"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 1/14/12
For those who remember: I truly miss watching those old ESPN pocket billiards tournaments played years ago among some of the sport's all-time greats (some of whom were CHARACTERS, too!). Those telecasts included legends like Willie Mosconi, Jimmy Caras, Steve Mizerak, U.J. Puckett, Luther Lassiter, Minnesota Fats, and "Cowboy" Jimmy Moore--all squaring off while being "miked up" at the same time. Even at advanced AGES, these gentlemen played in extraordinary fashion and the competition was, at times, FIERCE. MAN, that was great entertainment--and a lotta fun to watch. Thanks for the memories, guys.........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1999-2000 Orlando Magic squad was led in scoring by a player who spent a total of 14 seasons in the NBA with five different teams. Can you name this former guard? Answer to follow..........Can you imagine if former UC-San Diego track and field star Erica Washington married ex-NBA guard Michael Adams, divorced, married current NBA player Richard Jefferson--divorced again--then walked down the aisle with former NFL cornerback Sam Madison? Fans of America's presidency (and, specifically, our country's first four leaders) would surely take notice of her full married name: Erica Washington Adams Jefferson Madison..........This week in sports history, January 16, 1972: The Dallas Cowboys win their first Super Bowl--defeating the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in a game played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. QB Roger Staubach and RB Duane Thomas were the offensive stars for Dallas; Staubach threw TD passes to Lance Alworth and Mike Ditka while Thomas ran for a TD and compiled a total of 95 rushing yards. Dallas had finished second to Green Bay in the '66 and '67 NFL title games and had also come up short the previous year in Super Bowl V vs. Baltimore..........You know--I think back to the days when Bill Laimbeer played in the NBA (1980-1994) and I think of a rugged center who was known to throw his weight around; yeah, he was truly one of the "Bad Boys" of Detroit. But few realize that Bill was a TERRIFIC free throw shooter throughout his career--converting 2,440 of 2,916 attempts for an impressive lifetime FT% of .837..........I used to think that watching Rick Barry shooting free-throws underhanded was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed the other day when I saw the black dress that supermodel Elle Macpherson was wearing recently at the NBC Universal 2012 Winter TCA Press Tour Party. My goodness; I'd like to comment a bit more about it, but it's difficult to continue writing when one is HYPERVENTILATING at the same time..........Answer to trivia question: DARRELL ARMSTRONG--who averaged 16.2 ppg in '99-'00 for an Orlando team that would finish fourth in the Atlantic Division under coach Doc Rivers..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA guard Cedric Hunter--who blows out 47 candles on January 16th. Hunter had one of the shortest tenures of any NBA player, for sure--having signed a 10-day contract with the Charlotte Hornets back in 1992 and appearing in just ONE NBA game. He played just ONE minute in that game--registering no statistics. A native of Omaha, NE, Hunter played at Kansas from 1983-1987 and holds the single season assist record at that school---handing out 278 of them during the 1985-'86 season. He also played in the CBA for many years before becoming a behavior interventionist/basketball coach at Boys Town in Nebraska. Yeah, it was a short taste of the "big show," Cedric, but hey--you GOT there. Here's wishing you many more birthdays to come..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of legendary bowler Don Carter--who passed away recently in Miami at the age of 85 from pneumonia/emphysema complications. Known as "Mr. Bowling," Carter played American Legion baseball in St. Louis with Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola before turning his attention to the sport of bowling. He was very instrumental in the formation of the Professional Bowlers Association in 1958 and became a charter member of that organization's Hall of Fame in 1975. Bowling with an unorthodox style (including a deep knee bend), Carter bowled 13 perfect games and had six scores of 299 during his tremendous career. He was also the first athlete to ink a million-dollar endorsement deal--putting his name on a contract with bowling ball manufacturer Ebonite back in 1964. Carter is survived by his wife, Paula, two sons, a daughter, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Rest in peace, "Mr. Bowling."