Discovering That There’s Life Outside Basketball

Here, at last, is my chance to catch up on other pressing current events in the wide world of sports, after having been so preoccupied in recent weeks with matters pertaining to college basketball. So many stories, so little time. I feel as though life’s owners have locked me out.

Oh, well. On to the headlines:


You know that big dog-sled race in Alaska, the one that-there Butcher woman always wins? Well, it seems a couple of her fellow sledders had some trouble getting to the finish line. They got attacked by a moose.


Now, I know it must come across as pretty heartless of me to be making fun of somebody who had to ward off the charge of a wild animal, so let me apologize up front. However, goofy me, I just can’t help laughing at the mere thought of somebody going 10 rounds with Raging Bullwinkle.

I keep picturing an Anchorage anchorperson, saying: “Well, Wendy, some bad news out at the Iditarod today. Race called on account of moose.” I keep picturing some Valdez ambulance-chaser, defending the moose on charges that he was intoxicated when he attacked the sled.

I keep picturing one of the husky dogs, seeing the moose coming toward him, shouting: “I thought you had a lodge meeting tonight.” I keep picturing the moose fooling the dog, distracting him by saying: “Your snowshoe’s untied.”

I just hope nothing like this ever happens at the Final Four. Hate to think what some dumb moose would do to somebody’s poor mascot.



Evidently, the owner of the New York Yankees is attempting to get authorities to believe that some guy attempted to extort a job from him. Hey, officer: I’d like to think the real crime here is that anybody actually wanted to work for George Steinbrenner.

Boss S. apparently paid this dude some serious money to do some scouting on outfielder Dave Winfield. You know, the usual stuff: How was Winfield spending his money? Who was Winfield seeing socially? The old Winfield spy rule.

This is the same George Steinbrenner who is now one of the gentlemen (cough) granted the responsibility of guiding the United States Olympic team to greater honor and glory. We can see George now, paying some Jamaican doctor $50,000 to discover whether those pills Ben Johnson is popping are illegal drugs or Flintstone vitamins.


Hey, you Yankee baseball players:

Lock the owner out.


Here are some handy tips, to any city officials giving thought to bidding for the Raider football team:


Pay your schoolteachers.

Pay your firefighters.

Shelter your homeless.

Feed your hungry.


This public-service message comes to you today from the Citizens to Prevent Professional Football From Interfering With the Quality of Human Life as We Know It.


Well, it’s finally come to this. My tennis-crazy boss is going to walk up to me someday soon and say: “Mike, we want you to go interview a 13-year-old girl.” And when I ask why, he’s going to look me right in the eye and say: “Because she’s there.”

Better get my questions ready for the interview:


“Who do you like better, Barbie or Ken?”

“Do you think ALF will really go back to his home planet?”

“Exactly how many Bon Jovi posters do you have in your room?”

“What was it like, seeing your first PG-13 movie?”


And, of course:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’ll be my first interview ever with an athlete who can’t remember the 1970s.



His name is Smoltz, a good name for a guy who smolders. John Smoltz, a 22-year-old pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Born: Detroit. Throws: Right. Bats: Right. Irons: Right.

Irons? Yes. John Smoltz irons his own clothes. At least that’s what he was doing the other day, in spring training. He was ironing his shirt.

While he was wearing it.

That’s right, the way I understand it, Smoltz’s shirt was wrinkled, so he picked up a hot iron and decided to smooth it right out. He proceeded to burn the hairs right off his chest. He’s lucky the iron didn’t put an iron-shaped hole right through him, like in a cartoon.


This is a touching story, don’t you think? Here we thought baseball players were all so rich, they all had valets to iron their shoelaces. It takes a Smoltz to remind us that some baseball players do have to fend for themselves, and let’s face it, this kid is definitely a real Smoltz. He’s about the Smoltziest player I’ve ever seen.

Once again, I picture the scene: World Series! Atlanta vs. the Yankees! Game 1 starter Smoltz says to himself: “Hey, national TV! I’d better spruce myself up a mite!” He irons the front of his uniform! The Indian logo screams! His tomahawk melts! An Atlanta relief pitcher pours a bucket of Gatorade over Smoltz, to put out the flames!

And promptly wins fireman of the year.