Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 1/17/15


The Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance has announced its annual Gold Key recipients--who will be honored in April. Former pro hockey player Craig Janney, former Killingly High/Providence basketball star Tracy Lis, former Derby High/Yale running back John Pagliaro, and longtime FCIAC official/coach John Kuczo will receive prestigious Gold Keys at the CSWA's 74th Gold Key Dinner--to be held April 26th at the Aqua Turf in Southington. The Gold Key Award is given to individuals from the state who've achieved sports excellence at the youth, high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Tickets to this special event are $75 and can be obtained by contacting CSWA President Matt Conyers (860-874-4166) or Vice President Tim Jensen (tim@enfieldsource.com)..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1975 New England Patriots--who finished with a less-than-stellar 3-11 record under coach Chuck Fairbanks--were led in receptions by a former wide receiver with a modest total of just 46. Can you name this former Stanford product? Answer to follow..........ITEM: Former NBA player/CBS commentator Greg Anthony is arrested in Washington D.C. for soliciting a prostitute. Geez--and all this time I've been under the impression that anyone who played at UNLV during the Jerry Tarkanian days should be considered a "choir boy."...........C'mon, SERIOUSLY, folks--upcoming Super Bowl victory or not: Can Tom Brady ever really LOSE if he comes home to a wife named Gisele Bundchen?..........Call me nostalgic or "old school," but major league baseball was MUCH more fun/entertaining to watch when guys with nicknames like "Charlie Hustle," "Catfish," "Blue Moon," and "No Neck" were gracing playing fields throughout America..........Did you know that the 1971-'72 Kentucky Colonels of the ABA averaged a whopping 116 points per game? But get this: There were three teams who averaged MORE that season: Pittsburgh (119.2), Virginia (118.9), and Utah (117.8)..........I watched it, and people continue to verify that Green Bay LOST that game vs. Seattle last Sunday. But I'm STILL not buying it until I see the Seahawks take the field on February 1st in Arizona..........So I hear that the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for their use of overly-deflated footballs in the AFC championship game last weekend. *Question: Anyone out there TRULY believe that the weight of the pigskin was the sole reason why the Colts scored just ONE TD that day? In all seriousness, the team from Indy had the "air taken out of them" the minute they got off the team BUS in Foxboro that day...........The definition of "insanity?" Giving a power pitcher who will turn 31 this summer (and one who has 1,200+ innings on his right arm) a 7-year deal worth $210 million. Welcome to the asylum, Washington Nationals. Oh, and Max Scherzer thanks you, too............During the aforementioned Indy/New England championship fiasco this past weekend, the NFL Network chimed in with a promo that said it would provide over 85 hours of pre-Super Bowl analysis leading up to the Pats/Seahawks match-up. My first reaction? Ummmmm--and that is supposed to be considered a GOOD thing?..........ITEM: John Fox takes over as head coach of the Chicago Bears and VOWS that the team will win. Let's see--if he can get his quarterback to CARE, do well in the upcoming draft, overhaul the entire defense, and teach his team how to win at home, then he just might be onto something..........Answer to trivia question: RANDY VATAHA--who also led the team with 720 yards in receiving yardage; he played from 1971 to 1977 with the Pats and Packers..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former USC basketball coach Bob Boyd--who passed away recently in California at the age of 84. Boyd had various coaching stops, but is best known for his years at the southern California school between 1966 and 1979 where he amassed a record of 216-131. His Trojans defeated John Wooden-coached UCLA teams in 1969 and 1970; his '71 team finished 24-2 and was ranked nationally. Boyd was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. Bob Boyd is survived by sons Bill (who played under his Dad at USC), Jim, and John and was predeceased by his wife, Betty, and another son, Bruce. Rest in peace, "Coach."

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 1/3/15

Just a few things one sports columnist would like to see in 2015....................


