Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 2/27/09

I’m not sure if I find the following statement DISTURBINGLY sad or TOTALLY hilarious: From this day forward, whenever I hear The Searchers’ version of “Needles and Pins,” I’ll think of major league baseball……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1988-’89 Cleveland Cavaliers–who finished 57-25 under coach Lenny Wilkens–had three players on the squad who averaged more than 18 points per game. Can you name these three individuals? Answer to follow……….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a Connecticut girls high school basketball game recently, Hale Ray demolished Hyde 50-4 (you read that correctly, folks)–with the winning squad having held a 30-2 lead at the half. If I’m the Hyde coach addressing my team after the game, I inject some comforting humor and offer this: “Good news and bad new, girls: The bad news is that you were just blown away and annihilated by your opponent and were never in the game. The GOOD news is that our score could not go BELOW ZERO–unlike some of the wind chill temps here in New England lately!”……….You know, we often see paired words/terms on the daily sports page that usually signify bad news–i.e. pitcher/shoulder, quarterback/concussion, runner/MRI, etc. Let me add a new pair to that list: player and NIGHTCLUB……….This week in sports history, March 2, 1951: In the NBA’s inaugural All-Star Game, the East beats the West 111-94 in front of more than 10,000 people at the Boston Garden. The Celtics’ Ed Macauley led all scorers with 20 points; Philadelphia’s Joe Fulks added 19 points for the East squad. Macauley starred on defense, too–holding Minneapolis’ star center George Mikan to just 12 points on 4-of-17 shooting. Alex Groza of Indianapolis led the losing West team with 17 points……….ITEM: Steelers kicker Jeff Reed pleads guilty to disorderly conduct/criminal mischief charges after breaking a towel dispenser in a convenience score; he had become infuriated when there were no towels for him to use in the restroom. He was fined $543.50. Advice to Jeff: Go out and buy a “Terrible Towel”–the famed rally flag waved by Pittsburgh fans at home games–and keep it in your glove compartment. At last glance, they retailed for just $7.95 apiece at the team’s online store; a single purchase may very well save you TONS of money in future fines……….Quick question: While attending various men’s/women’s college basketball games this season, I’ve noticed that the souvenir programs given to fans list both the heights and weights of the men but ONLY the heights of the women. Hmmmmmm–do I sense a slight double-standard/touch of unfairness there?……….Just wondering: If tennis player Lindsay Davenport ever married former Catholic University wide receiver Matt Lohan, would she even WANT to publicize/be known by her married name of Lindsay Lohan?……….Answer to trivia question: BRAD DAUGHERTY (18.9), MARK PRICE (18.9), and RON HARPER (18.6)……….CLASSIC quote by my “Monday Night Sports Talk” co-host Tony DeAngelo–when asked about the overall truthfulness at A-ROID’s recent, controversial press conference: “I truly believe that, at one time, someone also injected him with HORSE MANURE.”……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former ABA/NBA player Willie Wise–who blows out 62 candles on March 3rd. A forward out of Drake University, Wise played a total of nine seasons in both leagues–the majority of them coming as a member of the L.A./Utah Stars of the ABA. During his seven-year ABA tenure, Wise averaged over 19 points per game and was a member of the ’70-’71 Stars championship squad. A highly-esteemed defender, Wise also played for the Virginia Squires while in the ABA before ending his career with the NBA’s Sonics in 1978; best wishes, Willie……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former NFL linebacker Brad Van Pelt–who died recently of an apparent heart attack at his home in Michigan; he was 57. A two-time All-American at Michigan State, he won the Maxwell Award in 1972 as the nation’s best player. Professionally, he played for the Giants, Raiders, and Browns and was selected to five straight Pro Bowls from 1976 to 1980. Van Pelt was formerly named the Giants’ Player of the Decade for the 1970’s; he was also an accomplished baseball player and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher. May Brad Van Pelt rest in peace.

About the Author

Bob Lazzari

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut's Valley Times and NY Sports Day--where his "Sports Roundup" column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance and host of "Monday Night Sports Talk" --a cable television show on CTV/Channel14 in Connecticut. A Fordham grad, Bob is a regular contributor to ESPN Radio's "Inside Yankee Baseball"; he can also be heard weekly every Tuesday morning on WXLM/104.7 FM in New London, CT. He has a popular blog where many of his past columns have been archived.

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