Quick Takes


    I’m bored! I live in Las Vegas. There’s nothing to do here. All we have are five-star hotels and restaurants, the world’s top entertainment (what’s left of it), first-class casinos/poker rooms/sports books that are only open 24 hours a day seven days a week, and the world’s most magnificent women all over the place. The latter includes our beautiful cocktail waitresses who are almost dressed; they provide incomparable scenery. It’s a terrible place to live, but somebody’s got to do it. There is one change I’d make if I could; the name of the city should be formally changed to Sinatra, Nevada.


    George Carlin just passed away. I saw (heard) him perform a few months ago. I was never a big Carlin fan, but he had a great line in his show. “Jocks all get to sleep with 10s. I never had a 10, but I’ve had five 2s.”


    Shaq rapped in a New York club Sunday night about how “Kobe couldn’t do it without him.” Kobe couldn’t have done it with Shaq this year in the Finals against Boston. But Shaq’s mouth is bigger than he is, and just as out of shape. To be sure, Kobe will be closer to a ring next season than Shaq.


    The Cy Young Award is given the best pitcher in each league every year. So, obviously, there are two Cy Young winners each season. It wasn’t always the case. In the beginning of that award, namely 1956, there was just one Cy Young winner for both leagues. The first Cy Young winner was Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. It wasn’t until 1967 that each league recognized its own Cy Young winner, and then there were two.

    So those first 11 winners were a really special pitching fraternity. They were, in order: Newcombe, Warren Spahn, Bob Turley, Early Wynn, Vernon Law, Whitey Ford, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Dean Chance, Koufax again, and Koufax yet a third time. (To digress ever so slightly, how magnificent indeed was Sandy Koufax!)


    “Kings” is hardly the proper name for that team. The Los Angeles Kings have lived in the NHL for 40 seasons since league expansion in 1967. During those 40 years, they’ve managed to win their division once. They recently fired Marc Crawford, their 23rd. head coach. 23 head coaches in 40 years! Included in that number is Rogie Vachon. Vachon had three stints as head coach of the Kings, all on an interim basis, for a grand total of 10 games. You might say that all of their head coaches are there on an interim basis. So if you get an offer to coach the Kings, I suggest you rent an apartment, and do it by the month.


    Ty Cobb was a lifetime .366 hitter, the highest career batting average in baseball history. His playing days ended in 1928. In 1959, a sports writer asked Cobb how he would fare against modern-day pitching. Imagine that writer’s surprise when Cobb replied that he’d only hit .300. “Are today’s pitchers that much better than the ones you faced?” the writer asked. “Hell no” was Cobb’s reply. “You’ve got to remember that I’m 73 now.”


Story of the Week


"Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject."
Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four F's and one D.


“What is so fascinating about sitting around watching a bunch of pituitary cases stuff a ball through a hoop?”
Woody Allen from "Annie Hall."

”They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds.”
Wilt Chamberlain.

”There are really only two plays: Romeo and Juliet, and put the dam ball in the basket.”
Abe Lemons.

”We're shooting 100 percent - 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free-throw line.”
Norm Stewart.

”Any American boy can be a basketball star if he grows up, up, up.”
Bill Vaughn.

”We have a great bunch of outside shooters. Unfortunately, all our games are played indoors.”
Weldon Drew.

”Fans never fall asleep at our games because they're afraid they might get hit by a pass.”
George Raveling.

"Basketball is the second most exciting indoor sport, and the other one shouldn't have spectators."
Dick Vertleib.


"These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it."
Charles Barkley.


"I haven't been able to slam-dunk the basketball for the past five years. Or, for the thirty-eight years before that, either."
Dave Barry.


"Left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter. I'm amphibious."
Charles Shackleford.


"I can't really remember the names of the night clubs that we went to."
Shaquille O'Neal, in response when asked by a reporter whether he visited the Parthenon in his trip to Greece.


"My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."
Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice.


"I told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.' "
Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player who was not identified.


Last Week’s Trivia


    Mike Marshall pitched in MLB for 14 years, 1967 being his rookie season. He led the league in saves three times. He was the National League Cy Young winner in 1974 with the Dodgers. Marshall was the first pitcher to appear in 100 games in a season as he did so 106 times in 1974.


Trivia Question of the Week


    He’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has championship rings as a player, a coach and an owner. Name him. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.