Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 1/21

The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance has announced its annual Gold Key recipients–who will be honored in April. Former pro hockey player Craig Janney, former Killingly High/Providence basketball star Tracy Lis, former Derby High/Yale running back John Pagliaro, and longtime FCIAC official/coach John Kuczo will receive prestigious Gold Keys at the CSWA’s 74th Gold Key Dinner–to be held April 26th at the Aqua Turf in Southington. The Gold Key Award is given to individuals from the state who’ve achieved sports excellence at the youth, high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Tickets to this special event are $75 and can be obtained by contacting CSWA President Matt Conyers (860-874-4166) or Vice President Tim Jensen ([email protected])……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1975 New England Patriots–who finished with a less-than-stellar 3-11 record under coach Chuck Fairbanks–were led in receptions by a former wide receiver with a modest total of just 46. Can you name this former Stanford product? Answer to follow……….ITEM: Former NBA player/CBS commentator Greg Anthony is arrested in Washington D.C. for soliciting a prostitute. Geez–and all this time I’ve been under the impression that anyone who played at UNLV during the Jerry Tarkanian days should be considered a “choir boy.”………..C’mon, SERIOUSLY, folks–upcoming Super Bowl victory or not: Can Tom Brady ever really LOSE if he comes home to a wife named Gisele Bundchen?……….Call me nostalgic or “old school,” but major league baseball was MUCH more fun/entertaining to watch when guys with nicknames like “Charlie Hustle,” “Catfish,” “Blue Moon,” and “No Neck” were gracing playing fields throughout America……….Did you know that the 1971-’72 Kentucky Colonels of the ABA averaged a whopping 116 points per game? But get this: There were three teams who averaged MORE that season: Pittsburgh (119.2), Virginia (118.9), and Utah (117.8)……….I watched it, and people continue to verify that Green Bay LOST that game vs. Seattle last Sunday. But I’m STILL not buying it until I see the Seahawks take the field on February 1st in Arizona……….So I hear that the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for their use of overly-deflated footballs in the AFC championship game last weekend. *Question: Anyone out there TRULY believe that the weight of the pigskin was the sole reason why the Colts scored just ONE TD that day? In all seriousness, the team from Indy had the “air taken out of them” the minute they got off the team BUS in Foxboro that day………..The definition of “insanity?” Giving a power pitcher who will turn 31 this summer (and one who has 1,200+ innings on his right arm) a 7-year deal worth $210 million. Welcome to the asylum, Washington Nationals. Oh, and Max Scherzer thanks you, too…………During the aforementioned Indy/New England championship fiasco this past weekend, the NFL Network chimed in with a promo that said it would provide over 85 hours of pre-Super Bowl analysis leading up to the Pats/Seahawks match-up. My first reaction? Ummmmm–and that is supposed to be considered a GOOD thing?……….ITEM: John Fox takes over as head coach of the Chicago Bears and VOWS that the team will win. Let’s see–if he can get his quarterback to CARE, do well in the upcoming draft, overhaul the entire defense, and teach his team how to win at home, then he just might be onto something……….Answer to trivia question: RANDY VATAHA–who also led the team with 720 yards in receiving yardage; he played from 1971 to 1977 with the Pats and Packers……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former USC basketball coach Bob Boyd–who passed away recently in California at the age of 84. Boyd had various coaching stops, but is best known for his years at the southern California school between 1966 and 1979 where he amassed a record of 216-131. His Trojans defeated John Wooden-coached UCLA teams in 1969 and 1970; his ’71 team finished 24-2 and was ranked nationally. Boyd was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. Bob Boyd is survived by sons Bill (who played under his Dad at USC), Jim, and John and was predeceased by his wife, Betty, and another son, Bruce. 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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