"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 12/6/14
ITEM: At last count, almost HALF of all current MLB managers were catchers during their professional careers. Hmmmm--kinda seems silly now to call the equipment that catchers wear "the tools of ignorance," huh?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2004 Minnesota Vikings--who finished 8-8 under coach Mike Tice--were led in rushing by a player who spent only two years in the NFL. Can you name this former fourth-round draft pick? Answer to follow..........I just came across a photo of 42-year-old actress Cameron Diaz gracing the cover of the January issue of Cosmopolitan. Sheesh--and all these years I've been under the impression that individuals like Karl Malone and John Stockton were the "poster people" for aging gracefully? Sorry, fellas..........I trust/have faith in pro football scouts--MOST of the time. But they blew it BIG TIME in the late 70's when it came to pegging Warren Moon. I recently talked to the Hall of Fame QB who relayed to me how disappointed he was when he went undrafted in 1978; he told me that most teams didn't consider him a pro QB in the NFL and that he probably would have to change positions. Ummm--fast forward to the final tally: 5 consecutive Grey Cups in Canada as a QB in Edmonton along with being named to the Pro Bowl NINE times in the NFL. Oh, and he passed for a combined total of over 70,000 yards (yes, you read that correctly) while playing in both leagues between 1978 and 2000. Yes, mention the name Warren Moon to ANY scout who was working around the time of the '78 draft and they'll immediately change the subject--or reach for antacids VERY quickly..........ITEM: Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata is suspended for the final four games of the season after admitting he used Adderall in order to fight fatigue while at home during Thanksgiving. My first reaction? Blame it on the tryptophan in the turkey, Mr. Ngata; it'll suck the energy out of you every time..........I may be in the minority, but if a current NFL player were to score a touchdown and immediately hand the ball to the official, that individual would AUTOMATICALLY become my favorite player in the league..........ITEM: Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch seems to think that his bad relationship with the media will keep him out of the Hall of Fame in Canton. Ummm--can someone tell this guy that he's not even in the Top 35 in career NFL rushing yardage yet--and that he'd have to play a few more years to even warrant SERIOUS consideration?..........How pathetic is the Nationwide television commercial that currently features Peyton Manning singing? Please, Mr. Manning--you're MUCH better than that. Save the voice strictly for signal-calling in the near future..........*Question: Shouldn't the name of LPGA golfer Thidapa Suwannapura be used as a possible tie-breaker in the National Spelling Bee's final round?..........Answer to trivia question: ONTERRIO SMITH--who rushed for 544 yards while only starting five games. He spent his brief two-year career (2004 and 2005) in Minnesota--finishing with a total of 1,123 rushing yards while appearing in 26 games..........Did you know that in the 39-year history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team has lost 10 or more games in a season TWENTY-THREE times? Kinda makes that victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII all the more special/memorable for Bucs fans, huh?..........*Question: Which of the following is the MOST ugly: The NY Jets QB situation, ANY game the Philadelphia 76ers play, or that famed 2002 mugshot of disheveled actor Nick Nolte?..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former North Dakota football coach Marvin "Whitey" Helling--who passed away recently in Florida at the age of 91. In 1957, Helling inherited a team that went 2-6 the previous season; by 1958, UND had its first NCC championship in 17 years. He spent a total of 11 seasons at North Dakota--transforming the school into a Division II football power; his career record was an impressive 60-35-3 and he won a couple of Division II bowl games ('65 and '66). During Helling's days at ND, he coached nine players who earned either All-America/All-American honorable mention status. Two of his stars--Errol Mann and Dave Osborn--went on to have successful NFL careers. Rest in peace, "Coach"--you'll surely be missed.