Lord of the rings: The company making the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl championship rings says that the one for William (Refrigerator) Perry will be its biggest ever--a size 23, slightly larger than a half-dollar.
"It's really huge," said Al Dahms, manager of the Josten's Inc. plant at Princeton, Ill. "When you get up to a size 18 or 19, that's considered incredible. But this--this is really huge."
The old record-holder at Josten's was a size 22--but that was for Perry, too, while he was in college at Clemson.
"I don't know if he's still growing or what," Dahms said.
Preakness pointers: Bill Shoemaker, whose ride aboard Ferdinand earned him a Kentucky Derby victory, doubts that trainer Charlie Whittingham will offer any special instructions before today's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
"Nothing to speak of," Shoe said. "Same thing he always tells me: 'Try to get position and then do your best.' "
That reminded the Washington Post's Shirley Povich of the elaborate instructions Eddie Arcaro once heard from a novice owner of a cheap claimer who told him in the paddock: "Now, I want you quick out of the gate. Lay third or fourth at the turn. Move up fast in the backstretch and then go to the front at the turn for home."
Whereupon Arcaro said, "OK, but now tell me, what do I do with the horse?"
Add Preakness: By tradition, the colors carried by the winning horse are painted on the weather vane atop the members' clubhouse within minutes of the race result's being declared official.
But if Clear Choice wins today's 111th running, track officials will have a sticky problem.
Owner Eugene Klein's blue-and-gold colors have been on display since Tank's Prospect won the 1985 Preakness, and since Klein also owns Clear Choice, a new coat of paint would not be needed should the horse win.
Enter ABC-TV, which wants to open its race coverage with a shot of last year's colors being painted out and close with the new colors being applied.
Chick Lang, the general manager of Pimlico, would not paint himself into a corner, though.
"I told Tommy (Ennis, a retired track painter who annually comes from his home in Charles Town, W.Va., to remain a part of the Preakness tradition) just to paint out one side of the weather vane," Lang said, "just in case he has to put the same colors back up."
On the road again: Steve Smith of the Dallas Times Herald participated in the 8,254-mile One Lap of America race and, after eight days behind the wheel in 32 states, had a mix of memories, including this one:
"There was a checkpoint in the parking lot of the Moonlight Ranch, a brothel near Virginia City, Nev.," Smith wrote. "We were so busy trying to look through the open front door of the place that we almost missed the checkpoint sign."
"The best way to prepare for them is to take your players to see 'Rocky IV,' " Sator said.
Joe Gergen of Newsday on the erratic nature of his golf game: "Normally, my game derives most of its momentum from an electric cart."