Larry Bird not only won $12,500 shooting three-pointers Saturday but picked up $5 in unofficial money. Let Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post tell it:
"Bird was warming up for the Long-Distance Shootout when he asked a group of reporters if they wanted to make a little wager on whether he could make a three-pointer.
" 'Five dollars,' Bird said. When no takers surfaced, he threw up a shot that rattled off the rim.
" 'Come on, somebody, five dollars,' Bird said as he got the rebound from the ball boy. 'Five dollars says I make it.'
"Still no takers. Bird shot. Clank City.
"Finally, Shelby Strother of the Detroit News caved in. 'OK,' he said. 'I'll bet you.'
"Bird smiled sheepishly and said, 'There's one born every minute.'
"He then made the first of 12 in a row from the corner."
Add Bird: Said Boston Celtic teammate Danny Ainge, also a participant: "I wanted to beat Larry. I had to listen to him all year winning this thing. But when I didn't get into the finals, I was rooting for him. Larry was talking in the dressing room before the contest about what he should do when he wins. They were saying that the winner had to go to center court for a presentation and Larry asked how much time he had to talk."
Add All-Star: Said Rolando Blackman, who sank two free throws to keep the West alive despite the taunts of Isiah Thomas: "I've been through it before. I've dropped them in before. A lot of guys say they love to be in that situation. I can handle it, but don't tell me you love to be in that situation."
"It hasn't sunk in yet." That seems to be the stock quote from winners these days. If you've heard it enough, you'll appreciate this quote from All-Star MVP Tom Chambers: "I'm so excited, I can't stand it. I just want to go outside and scream at the world."
Trivia Time: In 1975, who scored the one-millionth run in major league baseball history? (Answer below.)
Now-it-can-be-told dept.: New York Giant quarterback Phil Simms said his first Super Bowl commercial was filmed minutes after the game. It's a commercial for Disney that shows Simms walking off the field and a voice asking what he will now be doing. Simms replies, "I'm going to Disneyland."
He said he and Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway were approached days before the game about the spot. The plan was to use the winning quarterback.
Simms: "I said, 'Don't tell me things like that before the game, I don't want to hear it.' They said, 'Elway's already agreed.' I didn't tell Bill Parcells about it."
Trivia Answer: Bob Watson of the Houston Astros on May 4, 1975, at 12:32 p.m. PDT. He scored on the front end of a three-run homer by Milt May against San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Watson got $10,000 from a candy company, which sponsored the event.
Note: Only seconds after Watson crossed the plate, Dave Concepcion of Cincinnati scored on a home run against the Atlanta Braves. Concepcion, knowing he had a chance for the money, raced full speed around the bases but just missed.
Butch Johnson, former Dallas Cowboy and Denver Bronco receiver, on his job with KUSA-TV in Denver: "This is my destiny. I was born to be a mass communicator. I'll be the black Howard Cosell."