Bird Deflects Question on a Sign of Times


A piece of plywood bearing the message “Larry’s Last Game: Next Right” covered a street sign near the Richfield Coliseum before the seventh game of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The game did turn out to be the season finale for the Celtics. Whether it was the last game of Celtic star Larry Bird’s career remains to be seen.

When told of the sign, according to Peter May of the Boston Globe, Bird said: “I didn’t know Larry Nance was retiring. I’ll have to go over (to the Cavaliers’ dressing room) and congratulate him on his wonderful career.”


End in sight: Fear not. Those Dan-and-Dave sneaker commercials featuring Olympic decathletes Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson won’t go on forever.

“There’s just one spot (to be aired) after the Games,” Johnson told the Denver Post’s Woody Paige. “It’s a secret, though. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

Trivia time: Three of the last four winners of the Butkus Award, for college football’s top linebacker, have been drafted by the same NFL team. Name the team.

Something to crow about: Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post notes that, by hiring Doug Rader to replace Rick Burleson as batting coach this year, the Oakland Athletics brought in The Red Rooster to replace The Rooster.

Snake harmer: Professional golfer Davis Love III drew cheers when he used his one-iron to tee off on a snake that emerged from a lake fronting the 13th green on the Colonial Country Club course in Ft. Worth, Tex., Wednesday during a PGA Tour pro-am event.

Said Love of his encounter with the five-foot serpent: “We first saw him swimming across the lake. . . . Next thing we know, he’s crawling up the bank, headed toward the gallery. That’s when I grabbed my one-iron.”


Not everyone was amused, however.

“Most of the people clapped, but one lady was really upset with me for killing the snake,” Love said. “Hey, it was a water moccasin. Those things are mean, and they’re poisonous.”

Add snake: Love’s point was made when it was later reported that Irish golfer David Feherty was bitten by an adder during a practice round for a tournament on the European Tour.

The Feherty story prompted USA Today’s Steve Hershey to pull Love aside and tell him: “Looks like you guys are 1-1 this week.”

The shirts off their backs: Proving once again that school spirit can make otherwise normal people act in crazy ways, Ohio State loyalists recently purchased nearly 1,000 football jerseys once worn by Buckeye players. Fans snapped up the jerseys when the university held a massive garage sale to clear out old football, basketball and baseball uniforms.

Sweet smell of retirement: Walt Garrison, the former Dallas Cowboy fullback and rodeo cowboy, says he realized that his decision to quit football was the right one when he returned to the Cowboy dressing room one day to visit some of his former teammates.

“I never noticed before,” he told Frank Luksa of the Dallas Morning News, “but sweat stinks.”


Add sweet: According to Luksa, Garrison’s life is best summed up by an inscription penned by former Dallas quarterback Don Meredith on a photo that hangs in Garrison’s office: “You’ve come a long way--most of it in a circle.”

Reminiscing about Meredith, Garrison told Luksa: “Don used to say, ‘If you need three yards, give the ball to Walt and he’ll get you three yards. If you need 12 yards, give the ball to Walt and he’ll get you three yards.’ ”

Trivia answer: The Kansas City Chiefs, who selected linebackers Derrick Thomas of Alabama in 1989, Percy Snow of Michigan State in 1990 and Erik Anderson of Michigan in 1991.

Quotebook: PGA Tour pro Jim Woodward, when asked what he told the doctor who stitched a wound to his hand: “Do a good job--this hand might end up on national TV.”