Lazzari’s Sports Roundup

(David Pokress/Sportsday Wire)

ITEM: Former NFL running back Adrian Murrell is a ‘no-show’ on “Monday Night Sports Talk” ( this past week with no explanation, reason, etc. given for his disgraceful absence. Where I grew up, people would refer to that kind of behavior as the actions of a BUM. The man ran for over 5,000 yards in his pro career; I’ve probably uttered approximately the same number of “not-so-nice” words under my breath ever since he basically RUINED that live telecast a week ago. Ah, yes–it reminds me of something my Dad told me many years ago: “Just remember, Bobby–you can’t TEACH integrity or class.” Spot on, Pop; you live, learn, and move on, folks……….TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the last member of the Arizona Cardinals to lead the NFL in receiving yardage? Answer to follow……….The definition of a “one-man show”: The 2000 Atlanta Falcons–who finished 4-12 under coach Dan Reeves–were led in rushing by Jamal Anderson with a total of 1,024 yards. The next best rushing total on the team that season? RB Maurice Smith with a total of just SIXTY-NINE yards……….I used to think that watching the great Bobby Orr gliding across a hockey rink was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed the other day when I came across a photo of lovely model Candice Swanepoel wearing a two-piece swimsuit during a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot in St. Barts. Yes, you were GREAT, Bobby, but you never caused me to HYPERVENTILATE like Candice has; my goodness……….Still a lot of debate going on regarding Pete Rose’s inclusion (or lack thereof) into baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I really don’t take the Hall of Fame seriously anymore for a variety of reasons (including inherent politics and some bumbling idiots who are allowed to vote), but let’s be honest: If ex-manager Tony LaRussa is enshrined (he was recently referred to by NY Times writer Michael Powell as a “shepherd to the pharmaceutically enhanced” while In Oakland and St. Louis), then Rose has “less-than-villain” status and should have his own STATUE at the entrance of the baseball shrine in upstate NY (and a plaque INSIDE, too)……….And now for some ‘ANTI-BUM’ news: How ’bout K.C. Chiefs DB Eric Berry–who recently delivered almost $20,000 worth of toys, gift cards, gift bags, and cash to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City? The Eric Berry Foundation teamed up with a local car dealership to benefit the hospital’s Snowflake Shoppe–which provides parents/caregivers opportunities to choose gifts for sick children at no cost. This is a guy who has overcome lymphoma (diagnosed in 2014) and made it a MAJOR priority to give back to his community and the less-fortunate. The Chiefs’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, I applaud Mr. Berry’s actions and continue to be amazed by his inner drive and unselfish nature……….ITEM: Former NBA player Shawne Williams is arrested on a MULTITUDE of charges (too many to mention here) after a car accident in Memphis; he reportedly reeked of booze and marijuana, cursed at officers, and couldn’t even remember his MIDDLE NAME following the accident. The topper? This dolt had TWO children under the age of eight in his 2014 Rolls Royce at the time. Call me judgmental, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that Williams was not a member of the University of Memphis’ Honors Program during the one year that he spent there approximately a decade ago……….If newly-signed free agent outfielder Jason Heyward (Cubs) is worth $23 million per season, then the great Sir Laurence Olivier was never suitable to act even in a GRAMMAR SCHOOL drama production……….ITEM: Odell Beckham, Jr. drops a sure TD pass early in the game last week vs. Carolina, then totally UNRAVELS; the meltdown included delivering one of the CHEAPEST shots–helmet-to-helmet on Josh Norman–that I’ve ever seen (worthy of a LONG suspension). Other penalties by OBJ–due to his “hot-headedness”/stupidity–may have cost the team a victory and a shot at a playoff spot. Yes, he may be one of the most talented receivers to ever grace a gridiron. And YES–Odell has now shown he also has the ability to be one of the biggest idiots to ever take the field. Wow–some combination, huh? Get some counseling from some TRUE pros, OBJ; many of us don’t want you to go down in history as a guy who was gifted enough to make one-handed, electrifying catches but had very LITTLE “smarts” along the way. Yes–SO much talent, SO much at risk……….*Scenario: WNBA player Kia Vaughn marries former Clemson football player Jacoby Ford, divorces, marries ageless MLB player Ichiro Suzuki–divorces again–then walks down the aisle with former American track star Daniel Lincoln. Automobile lovers would then delight in her full married name of Kia Ford Suzuki Lincoln……….Shame on baseball’s Pre-Integration Era Committee for not electing “Doc” Adams to Baseball’s Hall of Fame recently (umm–see my opinion about the HOF mentioned above). Adams came closest–with 10 votes–but it’s obvious to me that some individuals on the 16-member committee DID NOT do their “homework” in this case. Adams still remains HIGHLY responsible for establishing “basics” that the game came to adopt and still incorporates (the shortstop position, 90-foot base paths, 9-inning games, etc.). Again, I guess it comes down to a current, continually-growing epidemic: Common sense AIN’T that common, folks……….Answer to trivia question: DAVID BOSTON–who led the league in 2001 with a total of 1,598 yards……….Finally, here’s wishing a happy holiday season to EVERYONE out there–no matter WHAT you celebrate at this special time of the year. My hope is that love and kindness fill your hearts and homes–with a major dose of GOOD HEALTH thrown in. Be safe and well, folks.

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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