"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 10/6/12
ITEM: University of North Carolina punter/kicker Nicholas Weiler is arrested on a variety of charges after a fight in a parking lot; he allegedly knocked one guy's teeth out and gave another a black eye. Call me judgmental, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this 'fine' young man is NOT involved in the Program in the Humanities/Human Values that the university currently offers..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1989 world champion Oakland A's--led by Tony LaRussa--were led in RBI's by a player who spent only two seasons with the club. Can you name this player who was a seven-time All-Star? Answer to follow..........Good luck wishes go out to new Harvard baseball coach Bill Decker--who recently left Trinity College (CT) after 22 seasons. Quite frankly, Mr. Decker put Trinity on the college baseball map--compiling a lifetime record at the Hartford school of 529-231 and winning a Division III national title back in 2008. During that memorable 2008 season (when the Bantams went 45-1), the team won its first 44 games--a mark that still stands as a Division III record. I was fortunate enough to have Decker on my TV show "Monday Night Sports Talk" shortly after that magical 2008 run; in short, the man is a "class act". His kindness and willingness to appear were highly apparent as soon as I inquired into his availability. He was a terrific interview, and I'll never forget the following season when he actually showed the DVD of that particular telecast to his players while on the team bus en route to a playoff game; it's a gesture that I'll always be thankful for. Yes, Trinity will miss his presence, but the school should focus on ONE fact right now: what Decker did for that program was simply phenomenal. And yes--the Harvard program is now in EXCELLENT hands. Best of luck, Bill..........This week in sports history, October 8, 1988: Columbia ends the longest losing streak in major college football history--defeating Princeton 16-13 at Lawrence A. Wein Stadium. The Lions had lost their previous 44 games over a five-year period and had come into this game as 21-point underdogs. Greg Abbruzzese gained 182 yards on the ground for Columbia while Solomon Johnson ran two yards for the go-ahead TD with just over five minutes remaining. A last second field goal attempt by Princeton fell short--enabling the Lions to pull off their first victory since beating Yale back in 1983..........Answer to trivia question: DAVE PARKER--who drove in 97 runs (at age 38) near the end of his very successful career..........I used to think that watching Tom Seaver hurl a complete game back in the 70's was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed last week when I saw the teal, designer gown that sultry actress Sofia Vergara was wearing at the 2012 Emmy Awards. Some things in life are just BEYOND describable, my friends..........Just thinkin': If UNLV women's golfer Mayko Chwen Wang ever married NFL defensive back Patrick Chung, she'd be sporting the full married name of a popular New Wave band from the '80's: Mayko Chwen Wang Chung (sing it, folks--I KNOW you want to: "EVERYBODY HAVE FUN TONIGHT/EVERYBODY WANG CHUNG TONIGHT!!")..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NFL tight end Pete Mitchell--who blows out 41 candles on October 9th. While at Boston College, Pete was a two-time All-American; he later played eight seasons in the pros with the Jaguars, Giants, and Lions between 1995 and 2002. Mitchell appeared in a total of 114 NFL games, catching 279 passes (15 touchdowns) for close to 2,885 yards--an average of 10.3 yards per reception. Mitchell appeared in Super Bowl XXXV with the Giants and was later inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Here's wishing you many more birthdays to come, Pete..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of fellow Fordham alumnus Ed Conlin--who died recently at the age of 79 after battling Alzheimer's disease. A native of Brooklyn, Conlin graduated in 1955 as the school's leading scorer (1,886) AND rebounder (1,930)--records that still stand today. He led the school to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance when he was a sophomore--a year in which he averaged over 22 points-per-game. He went on to play seven seasons in the NBA for Syracuse, Detroit, and Philadelphia--averaging 10.1 ppg over the course of his career. Following his NBA days, he returned to Fordham as both an assistant and head coach. He'll be remembered as a man who was VERY loyal to his alma mater; thank you for that, Mr. Conlin. May you rest in peace.