Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 11/19/09

ITEM: Former NBA center/Yale grad Chris Dudley is running for governor of Oregon–as a Republican. Sheesh, if this guy should ever win and run that state like he once shot free throws, look for the following to happen: state taxes to rise at an astronomical rate, Oregon’s unemployment rate to approach 50%, and HUGE chunks of the state to start eroding into the Pacific Ocean……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1991-’92 Golden State Warriors–who scored an impressive 118.7 points per contest–had three players on the squad who averaged more than 18 points per game apiece. Can you name these three gentlemen? Answer to follow………This week in sports history, November 17, 1991: During his team’s 21-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Lions offensive lineman Mike Utley suffers a paralyzing injury during a pass-blocking assignment. David Rocker of the Rams, who leaped in an effort to block Detroit QB Erik Kramer’s pass, landed on Utley–who fell forward while fracturing his sixth cervical vertebrae. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Utley would undergo 2 1/2 hours of surgery to decompress fragments and tissue that were pressing against his spinal cord; doctors later claimed that the operation went as smoothly as could be expected, but still could not predict if the paralysis would be permanent……….Can you imagine if famed socialite (I’ll stop short of saying “actress”) Paris Hilton married Wake Forest track star Phillip Warsaw, divorced, married former Miami quarterback Brock Berlin–divorced again–then married sports talk show host Jim Rome? Fans of European geography would surely enjoy her full married name of Paris Warsaw Berlin Rome……….Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a game played in New Hampshire last Saturday, Southern Connecticut annihilated St. Anselm 71-14; SCSU scored 50 seconds into this “laugher” and held a 43-7 lead AT THE HALF. In theological history, St. Anselm is said to have been treated harshly by his father, but I’d be willing to bet that even Anselm himself would have had trouble fathoming the type of mistreatment that Southern CT handed out during THIS debacle……….New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley recently told the New York Post that his choice of preferred dinner guests would include both Bill Gates and Tiger Woods. My first reaction? Regardless of WHERE they chose to dine, there would be absolutely NO problem WHATSOEVER covering the tab……….So I hear that my alma mater, Fordham, has begun advertising its basketball program on WFAN Radio. Geez, having won just THREE games last season while going 1-15 in the Atlantic 10, I was beginning to think that the term “Fordham Basketball” was an oxymoron……….Speaking of the Fordham Rams: If that team makes the NCAA basketball tournament this season, then yours truly goes out on dates with Charlize Theron and Cameron Diaz on consecutive evenings sometime during 2010……….Answer to trivia question: CHRIS MULLIN (25.6 ppg), TIM HARDAWAY (23.4), and SARUNAS MARCIULIONIS (18.9)……….How ’bout that college football game in the Midwest last weekend–Crown (MN) defeating Eureka 69-63? The game featured over 1,400 yards of total offense and lasted nearly four hours. I’m just wondering–with the score tied at 42-42 late in the third quarter–if the eventual losing squad actually YELLED “Eureka!” when they finally forced Crown to punt for the first time……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former major league player Eli Marrero–who blows out 36 candles on November 17th. A native of Cuba, Marrero spent ten seasons in the “bigs” between 1997 and 2006–playing for six different teams. A versatile player who caught, played first base, and also played the outfield, Marrero was a lifetime .243 hitter; in 250 at-bats, he hit .320 for the Braves in 2004. However, Marrero had absolutely NO success as a postseason player; appearing in five playoff series as a member of the Cardinals and Braves, Marrero hit just .105–gathering only four hits in 38 at-bats. Hey–they all can’t be Hideki Matsui, right? Best wishes, Eli……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Iowa football coach Forest Evashevski–who died recently in Michigan at the age of 91. A former star himself at Michigan, Evashevski was hired at Iowa in 1952 and led the Hawkeyes to a pair of Rose Bowl victories as well as three Big 10 championships; he coached the team until 1960. Evashevski was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000; he leaves his wife, Ruth, five sons, and two daughters. Rest in peace, “Coach.”

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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