Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 12-16-06

Congrats go out to all the newly-crowned Connecticut high school football champions--especially Ansonia High and first-year coach Tom Brockett. Taking over for highly successful predecessor Jack Hunt, Brockett had HUGE shoes to fill (an understatement) and tons of pressure to succeed at a school where football is "king." The hard-working Brockett proceeded to win the Class S title and secure the #1 ranking in the state during his rookie year; he continued the fine tradition at Ansonia--which now boasts a STAGGERING 15 state championships in all. A classy guy to boot, the wish here is that Brockett stays around a long time at AHS and continues to stamp his own name among the state's very best coaches..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Over the past 50 years, what NBA player had the lowest points-per-game average while leading the league in scoring? (*Hint: It happened during the '90s.) Answer to follow..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a college basketball game recently, Carnegie-Mellon beat up Penn State-Fayette 121-51. Question: Wasn't Andrew Carnegie--for whom the school is named--a kind individual who used his business wealth to treat people very nicely? There sure wasn't a helluva lot of kindness on the part of the CMU team THAT evening..........Can you imagine if former Canadian college basketball player Jamie Born walked down the aisle with former NBA guard World B. Free? Fans of a former on-screen, orphaned lioness named Elsa (and of Andy Williams' music) would surely delight in her married name of Jamie Born Free..........This week in sports history, December 18, 1949: Playing during a driving rain at the Memorial Coliseum in L.A., the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Rams 14-0 in the NFL championship game. The Eagles were led by NFL rushing champion Steve Van Buren--who ran for 196 yards on 31 carries; the Rams--who scored 360 points during the regular season--could muster NO offense on a very wet, muddy field..........Cincinnati Bengals CB Deltha O'Neal has been busted on DWI charges--the EIGHTH Bengals player (not a misprint--this may increase before press time) to be arrested so far this year. Geez, I know bengals are known for their stripes, but pretty soon this team may have more players wearing black and white stripes than orange/black ones..........A couple of weeks ago during the Giants/Cowboys telecast on FOX, commentator Troy Aikman remarked at one point, "It's all about winning and losing." Wow--thanks, Troy, for that "brilliant/enlightening" bit of commentary; now I truly know why the games are played each week and the standings published in the paper on occasion. Sheesh..........Answer to trivia question: ALLEN IVERSON of the Philadelphia 76ers--who led the league in 1998-99 with an average of 26.8 ppg--the lowest to win the scoring title since Paul Arizin's 25.6 mark in 1956-57..........The "Unwatchable NBA" Update (Warning: Ingest some Rolaids before continuing): In a game last Friday, the Houston Rockets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 92-62; the Bobcats shot a pathetic 23-for-81 from the field (28%), 2-for-11 from 3-pt.-range (18%), and had a TEAM total of only 13 assists. Ughhhh..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league catcher Art Kusnyer--who blows out 61 candles on December 19th. "Who the heck is Art Kusnyer?" one may ask. Ah, for good reason: Drafted in the 37th round of the 1966 amateur draft, Kusnyer played six years in the majors for four different teams during the 1970s--compiling a "whopping" lifetime batting average of just .176 (you read that CORRECTLY, .176--he did NOT hit his weight). He wasn't exactly stellar in his efforts behind the plate, either--making TEN errors in just 63 games for the '72 Angels. Hey, like I've said before, they ALL can't be Johnny Bench, right? Anyway, best wishes, Art..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL punt/kick returner Charlie Leigh--who died recently of lung cancer in Albany, NY, at the age of 60. Leigh was a member of the famed, undefeated '72 Miami Dolphins--a team that won the Super Bowl with a record of 17-0; he also won a second Super Bowl with Miami in 1973 before ending his career in ’74 with Green Bay. A running back by trade, Leigh ran the ball 72 times in his career for 372 yards; may he rest in peace.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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