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It Might Have Happened When He Had His Eyes Shut

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Steve Blow of the Dallas Morning News writes that a ride on the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags amusement part in Arlington, Tex., is a harrowing experience.

“And now an article in GQ magazine, of all places, theorizes that Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman may have injured his back on a midnight ride on the Texas Giant, not squatting weights in a sweaty gym,” Blow reported.

The Cowboys aren’t buying that theory.

“We don’t put a whole lot of stock in the medical opinions expressed by GQ writers,” Cowboy spokesman Rich Dalrymple said. “After seeing the punishment Troy takes on the field, I think he could withstand anything that a roller coaster could dish out.” Trivia time: Who holds the Raider record for most interceptions in a season?

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A plus: Mike Veeck, owner of the St. Paul (Minn.) Saints of the independent Northern League: “We’re better than Class A and probably not quite double A. We’re kind of A and a half.”

Faking it: From Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Maybe umpires should try this. A sumo referee carries a dagger whenever he climbs into the ring. Tradition calls for an extreme atonement if he makes a really bad call--ritual suicide.

“ ‘It’s symbolic of our heavy responsibility,’ ” says referee Shonosuke Kimura. “ ‘If a referee makes a misjudgment, he should be prepared to commit hara-kiri. Of course, we couldn’t actually do that. We wouldn’t have enough referees left alive for the sport.’ ”

Fascinating: Spy magazine points this out from a list of actual college courses available today:

At Ithaca College in New York: “Fly tying: The course progresses from basic manual dexterity exercises through the gamut of fly types, including streamers, bucktails, nymphs and dry flies.”

Role player: Phoenix guard Danny Ainge helped persuade former Laker A.C. Green to sign with with the Suns.

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“He can get those long rebounds on the missed (three-pointers),” Ainge said at a news conference announcing Green’s signing. Turning to Green, he said: “That’s the only play we’ll run for you.”

Caring group: Jim Litke of the Associated Press recalled that former Miami Dolphin kicker Garo Yepremian made all five of his field-goal attempts in his NFL debut.

“Yet, he still knew so little about the game that he thought his teammates huddled before each play to pray that no one got hurt.”

Overachiever: From David Letterman: “Last night, the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa became only the 13th player in history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season. In a related story, last night Chico Walker of the Mets hit two really hard foul balls.”

Trivia answer: Lester Hayes, with 13 in 1980.

Quotebook: Martina Navratilova, on her retirement from singles play after the 1994 tennis season: “I’ve been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.”

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