis
Star, "We're just leveraging the demand [to the Packers game]."
All stickup men should be so honest. Come on, Paul Tagliabue, stand up
and tell us that ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^such extortions — on the grow
throughout the NFL — meet with your personal and professional approval.