Monday, January 23, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 01-28-06

NFL referee Pete Morelli, after having made a wrong call during the Steelers/Colts playoff game two weeks ago, had a rock thrown through the front window of his residence. Considering his job, I can assure you that Morelli has seen his share of errant throws in his lifetime--but none QUITE like this one..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Six different NHL players have scored 75 or more goals in a regular season. How many can you name? Answer to follow..........Can you imagine if former UCLA water polo star Robin Beauregard married ex-NBA guard Rory Sparrow, divorced, married skateboarding king Tony Hawk--divorced again--then married former major league pitcher Mike Parrott? Countless members of the National Audubon Society would love her full name of Robin Sparrow Hawk Parrott..........This week in sports history, January 29, 1963: As the shrine continues to be built in Canton, Ohio, 17 men are named as the very first inductees into the NFL's Hall of Fame. Among those named are former stars such as Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, and Sammy Baugh--as well as ex-commissioners Bert Bell and Joe Carr; all 17 were voted in unanimously by a pre-assembled selection committee..........At last look, big-mouths/"bad boys" Rasheed Wallace of the Pistons and Ron Artest of Indiana/Sacramento were both in the top five in the NBA All-Star voting for forwards in the Eastern Conference; they were ahead of more-deserving players such as Boston's Paul Pierce and Toronto's Chris Bosh. Just further evidence of the current NBA fan's skewed preferences--and the mindset of the league in general: style over substance. Bottom line? Seems like idiotic behavior translates to votes; welcome to the "new NBA," my friends..........Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim recently ripped the Big East Conference schedule makers--saying that television carries too much influence these days. Advice to "millionaire Jim": Don't bite the hand that feeds, Mr. Boeheim. Question to Jim: Would you be happier earning $40,000 per season with your team getting very little exposure? Hmmmmm..........Answer to trivia question: PHIL ESPOSITO, WAYNE GRETZKY (twice), BRETT HULL, MARIO LEMIEUX, ALEXANDER MOGILNY, and TEEMU SELANNE..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a Connecticut high school basketball game last week, the Coventry boys defeated Parish Hill 80-9; the victors led the game 42-2 AT HALFTIME. I haven't seen a mismatch like that since Anna Nicole Smith married 89-year-old, wheelchair-bound J. Howard Marshall back in 1994..........UCONN basketball player/laptop thief Marcus Williams recently told the Hartford Courant that the Syracuse fans "should be ashamed of themselves" for chanting in unison (directed at Marcus) during a game at the Carrier Dome. Poor baby. Question for Mr. Williams: Is there a MIRROR located anywhere on the UCONN campus? If so, try gazing into one whenever you get a chance..........Troubled ex-heavyweight fighter Oliver McCall has been arrested in Nashville and charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, and assaulting police; cops had to use a Taser gun in order to restrain McCall. This is one "stunning" knockdown that Oliver won't forget for a LONG time..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league second baseman Steve Sax--who blows out 46 candles on January 29th. Sax played 14 seasons during the ‘80s and ‘90s for the Dodgers, Yankees, White Sox, and A's; he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in '82 while in L.A. A five-time All-Star (who had an erratic throwing arm), Sax' best year came in 1986 while with the Dodgers when he hit a blistering .332 with 210 hits and 40 stolen bases; he finished second in the NL batting race that year to Montreal's Tim Raines. Best wishes, Steve..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL receiver Ron Jessie--who died recently at the age of 57 of a heart attack in his California home. A University of Kansas product, Jessie played 11 pro seasons between 1971 and 1981 for the Lions, Rams, and Bills--catching 265 passes for over 4,200 yards in his career. Jessie's best year was in 1976 with L.A.--when he averaged a whopping 23 yards per catch while making the Pro Bowl. Rest in peace, Ron Jessie.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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