"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 2/23/13
Not much to say regarding the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue--except THIS: page 96, guys--PAGE 96..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1986-'87 Cleveland Cavaliers were led in scoring by a rookie--who most likely had the very best season of his long career that year. Can you name this former player? Answer to follow..........After mentioning the late, great, Dave Zinkoff in my last column (the colorful, former P.A. announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers), writer/column reader John Buro chimed in with this: "Once, I remember Garfield Heard of the Buffalo Braves scoring a basket; he was running back down the court when Zinkoff announced, 'That was Heard--of Buffalo.' Heard then looked at "Zink" in a deadpan manner and yelled to him, 'I can't believe you just said that!' "..........Recently, column reader/sports publisher Bob Swick shared his experience of meeting former MLB pitcher Denny McLain (the majors' last 30-game winner) here in CT when he was a child; he also touched on his love for sports in general: "My father took me in the late 60's to a Hamden-based Hammond organ dealer where McLain was playing. He played several songs, said a few words to the small audience that was there, and then signed autographs. I vaguely remember it being a Sunday night (maybe 6-8 PM) and as soon as it was over, he was gone. I held very tightly to his autograph all the way home and brought it into school the very next day to show everyone. I was about 10 years-old at the time and loved all sports. In fact, sports was my entire world back then; I devoured the sports section from the New Haven Register and Journal Courier each and every day. I also loved reading SI and The Sporting News, too. Ahhh, the days of great sports journalism--lost but not forgotten."..........ITEM: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earned compensation of approximately $30 million between April 2011 and April 2012. If you still need further evidence that our society's values are, let's say, just a bit "off center", consider THIS, folks: I just examined (give or take a few bucks) five annual, average salaries of people with important jobs: a police officer, registered nurse, teacher, EMT, and social worker. I can now conclude that Goodell probably earned more than TEN TIMES than all of them COMBINED over a one-year period..........Congratulations to my colleague Bob Ehalt--who has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Art McGinley Award by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance. The award honors a current or former member of the organization for meritorious service; he will be honored at the 72nd Gold Key dinner on April 28th at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Ehalt, a former president of the organization who now serves as vice-president, has worked more than 30 years at various Connecticut newspapers; in addition, Bob also works as a horse racing correspondent for ESPN.com. During his outstanding career, he has received five "Top 5" awards in the national Associated Press Sports Editor writing competition. Personally, I am proud to say that Ehalt is a graduate of Fordham University--like yours truly. Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner--which begins at 4 PM--can be obtained by contacting CSWA president George Albano at (203)434-2320..........Did you know that the late Roy Hamilton--a gifted male vocalist--was once a Golden Gloves heavyweight boxer? He then became a member of the Searchlight Singers before going on to solo stardom. If you want to hear a true "superstar" at work, listen to Mr. Hamilton's recording of "You'll Never Walk Alone", folks; it's pure MAGIC..........Scenario: Australian golfer Rebecca Artis marries Buffalo Bills defensive back Stephon Gilmore. Fans of a particular 7-foot 2-inch NBA Hall of Famer would surely enjoy her full married name of Rebecca Artis Gilmore..........Answer to trivia question: RON HARPER--who averaged 22.9 ppg that season; Harper was a member of four different teams (Cavs, Clippers, Bulls, and Lakers) in a career that lasted from 1986-2001..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of Laurence Simmons--the first African-American to play football for the University of Louisville; he died in a house fire in Kentucky at the age of 79. Simmons played football for U of L in 1952 after having been a star player/captain at Central High School; he later became a teacher at Meyzeek Middle School--from where he retired. May Mr. Simmons rest in peace.