The subject of my August 12th. article was the infamous Cal victory over Stanford in 1982. In retrospect, I should have dedicated that article to an avid Cal fan and my long-time friend, Jim Zimring. What the hell, Jimmy, I’m only two weeks late.
Eli Manning manipulated the 2004 NFL draft by serving notice to the Chargers that he wasn’t going to play for them, so they promptly traded his rights to the Giants. John Elway did the very same thing in 1983, forcing the then-Baltimore Colts to trade his rights to the Broncos. Elway clearly deserved his recent Hall of Fame induction; he is one of the best QB’s if not the very best QB of all-time. But I have absolutely no respect for these two guys. Great college players typically wind up as high draft picks by teams that finished with terrible records the year before. They should be proud of that honor, and bust their humps to make winners of the teams that chose them, no matter what the team. To prove it, I’d have even played for Bill Bidwill and his Arizona Cardinals; now that’s the supreme personal sacrifice. So Elway and Manning will pay the ultimate price; they’ll never be featured in the Sports Junkie column.
Story of the Week
CLASSIC COMMENTS BY SPORTS FIGURES II
My June 10th. article was so well received that I’m doing a sequel today. I hope you enjoy it.
A British television network sports commentator on Tiger Woods struggling again: He dumps his golf coach, Butch Harmon, and marries a Swedish fox. He may be having more fun off the golf course these nights, but he’s paying for it on the golf course these days.
Harmon Killebrew on the old Washington Senators, and the fact that they didn’t exactly play to capacity home crowds when he was with the team: Fans would call old Griffith Stadium and ask the ticket people: "What time does the game start today?" The response: "We’ll work around your schedule. What time can you be here?"
Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times to Fox Sports Net, explaining away his prediction that the Lakers would win the NBA Finals: I didn’t think they’d all turn 100 years old in one week.
Responding to Larry Bird’s observation that the NBA needs more white stars, Bud Gerade of the San Jose Mercury News stated: If having white superstars can boost a team’s fan base, NHL ratings ought to be through the roof.
After the Stanley Cup celebration in Tampa Bay drew 20,000 people, Rich Hoffman of the Philadelphia Daily News commented: Coming into last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s record of achievement was the second-thinnest volume in the library, second only to "I Love Japan And They Love Me," by Bill Parcells.
When told after the 1927 season that he makes more money than does the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, Babe Ruth responded with: I should. I had a better year than he did.
Shaquille O’Neal following the Lakers dumping Phil Jackson and backing Kobe Bryant, but not supporting him: If any GM out there wants a hard-working big man who wants to win championships, call Mitch Kupchak because he’ll entertain all offers. (And as we know, he did.)
Jack Nicklaus, commenting on his steadily declining golf game: Every golfer has always wanted to play like me. No question about it; now they really can.
Jay Leno, doing the Tonight Show following Detroit winning the NBA title: This is the best time ever to be a sports fan in Detroit. The Pistons won the NBA championship, the Tigers are playing well, and the Lions aren’t playing at all.
Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times on Jerry Buss recently, while at the same time taking a shot at the owner of the Clippers: The man who once had the sterling touch now has the Sterling touch.
PS: If you want another "Classic Comments", keep those e-mails comin'.
Last Week’s Trivia
This one’s much too easy! Five cities once had 11 of the 16 MLB teams. New York (Dodgers, Giants and Yankees), Boston (Red Sox and Braves), Philadelphia (Phillies and Athletics), Chicago (Cubs and White Sox), St. Louis (Cardinals and Browns.) Since then, the Dodgers moved to L.A., the Giants moved to S.F., the Braves moved to Milwaukee and Atlanta, the A’s moved to K.C. and Oakland, and the Browns moved to Baltimore.
Trivia Question of the Week
This one'll make up for last week's "gimme." Who once scored 40 points in a NFL game, and gave up two of Babe Ruth’s 60 homers in 1927. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.