Monday, January 08, 2007

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 01-13-07

Time for blown-up/washed-up heavyweight James "Light Out" Toney to hang up the gloves after being dominated by Samuel Peter last weekend--losing a lopsided decision to "The Nigerian Nightmare." Perhaps even a BIGGER reason for Toney to say "good-bye" to boxing is what "Lights Out" said AFTER the fight--that he's "still the best fighter in the world" while pathetically slurring his speech. Yes, give it up, James--time for YOU to "turn out the lights" on a very successful career in the ring..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Between 1954 and 1959, THREE different members of the Montreal Canadiens led the NHL in scoring. Can you name these three gentlemen? Answer to follow..........Can you imagine if Central CT State University basketball player Denee Burgess married former NFL quarterback/TV commentator "Dandy" Don Meredith? Fans of the "Penguin" character on the old "Batman" television show would surely delight in her full married name of Denee Burgess Meredith..........Police in Illinois recently seized 550 rounds of ammunition from the home of Bears DT Tank Johnson (does a U.S. MILITARY tank even carry THAT much ammo?) Cops also reportedly seized a half-dozen guns, marijuana, and unlabeled painkillers. Oh, but let's NOT prejudge Mr. Johnson; I'm sure he's solely a gun collector who uses marijuana as an organic facial scrub. And the prescription labels most likely fell off naturally due to the intense humidity in the Chicago area last summer........
.......This week in sports history, January 15, 1978: The Dallas Cowboys win their second Super Bowl in franchise history--defeating the Denver Broncos 27-10 in a game played at the New Orleans Superdome. The Cowboys showed absolutely NO mercy toward ex-teammate Craig Morton--intercepting the former Dallas quarterback FOUR times in the first half alone; they also limited the Broncos to only 72 total yards in the first half on their way to the dominating victory..........Yes, we've heard so much this past week about the resignation/retirement (perhaps temporary) of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher. However, "under the radar screen" was the retirement of Steelers running backs coach Dick Hoak--who went to work for the Steelers team when Bill Cowher was just FOUR years old. Altogether, Hoak spent a mind-boggling 45 years with the Pittsburgh organization--ten as a player and the last 35 years as a coach. Very quietly, Dick Hoak accumulated all five Steelers Super Bowl rings and was HIGHLY responsible for the development of Hall of Fame RB Franco Harris and future Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis; his remarkable tenure and rare devotion to one team has not gone unnoticed--at least not in THIS forum..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a Connecticut girls high school basketball game in late December, Canton defeated Cheney Tech 57-10--the winners having built a 28-1 lead BY HALFTIME (not a misprint) during this fiasco. In addition, Cheney did not make a field goal in THREE out of the four quarters played in this game. A pessimist points out the huge 47-point deficit and the fact that this game was basically over shortly after the team bus shut off its engine. An optimist points out that the losers DID score in double-figures--and that the moderate temperatures in New England that evening (and this winter in general) allowed that same team bus to experience a safe, trouble-free ride back to Cheney Tech..........Answer to trivia question: BERNIE "BOOM BOOM" GEOFFRION (1954-'55), JEAN BELIVEAU ('55-'56), and DICKIE MOORE ('57-'58, '58-'59)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former big league third baseman Wayne Gross--who blows out 55 candles on January 14th. A native of Riverside, CA, Gross played 11 seasons between 1976 and 1986 for the A's and Orioles--hitting 121 home runs during that span. Only a .233 lifetime hitter, Gross did hit 20 or more homers in a season twice--in '77 with Oakland (22) and in '84 with Baltimore (22). Not great defensively (67 errors between 1977 and 1979), Gross DID make the AL All-Star squad in '77 as a member of the A's. Best wishes, Wayne..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former thoroughbred horse trainer Grover "Bud" Delp--who died recently in Maryland of cancer at the age of 74. Delp was best known for training the great Spectacular Bid--who won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 1979 before coming in third at the Belmont Stakes. All told, Bud Delp won stakes races with 70 different horses--resulting in over $40 million in purses. He is survived by his wife, Regina, and four children; the Hall of Fame horseman will surely be missed.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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