Monday, March 03, 2008

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3-08-08

From the "Go Figure" Department: I attended a recent boys high school basketball game here in CT between Coventry and Bolton and the price of a ticket was four dollars. A couple nights later, I checked out the Eastern Connecticut State University/UMASS-Boston women's college basketball game (in fact, a Little East TOURNAMENT game) and the admission price was only THREE dollars. Go figure.........."Who Am I?" TRIVIA QUESTION: I attended the University of Iowa and played 13 seasons in the NBA--all with one team. I scored over 14,000 points in my career and was the captain of an NBA championship team during the 1970's. Having always been one of the best free-throw shooters in the league, I also led the league in three-point shooting percentage the very first season in which the three-point line was adopted by the league. Who am I? Answer to follow..........It doesn't get much better than Sean Delonas' cartoon in last Sunday's New York Post; it showed a member of a prison baseball team on a pay phone relaying the following message to a teammate: "GOOD NEWS, WE MIGHT BE GETTING CLEMENS"..........This week in sports history, March 11, 1971: Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins scores a pair of goals--bringing his season total to 60--while leading his team to a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. During the game, "Espo" broke Bobby Hull's record of 58 goals in a season; he also broke his own mark of 126 points in a season--a record he set two years previously--and raised his season point total to 128..........The "Unwatchable NBA" Update": During a 13-point loss to the Lakers last week, the Portland Trail Blazers shot 2-for-20 from three-point range (10%); guard Steve Blake was 2-for-6 from "downtown" while the rest of his teammates combined to shoot an abysmal 0-for-14. After reading that ugly box score, I can only assume that MANY Portland fans "blazed a trail" to the exits a few minutes before the final buzzer went off..........I used to think that Ray Allen's jump shot personified the word "pretty" until I saw a picture last weekend of actress Sharon Stone decked out in white at Elton John's post-Oscar party. I'm STILL hyperventilating, folks..........Congrats go out to my buddy/colleague Phil Mushnick--the talented N.Y. Post sports columnist--who recently won the 2007 New York State Sportswriter of the Year award. He will be honored on May 5th at an awards ceremony in Salisbury, NC--the home of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. Well-done and well-deserved, Phil; keep up the tremendous work..........Answer to trivia question: "DOWNTOWN" FREDDIE BROWN--who played guard for the Seattle Supersonics from 1971-1984..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league outfielder John Cangelosi--who blows out 45 candles on March 10th. A Brooklyn native who was just 5'8" tall and weighed 160 pounds, Cangelosi played for seven different teams (including the Mets) between 1985 and 1999--hitting .250 lifetime while playing mostly part-time. As a member of the White Sox in 1986, Cangelosi stole 50 bases in 137 games; however, he hit only .235 that season. What truly intrigued me about Cangelosi's career was this: he appeared as a PITCHER in 3 big league games during his days in the National League (for Pittsburgh, Houston, and Florida)--pitching four innings while allowing just one hit and NO runs! Yes, John Cangelosi may have left major league baseball with a not-so-impressive lifetime batting average, but his career ERA will always remain at 0.00. Best wishes, John..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of long-time Pittsburgh Steelers announcer Myron Cope--who died recently in a Pennsylvania nursing home at the age of 79; he had been recently treated for respiratory difficulties and heart failure. Born Myron Kopelman, he was the color analyst on the Steelers' radio network from 1970-2004; his tenure was the longest in NFL history for a broadcaster with one single team. Cope was responsible for introducing the "Terrible Towel," a black and gold cloth waved by Steelers fans that would truly involve the entire Pittsburgh crowd at home games. Cope's high-pitched, screechy voice was unmistakable; let's just say that if you ever heard Myron Cope on the radio, you'll never forget him. He was also an accomplished sportswriter and radio talk show host--yes, a truly multi-talented individual. He is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, Daniel; may Mr. Cope rest in peace.


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