"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 2/5/11
I recently spoke with Leigh Torbin--who works in the athletic department at Central Florida--about the great "Pistol" Pete Maravich; the two of us share in our admiration of this incomparable individual--a man taken from this world much too soon. Torbin: "People just have no idea how good he was. No idea at all. 44 points per game (in college) without a three point line and maybe the best passing ability ever. I've been asked before about athletes I'd like to go back in time to see and the kid with the floppy socks at LSU is always on the list." Amen, Leigh..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1993-'94 Dallas Mavericks--who finished a pathetic 13-69 under coach Quinn Buckner--DID have two players on the team who averaged more than 19 points per game apiece. Can you name these two individuals? Answer to follow..........WFAN Radio's Richard Neer--speaking about the NFL Pro Bowl last Sunday prior to the game: "You're basically watching flag football today."..........Speaking of the aforementioned Pete Maravich: Can you imagine if Dick Vitale was doing color commentary during Maravich's college days at LSU--and how many times he'd have to say, "ARE YOU SERIOUS?????" each time 'The Pistol' made a spectacular play?..........I saw a picture the other day of lovely actress Jessica Alba wearing a sparkling, form-fitting dress at a Vogue dinner in Paris. Sorry, sports fans--some things ARE prettier than a Ray Allen jump shot..........This week in sports history, February 8, 1987: 30-year-old Nancy Lopez shoots a two-over-par 74 in the final round of the Sarasota Classic--good enough to claim victory and the winner's prize of $30,000. Lopez finished with a seven-under total of 281 for the tournament--finishing ahead of Kathy Baker and Anne Marie Palli. The victory was the 35th of Lopez's outstanding career--automatically qualifying her for the LPGA Hall of Fame. She would become eligible for induction four months later--after she completed her tenth year on the LPGA tour. Ironically, Nancy's milestone victory came on the same Florida course where she won her very first tournament back in 1978..........I'm not sure what's been more unstable over the past year or two--the life of actor Charlie Sheen or the New York Mets' financial situation..........Answer to trivia question: JIM JACKSON (19.2 ppg) and JAMAL MASHBURN (19.2 ppg)..........Congratulations go out to three members of the Post University (CT) women's soccer team--who have been named to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) All-Academic team for the THIRD time. Elizabeth Johnson (3.65 GPA, Sports Management), Alison Monroe (3.90, Psychology), and Rachael Shivers (3.91, Management) all achieved this remarkable honor. As seniors, they have maintained a 3.50 GPA throughout all four years. Excellent job, ladies. Altogether, Post had 15 student-athletes (of the 151 total athletes from the 14 conference schools/fall athletic season) make this year’s team. Yes--extremely refreshing to see college athletes get it done both in AND out of the classroom..........I still say that if Brett Favre had aged HALF as well as Brooke Shields, the VIKINGS are playing vs. the Steelers this weekend in Super Bowl XLV..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA forward Derek Strong--who blows out 43 candles on February 9th. A native of Los Angeles who played at Xavier, Strong surely kept his bags packed during his NBA days--playing for a total of SIX different teams over his ten-year career. Strong played in a total of 456 games while scoring 3,088 points; perhaps his best season came in 1997-'98 with Orlando when he averaged 12.7 ppg along with 7.4 rpg. After his playing days were over, Strong became a professional stock car driver and owner of Strong Racing. Best wishes, Derek, for many more birthdays to come..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league player/manager Steve Boros--who died a few weeks ago in Florida at the age of 74. Boros, an infielder, played parts of seven seasons in the majors between 1957 and 1965--appearing in 422 games as a member of the Tigers, Cubs, and Reds. While in Detroit in 1962, he hit three home runs in a game; no other Tigers player would accomplish that feat until Bill Freehan in 1971. He later managed the Oakland Athletics in 1983 and part of 1984, and was the skipper of the San Diego Padres in 1986. Boros worked for more than four decades in baseball for various organizations; he spent the last nine years of his career employed in various capacities for the Tigers. Boros was a very cerebral man--spending much of his free time writing and reading literature. Boros is survived by his wife, Sharla, two daughters, a son, and several grandchildren. May Steve Boros rest in peace.