Monday, March 19, 2012

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3/24/12

The other day, I came across a picture of 42-year-old British actress Rachel Weisz decked out in a stunning cocktail dress at the premiere of her new film The Deep Blue Sea. All I'll say is THIS: If newly-out-of-retirement N.Y. Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte has aged HALF as well as Ms. Weisz, then the Yankees will win the AL East by 12 games or more this coming season..........TRIVIA QUESTION: This former NBA guard averaged an impressive 18.5 ppg/6.3 apg over his 13-year career--scoring over 19,000 points--but only appeared in TWO NBA All-Star Games. Can you name this former player who was a first round pick in the 1978 draft? Answer to follow..........Did you know that the 1978-'79 St. Louis Blues had three players with 30 or more goals apiece--but finished with a horrific record of 18-50-12 under coach Barclay Plager? Brian Sutter (41), Bernie Federko (31), and Garry Unger (30) were the top scorers for a team that finished third in the NHL's Smythe Division. The problem? The Blues gave up a total of 348 goals that season--the most of any team in the league..........This week in sports history, March 26, 1992: In an Indianapolis courtroom, heavyweight boxer "Iron" Mike Tyson is sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of raping an 18-year-old back in 1991. He'd go on to serve just three years of his sentence and actually recapture the heavyweight title in 1996. However, Tyson was truly never the same fighter after his stunning loss to James "Buster" Douglas dating back to 1990--one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing..........Can you imagine if former Mississippi high school basketball player Lee Ann Blue married current Arkansas St. guard Trey Finn, divorced, then married syndicated radio personality Charlie Tuna? Fish lovers everywhere would be delighted as she'd be known by the full married name of Lee Ann Blue Finn Tuna..........The FIRST thing that occurred to me while watching the Lehigh/Duke match-up last week in the NCAA tournament? It may have been the first game I've seen in quite some time where players from both teams most likely attend classes on a regular basis.........Funny how the former Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace last year--a man who once was in the center of a famous brawl and well-known for his countless technical fouls/ejections over the course of his career. Put it this way: If troubled NFL cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones ever legally changes his name to FINE UPSTANDING CITIZEN, I'm giving up following sports FOREVER..........Answer to trivia question: REGGIE THEUS--a UNLV product who played for five different NBA teams in a career that lasted from 1978-1991..........ITEM: University of South Carolina pitcher Ethan Carter is arrested on a charge of public drunkenness; he was found by officers around 3:30 AM laying motionless in a mulch bed while his slurred speech made it impossible for him to be understood. My first thought? If Carter mistook the mulch bed for his OWN bed, then he probably STILL felt the effects of the hangover DAYS after this column went to press..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league first baseman/pinch-hitter Nate Rolison--who blows out 35 candles on March 27th. A Mississippi native, Rolison is probably not a household name--and here's why: Nate played only ONE season in the "bigs"--2000 with the Marlins--appearing in just eight games. In 13 at-bats that season, Rolison could manage only ONE single--thus going into the record books with a lifetime batting average of just .077. However, he CAN tell his grandchildren someday that he DID have two RBI's during his short MLB tenure--those coming on a pair of sacrifice flies. Hey, they ALL can't be like Jeff Conine ("Mr. Marlin"), right? Best wishes, Nate..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former college/NBA basketball coach Dick Harter--who passed away recently of cancer in South Carolina; he was 81. Known for his ability to teach defense, Harter coached various college teams (including Penn from 1966-'71 and Oregon from '71-'78), compiling a 295-196 record over 18 seasons before moving on to the NBA. He was the first coach of the expansion Charlotte Hornets; he also had assistant coaching gigs in Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia, New York, Portland, and Boston. Harter played his college ball as a reserve guard at Penn--graduating in 1953--and is a member of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame. Rest in peace, "Coach."


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