"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3-7-09
Great quote from WFAN's Mike Francesa recently--talking about the way Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods effectively handle media questions in the same manner that many POLITICIANS do: "They can give you answers without giving you ANSWERS."..........TRIVIA QUESTION: During the 1983-'84 NHL season, Mark Pavelich led the New York Rangers in scoring with a total of 82 points. Can you name the player who finished second on the team in scoring that season? Answer to follow..........Cheshire native/former NHL All-Star defenseman Brian Leetch will be among the honorees at the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance's 68th annual Gold Key Dinner--to be held April 26th at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The dinner, which costs $75, will begin at 4:30 PM. Ticket info can be obtained by contacting Alliance president Bob Ehalt at (203) 929-6584 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or vice-president Tiffany Ventura at email@example.com. Finally, via mail, one can send a check/money order to : Gold Key Dinner, c/o CT Sports Writers' Alliance, P.O. Box 70, Unionville, CT 06085..........This week in sports history, March 8, 1971: Ridden by jockey Bill Shoemaker, Silky Sullivan rallies from 20 lengths behind to win the Santa Anita Derby in Arcadia, California. It was Shoemaker's first time riding Sullivan--a 3-year-old who ran a blistering final quarter time of 24 2/5 seconds en route to a 1:49.4 clocking. A record crowd of over 63,000 people saw Silky win by three lengths over runner-up Harcall..........The "Unwatchable NBA" Update: How 'bout that game played in Denver last week between the Lakers and Nuggets? L.A. shot a pathetic 2-for-21 (9.5%) from three-point range while Denver converted just 3-of-21 (14.3%) from behind the arc. Yes, folks, so-called "professionals" combining for a 3-point percentage of NOT QUITE 12% on 5-for-42 shooting. Geez, folks, I know the thin air of Denver causes batted baseballs to go a bit farther, but I didn't think it prevented basketballs from going through RIMS!..........I was privileged to have former major league pitcher Frank Sullivan as a guest on my cable TV show "Monday Night Sports Talk" recently--a man who was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame this past November. A tremendous storyteller, "Sully" talked about former teammates such as Ted Williams and Gene Conley and shared various stories that were included in his entertaining book Life Is More Than 9 Innings. For the readers of this column, Frank has graciously offered to personally autograph a copy for just $23 (including postage). Send signing instructions--along with a check made out to "Editions Limited"-- to Frank at the following address: P.O. Box 1873, Lihue, HI 96766..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a men's college basketball game played last week down in Georgia, Savannah St. annihilated Carver Bible College 103-44. I don't know about other guys, but if I'm a member of a squad that beats a team with the word "Bible" in its name by 59 points, I get EXTREMELY nervous the next it starts thundering outside..........Answer to trivia question: PIERRE LAROUCHE--who tallied 48 goals and 33 assists for a total of 81 points..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NHL defenseman Phil Housley--who blows out 45 candles on March 9th. A first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, Housley played a robust total of 21 seasons for eight different teams between '82 and 2003--appearing in 1,495 games. In his career, Housley scored 338 goals and assisted on 894 others; he is the second-leading scorer among U.S.-born players with a total of 1,232 points--trailing only Mike Modano. Housley was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and currently coaches high school hockey in Stillwater, Minnesota. Best wishes, Phil..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NBA player Norm Van Lier--who was found dead in his home recently at the age of 61. "Stormin' Norman" played ten seasons in the NBA as a member of the Royals, Bulls, and Bucks--appearing in 746 games. A 6'1" guard who attended St. Francis University, Van Lier was best known for teaming with Jerry Sloan while in Chicago to form one of the league's best backcourts during the '70's. A three-time All-Star, Van Lier led the league in assists in 1970-'71 (10.1 per game) and averaged seven assists per game over his entire NBA career. Van Lier most recently worked for Comcast SportsNet Chicago doing pre-game/post-game analysis. May he rest in peace.