*an "A-Rod Dartboard Day" promotion at Yankee Stadium
*Jameis Winston get a clue
*Odell Beckham, Jr. get a clue
*Ndamukong Suh get a clue
*a SLEW of other athletes--too numerous to mention here--GET A CLUE
*fans in NY use placards with pictures of syringes on them when keeping track of A-ROD's home runs
*an aging sports columnist FINALLY secure that long-awaited tennis date with a NON-aging woman named Christie Brinkley
*better health for the great Gordie Howe
*QB Jay Cutler CARE just a little bit more
*Jerryd Bayless of the Milwaukee Bucks face off against Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons in a free-throw shooting contest--with Bayless being BLINDFOLDED (my money is STILL on Bayless)
*Johnny Manziel and Justin Bieber become roommates
*a future athlete like Wayne Gretzky born somewhere
*a future athlete/individual like Aaron Hernandez NOT born ANYWHERE
*better accommodations for media members at Connecticut high school sporting events (a YEARLY mention in this column)
*the New England Patriots cheerleaders be servers at a Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance luncheon
*EVERY NFL player be required to wear a #40 patch on his uniform in memory of Pat Tillman
*more athletes age as well as model/actress Brooke Shields
*an NFL game without a pass interference or personal foul penalty
*the N.Y. Knicks MATTER again
*Al Sharpton find a sport he's obsessed with--such as golf--in order to stay OUT of the daily headlines
*the Fordham basketball program MATTER again
*a future Vin Scully born somewhere
*color commentators provide COLOR/INSIGHT on telecasts--NOT long-winded soliloquies
*Roger Federer realize that he's not 25 anymore
*YOURS TRULY realize that he's not 25 anymore
*handing the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown become a "cool" thing to do
*athletes NOT having tattoos become "cool" again
*Rex Ryan become a defensive coordinator at some tiny high school in South Dakota
*a future Derek Jeter born somewhere
*less writer's block (another YEARLY mention in this column)
*a future Secretariat or Seattle Slew born somewhere
*the Oakland Raiders play something known as OFFENSE
*the Oakland Raiders play something known as DEFENSE
*the Oakland Raiders MATTER again
*gasoline prices go down to $2.00 per gallon--and STAY there (I can dream, right?)
*an MLB footrace between Billy Butler and David Ortiz
*my good friend Robert "Raven" Kraft keep his running streak alive (having done eight miles daily for 40 consecutive years now--WITHOUT missing a day)
*Rajon Rondo learn the art of free-throw shooting
*John Calipari recruit a future rocket scientist at Kentucky
*animal activists protest vehemently due to Michigan's continued use of the "Wolverines" nickname
*a bronze statue of the Phillie Phanatic be placed at the entrance of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
*a TOTALLY HEALTHY Miguel Cabrera--and the kind of #'s he'd put up while playing 150+ games
*the MLB Players Association care SOMEWHAT about the integrity of the game (I can dream AGAIN, right?)
*the term "quality start" be considered VULGAR
*the terms "athlete" and "nightclub" NOT appear in the same sentence
*more NFL players/quality individuals like Jason Witten of the Cowboys
*just TWO consecutive days of total sunshine here in New England
*more GRAND SLAMS and less GRAND JURIES
*more STOLEN BASES and less STOLEN IDENTITIES
*less TECHNICAL FOULS and TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
*a good tasting, FAT-FREE doughnut
*WR Josh Gordon find HIMSELF--NOT more trouble
*the S.F. Giants hold a "Barry Bonds Bobblehead Night"--with the doll's head being TEN TIMES the size of its body
* the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance hold monthly meetings at the Sheraton Waikiki
*Heisman winner Marcus Mariota experience a TAD more future success in the NFL than past QB winners such as Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, and Jason White
*competitive eater Joey Chestnut top the "70" mark at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
*continued good gastro-intestinal health for the aforementioned Mr. Chestnut, and FINALLY,
*peace, prosperity, and good OVERALL health for the readers of this column. Happy 2015, everyone.