Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 2/20/15

If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is worth $35 million per year, then the legendary Fred Astaire had two left feet and ZERO coordination……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2001-’02 Orlando Magic were led in three-point goals made (and percentage) by a former player who was never a regular starter in the NBA. Can you name this former sharpshooter? Answer to follow……….Did you know that the 2002-’03 Carolina Hurricanes scored just 171 goals (dead last in the NHL)–and were led in scoring by Jeff O’Neill with a modest total of just 61 points? They also gave up the third-highest number of goals (240) in the league–which is a good reason why they finished with a not-so-stellar record of 22-43-11-6 under coach Paul Maurice……….The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance (CSWA) has announced that Valley Regional/Old Lyme football coach Tom King and Haddam-Killingworth volleyball coach Richard Langer have been selected as the Doc McInerney High School Coaches of the Year. These gentlemen will be honored–along with many others–at the 74th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 26th, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. King led his football squad to its very first state football title this past fall while Langer guided his girls volleyball team to the Class S state championship in his 40th and final season. Tickets to this esteemed, yearly event ($75) can be obtained by contacting CSWA President Matt Conyers at [email protected] or VP Tim Jensen at [email protected]……….It’s been more than two weeks since Super Bowl XLIX, but can someone out there STILL confirm for me that Seattle THREW that pass? SERIOUSLY?……….*Question: Shouldn’t they simply rename the NHL record book “The Life and Times of Wayne Gretzky?”……….How ’bout PGA golfer Brandt Snedeker–shooting four rounds of 67 or under at last weekend’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am? He broke his OWN scoring record at the tournament–finishing 22-under par. The topper? He became the first PGA golfer in almost 4 years to win a tournament with one bogey or fewer (yes, he had just ONE). It’s just very impressive to see a guy who’s battled injuries over the past few years make such a “splash” on a golf course that borders a beach (sorry, folks)……….If anyone out there can pronounce the name of women’s tennis player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on his/her first attempt, then you should be employed as a linguistics professor somewhere–and probably NOT reading this sports column……….Let me get this straight: Alabama State signs well-respected football coach/former NFL player Reggie Barlow to an extension last September (well-deserved)–then RESCINDS the contract a few months later. What does the school proceed to do? They hire former Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins–who is now accused of mistreating players, providing improper benefits, and even threatening players with a knife while at B-CU. Ahhh–just another day in the “squeaky clean” world of an organization better known as the NCAA, my friends……….Checking just ONE more time: The Seahawks THREW that ball??????……….ITEM: 44-year-old Jason Giambi announces his retirement from MLB after spending 20 seasons in the “bigs.” Here are some telling #’s: Giambi had a career batting average of .309 through his first eight seasons. His average over the final 12 seasons of his MLB tenure? A “robust” .238. It appears that his body started showing the wear and tear of steroid use when he reached the age of 32 or so–causing him various injuries and rendering him a less-disciplined hitter. But at least the guy ADMITTED doing steroids–unlike so many of these other “weasels” over the years who just smiled, went about their “business,” and saw their statistics BALLOON……….Answer to trivia question: PAT GARRITY–a Notre Dame product who made 169 shots from “downtown” while shooting an impressive 43% beyond the arc; he played ten seasons in the league between 1998 and 2008……….Finally, it was sad to hear about the recent passing of two of the greatest college basketball coaches of all-time–Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian–who died at ages 83 and 84 respectively. They combined for over 1,600 victories and three national championships; Smith spent his entire 36-year head coaching career at North Carolina–sending more than 50 players to the ABA or NBA. “Tark” had coaching stops at Long Beach State, UNLV, and Fresno State but will be best known for his “Runnin’ Rebels” team of 1990 that crushed Duke 103-73 in the national championship game. Although they went about their business (and the recruiting process) in slightly different ways, there is no doubting that these two talented individuals could flat-out COACH. In all seriousness, the college game hasn’t been the same since they both exited. Rest in peace, gentlemen.

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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