During the bowl season, Washington wide receiver Mario Bailey likes to work on his northwest route.
Sunday, at the Huskies’ Golden West College practice site in Huntington Beach, he said: “I’ve never missed Christmas at home, and I don’t want to start now if I can help it.”
Bailey’s mother makes reservations for an airline in Seattle, so there’s no problem with a 7 a.m. departure and a 7 p.m. return--if the Northwest cold snap allows.
Last Christmas, when the Huskies were in Southern California before the Freedom Bowl, he flew home for a few hours.
Said Bailey: “Uh oh, I probably shouldn’t talk about that, because I don’t think anybody knew I left last year. I got back and everything was cool, but I’m going to ask Coach (Don) James about it this year.”
Trivia time: Name the kicker whose field goal ended the NFL’s longest game on Christmas Day, 1971.
Upright citizen: An unidentified fan of the Buffalo Bills worked some Christmas magic Sunday.
After Buffalo’s victory over Miami, the fan helped dismantle one of the Rich Stadium goal posts, then delivered his souvenir to radio station WGR.
The station sold quarter-inch sections at $10 each, raising about $2,000 for Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Stick to hoops, dude: The promoters of last Saturday’s basketball “doubleheader” in Atlanta, featuring Georgia Tech vs. Loyola and Georgia vs. Texas, were turned down personally by Pete Townshend of The Who when they tried to use his song, “Pinball Wizard,” in their advertising campaign.
But the games’ marketing firm decided to go ahead with the theme in its printed materials, including the program cover, which showed Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson and Georgia’s Litterial Green.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported: “During a photo session with a ‘Simpsons’ pinball machine, the ever-competitive Anderson got tired of being taunted with ‘You’re an underachiever, man.’ He worked hard and improved his score--but got caught tilting the machine.”
Hallowed spaces: Fox Network’s “American Chronicles” recently put together a nostalgic tribute to Chicago’s old Comiskey Park, which closed in September and is being replaced a new Comiskey Park across the street.
Midway through the segment, three children stand near one of the old park’s gates, carrying cardboard signs.
On each sign is one word. The kids hold them up to make: “COME NEXT YEAR.”
They turn the signs over to make: “WE’LL PARK HERE.”
Unmasking the truth: Last week’s trivia question about the first NHL goalie to wear a mask should have substituted popularize for wear .
Readers Dave Rogahn and Les Patrick pointed out that the first to wear a mask was not Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens in 1959, but Clint Benedict of the Montreal Maroons in 1930.
His nose had been broken in a game against the Canadiens, so he tried a leather apparatus that covered his forehead, nose and jaw.
In the first game of his experiment, Benedict lost to Chicago, 2-1, then abandoned the mask, complaining that it obstructed his view of low shots.
Trivia answer: Garo Yepremian kicked a 37-yarder at 7:40 of the second overtime period, giving Miami a 27-24 victory over Kansas City.
Quotebook: Former New York Jet defensive tackle Joe Klecko, on having coached high school players this season: “My problem is I could not understand them not understanding what I was telling them.”