Sunday, January 1, 2017

Everyone gets bowl game . . . Who should retire? . . . Salute to Sideline Chatter

Headline at after the Cleveland Browns won their first game of the NFL season last weekend: Browns fans bruise tender hands that hadn’t clapped all year. .  .  . Also at NCAA to give every game in 2017 a ‘bowl name’ to improve ratings. . . . So there was this Christmas party in Florida where folks seemed to have a drunken time with Vanessa Barcelo, a Florida beauty-pageant winner, in attendance. She later was charged with assaulting a man with a baseball bat. As comedian Argus Hamilton put it: “If stupidity were oil, Florida would be OPEC headquarters.” . . .
“Head coach Rex Ryan was fired by the Buffalo Bills last week,” notes Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “He was canned because he didn’t fulfill his promise of taking the team to the playoffs. Rex said he tried his best, but tickets to Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots games were already sold out when he tried to buy 50 of them.” . . . Chong, again: “Remember ex-Patriots running back Jonas Gray who was sent packing by New England head coach Bill Belichick because he slept in and missed a team meeting? He’s currently trying out with the Seattle Seahawks. That’s right . . . Sleepless in Seattle.” . . .

“Alabama DE Dakota Ball will miss the Peach Bowl after a hunting accident in which he blew off his left index finger,” Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif.-based correspondent, writes. “This comes despite an offer of a special glove from Jason Pierre-Paul.” . . . “For the second time, the Alabama team buses left behind offensive co-ordinator Lane Kiffin after a practice,” Littlejohn reports. “Well, it beats being thrown under the bus like he was at USC.” . . . Littlejohn, again: “The Golf Channel honoured Tiger Woods on his birthday Friday by airing a 15-hour marathon that chronicled his major championship highlights from the 1997 Masters to the 2008 U.S. Open, plus features on his life. In that case, shouldn’t there have been a couple of episodes from 'Law and Order SVU’ thrown in?” . . . And a query from Littlejohn: “After an embarrassing performance around New Year's by a once-invincible superstar, calls are coming in for her retirement. Am I talking about (a) Ronda Rousey or (b) Mariah Carey?” . . .

The Seattle Times has chosen to (almost) bring an end to Dwight Perry’s Sideline Chatter, with had quite a run as a three-times-a-week feature. The 3,704th Sideline Chatter appeared in Friday’s paper. Starting this month, it will appear only on Sundays, which is better than Never on Sunday. . . .
In tribute to one of the best, we will close with a few of Perry’s items from last week:
Ageless — OK, 44-year-old — Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers moved into second place behind Wayne Gretzky on the NHL’s all-time scoring list when a puck bounced off his butt right to a teammate for an unlikely assist.
The first congratulatory text, we assume, came from Mark Sanchez.
Name of the Year: Six-foot-10 Creighton basketball player Sam Dunkum.
UFC announced that one of Cris (Cyborg) Justino’s test samples has been flagged for a potential doping violation.
What could be an illicit substance in Cyborg? Too much STP in the 30-weight, perhaps?
Herbert Hayden, 81, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge for punching a fellow competitor at the Pinellas Park, Fla., Senior Center and whacking him with a shuffleboard cue.
Hayden was ordered to pay about $1,000 in fines, fees and restitution. And just for good measure, the judge tacked on five minutes for fighting, two minutes for roughing and another two for high-sticking.
Was Aussie race-car driver Will Power, in a previous life, a German racer named Horst?
Forbes has named Scarlett Johansson the top grossing star of 2016.
Only because cameras weren’t there to catch Vince Wilfork’s towel fall off in the sauna.
Hey, it’s great work if you can get it.
Ronda Rousey got paid $3 million to go 48 seconds in her UFC comeback Friday night — which pencils out to a tidy $225 million an hour.
Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle got sent home just hours before Thursday’s Belk Bowl when he got caught shoplifting — from a sponsoring Belk department store.
Or, as Razorbacks apologists prefer to put it: He had bad hands.

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

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