"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3/1/14
My good friend/sportswriter Ken Davis--commenting as the Winter Olympics were winding down: "The Winter Olympics are almost over and Bob Costas has booked his flight home. He's taking the 'red eye.' "..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The lowly 1985-'86 Indiana Pacers--who finished 26-56 under coach George Irvine--were led in scoring AND rebounding by a player who spent 18 seasons in the NBA. Can you name this individual? Answer to follow..........My initial reaction in regard to the 50th Anniversary/2014 SI Swimsuit issue? Page 172, guys--PAGE 172..........Column reader Bryan Pazaras chimes in with this classic: "WHY is it such a collective shock that the United States continues to lose vs. Canada in OLYMPIC HOCKEY? After all, this is NOT a hot dog eating contest!"..........ITEM: The Cleveland Plain Dealer is now calling for the Cleveland Indians to thoroughly eliminate the use of the "Chief Wahoo" logo so familiar to the ball club and its fans. Yes, this comes after the hullabaloo over the term "Redskins" being used by the football team in Washington and various other cases of nicknames that are perceived to be "degrading" to Native Americans. *Question: What will be the NEXT name/item that is considered degrading? Will Arrow men's dress shirts have to be taken off racks at department stores like Kohl's--simply because some Native Americans were known to use bows and arrows back in the day? Sheesh..........Did you know that the 1985-'86 Los Angeles Kings had three 30+ goal scorers (Bernie Nicholls, Marcel Dionne, and Dave Taylor) but finished just FIFTH (23 wins) in the NHL's Smythe Division? The problem? DEFENSE, as the team allowed a robust total of 389 goals--second-to-last in the league that season to Detroit..........*Fact: A-ROID was paid $28 million by the Yankees in 2013 and played in 44 games. Folks, that translates to over $636,000 PER GAME. Nice work if you can get it, huh?..........Question: Don't y'all wish NFL bullying ringleader Richie Incognito would open up a car demolition business in the middle of nowhere and TOTALLY disappear off the daily sports page?..........I used to think that watching Jerry Rice running a pass pattern was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed the other day when I saw the black outfit that actress Charlize Theron was wearing at a recent "Help Haiti" benefit in Beverly Hills. Yes, it was enough to make some people hyperventilate--and I DID..........Congratulations go out to West Haven High (CT) football coach Ed McCarthy--who has been selected to receive a prestigious Gold Key by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance. Last October, McCarthy became the all-time winningest coach in CT state history when he won his 322nd game--surpassing the mark formerly held by Bill Mignault. Having coached over 30 years at St. Joseph's and West Haven, McCarthy has won SEVEN state football championships and has amassed a career record of 326-114-9; he also won a pair of state titles as baseball coach at St. Joe's in 1976 and 1980. Ed will be honored--along with four other Gold Key recipients--at the Alliance's annual Gold Key Dinner on April 27th at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Ticket/advertising information can be obtained by calling CSWA President George Albano at (203)434-2320..........ITEM: University of Colorado football player Jeffery Hall is arrested after an altercation involving police; he allegedly choked a girl, lunged at her while she was speaking to cops, then referred to the officers as "pigs" before being subdued with a taser gun. Call me judgmental, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Hall is NOT enrolled in the challenging Aerospace Engineering program offered at the well-known school in Boulder..........Answer to trivia question: HERB WILLIAMS--who averaged 19.9 ppg/9.1 rpg; he played in the league from 1981-1999 for the Pacers, Mavericks, Raptors, and Knicks..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Mississippi St. fullback Marcus Bush--who passed away recently due to colon cancer at the age of 48. A track star in high school, Bush was a four year letterwinner at MSU from 1985-1988--playing for coaches Emory Bellard and Rocky Felker. While in college, Marcus was also recognized for making the Bulldog academic honor roll on four different occasions. Following his playing days, Bush became a strength/conditioning coach at his alma mater and later held the same position at UAB. Predeceased by his mother, Yvonne, Bush is survived by his father (Jessie), three sisters, and three brothers. May Marcus Bush rest in peace.