Sunday, September 14, 2014





Steve Seibel of Kamloops is in Spain these days. No, he’s not vacationing. A lawyer in real life, he also is an international-calibre basketball referee with an immense amount of experience. Since late August, he has been working at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the men’s world championship. . . . He was on the floor Tuesday as Lithuania dropped Turkey 73-61 in a quarterfinal matchup and he’ll be back today. Yes, he will work the championship game between Serbia and the United States. . . .

No matter how poorly your week went, it had to be better than the one experienced by Roger Goodell and the NFL. My goodness! Domestic abuse, alleged child abuse and on and on it goes. But all will be forgotten for 10 hours today. . . . In the case of the NFL, you can bet the games can’t get here fast enough. . . . “Two high-school pitchers in Japan went the distance – 50 innings – when it took four days to finally decide a scoreless baseball game,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Apparently they don’t believe in pitch counts: One threw 709 pitches, the other 689.” . . .

Please don’t spit out your coffee as you learn that Floyd Mayweather, who is not a nice man, made US$888,889 per minute as he punched his way to victory on Saturday night. . . . “Had to laugh when I saw this headline – ‘Bucs will be best NFL team in Florida’ – at OrlandoSentinel.com on (Sept. 5),” writes Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. “Isn’t being the best NFL team in Florida sort of like being the best surfer in Kansas?” . . . Michael Garcia, a FIFA ethics investigator, was charged with looking into alleged improprieties with the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids. He has filed his report, so . . . “FIFA officials said they'll read the report,” notes Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen, “just as soon as they return from their month-long vacation at an all-inclusive resort in Qatar.” . . .

Marvin (Bad News) Barnes, who died this week at 62, might be the captain of the He Coulda Been Great team. Barnes died in Providence, R.I., prompting Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds to remember the time Barnes asked if cocaine kills brain cells. Reynolds said he provided the experts’ opinion, to which Brnes responded: “Then I must have been a genius when I started out.” . . . RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com wonders: “Is someone who promotes cycling a spokesperson?” . . . A question from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Why don’t CFL games start 3.5 hours apart instead of three? We often watch duster time in the first game and miss the start of the other.” . . .

Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, explains: “More why there is no satire: Hartselle, Alabama, is the largest dry city in the state. And their mayor, Don Hall, has said he opposes the sale of booze within city limits. Last Friday, Hall was arrested, driving back from a neighboring town, for alleged DUI.” . . . One more from Hough: “Apple’s new $349 smart watch acts as a remote control, a mobile payment device and a pulse monitor. But can it tell time?” . . . Hough, again: “So the NFL may soon be looking for a new toady to do the owners’ bidding at all times. ‘I’m available soon,’ said Bud Selig.” . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: NFL announces new zero-tolerance policy on videotaped domestic violence. . . .

Here’s Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald: “A 91-year-old soccer fan left about $636,000 in cash and his house to the Norwegian club FL Fart. I might suggest using $635,000 of that to find a new name.” . . . Wide receiver Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns was suspended for the season due to marijuana use and apparently was planning to work as a car salesman. Notes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Warning to car buyers: tire and brake questions are fine, but don’t ask him about the suspension.” . . . “Actually,” added Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, “Gordon’s ban is expected to be reduced when the NFL’s new drug policy is approved. It would appear Gordon – like many of the cars he has been selling – is going to be recalled.” . . .

If you missed it, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Football, er, Johnny Manziel wants to trademark Johnny Cleveland. Comedy writer Jim Barach says that’s “because a baseball player already has the trademark on the name that reflects where (Manziel) will spend his career, ‘Johnny Bench.’ ” . . . Is there anything on TV that is harder to watch than those TSN promos that feature on-air staff? Especially when they play them over and over and over. . . . Well, OK, the Wendy’s commercials featuring Ms. Ginger are up there, too. . . . And now I notice that the Sportsnet channels are full of staff-filled promos, too. . . . Don’t call me Shirley, but surely the apocalypse must be near. . . .

So, you’re wondering, just how intelligent are baseball players? Here’s Los Angeles Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, in conversation with the Los Angeles Times: “I don’t want to name names, but there were guys I played with that were so stupid that they’re really good because their mind never gets in the way.” . . . Dan Halldorson, a Canadian golfer who had success on the PGA Tour back in the day, lost 20 pounds while instructing for three months in China. As he told Bruce Penton of the Medicine Hat News: “I was using two sticks to eat instead of a shovel.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)


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