Over the years, I’ve been known to let my mind wander at times while writing about sports–trying to creatively interest the reader and possibly produce a smile/giggle. It was probably back in 2004 when the “Lazzari Matchmaking Dept.” made its debut in this column; when it’s featured, some laugh and some call it “corny”–while Valley Times sports editor Bill Pucci continually reminds me that I simply have “too much time on my hands” in order come up with these “tidbits.” In any case, as writer’s block presents itself during the doldrums of winter, I’ve decided to look back at some “athletic matches” that have appeared in this column and bundle them together for the reader over the next couple of weeks. Here’s Part I of what we’ll call “Game, Set, Match!”:
LPGA golfer Leslie Spalding marries former pitcher Scott McGregor, divorces, marries former Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson–divorces again–then marries former Expos outfielder Ron Calloway. Sporting goods manufacturers would delight greatly in her full name of Leslie Spalding McGregor Wilson Calloway……….LPGA golfer Sally Little marries former Georgia Tech basketball player Jarrett Jack–divorces him–then marries former major leaguer Bob Horner. Nursery rhyme aficionados would delight in her full name of Sally Little Jack Horner……….Actress Tracey Gold hooks up with former NBA player Kareem Rush. If they ever tied the knot, miners in California would delight in her married name of Tracey Gold Rush……….Former WNBA player Nykesha Sales hooks up with former big-league pitcher Robert Person. If they ever tied the knot, retailers everywhere would delight in her new name of Nykesha Sales Person…….LPGA golfer Rosie Jones marries former major leaguer Steve Hosey–divorces–then marries former NFL linebacker Jeff Posey. She’d be walking around golf courses with the catchy name of Rosie Hosey Posey……….Supermodel Kathy Ireland marries ex-Tulsa DB Anthony Germany, divorces, marries former big league pitcher Mark Portugal–divorces again–then marries ex-Eagles place-kicker Todd France. She’d be walking around with the “worldly” name of Kathy Ireland Germany Portugal France……….LPGA golfer Birdie Kim marries former Air Force swimmer Evan Parr–divorces–then marries New York-based sportscaster Ian Eagle. She’d be roaming golf courses with the catchy, appropriate name of Birdie Parr Eagle……….LPGA golfer Sally Little ties the knot (again) with MLB pitcher Brandon League. Young ballplayers everywhere would be delighting in her new married name of Sally Little League……….Yoko Ono marries former distance runner Henry Rono, divorces, then marries former NFL quarterback Steve Bono. Her late husband John would have been proud of her rhyming ability as she’d be roaming the streets of Manhattan with the name of Yoko Ono Rono Bono……….If Brown University volleyball coach Diane Short had once married former Olympic champion Al Oerter–divorced–then married PGA golfer John Cook, patrons of “greasy spoon” diners everywhere would have delighted in her married name of Diane Short Oerter Cook……….Australian basketball player Penny Taylor hooks up with outfielder Jason Lane. If they ever decided to tie the knot, fans of the Beatles would delight in her married name of Penny Lane……….Former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders hooks up with N.O. Saints quarterback Drew Brees. If they ever married, fans of Seals and Crofts would delight in her married name of Summer Brees………Tennis commentator Mary Carillo marries former NFL running back Floyd Little, divorces, then marries former big league catcher Steve Christmas. Those who celebrate the Epiphany would delight as she’d be sporting the full, married name of Mary Little Christmas……….Former UCLA water polo star Robin Beauregard marries ex-NBA guard Rory Sparrow, divorces, marries skateboarding king Tony Hawk–divorces again–then marries former major league pitcher Mike Parrott. Countless members of the National Audubon Society would love her full name of Robin Sparrow Hawk Parrott……….Former USC volleyball star April Ross marries former big league outfielder Carlos May, divorces, then marries former NFL linebacker Cato June. Lovers of springtime would then delight in her full name of April May June……….LPGA golfer Tammie Green marries former NFL center Forrest Blue, divorces, marries ex-NFL kick returner Mel Gray–divorces again–then ties the knot with former NBA coach Larry Brown. She’d be roaming around the links with the “colorful” name of Tammie Green Blue Gray Brown……….Ex-Mississippi State soccer player Stephanie Dallas marries PGA golfer Woody Austin, divorces, marries former NFL running back Wendell Tyler–divorces again–then marries former NBA guard Allan Houston. Lovers of the Texas landscape would delight in her full married name of Stephanie Dallas Austin Tyler Houston……….Finally, female wrestler Hsiao-Wei Hung of Taiwan marries former Chicago Cubs draft pick Cameron Jury. Trial/courtroom drama lovers would surely enjoy her married name of Hsiao-Wei Hung Jury.