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Not Exactly Nostradamus at Work Here

For the final Morning Briefing of the second millennium, it’s better to look ahead than back, which is exactly what Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel did the other day.

He created a list of 40 or so newspaper headlines that conceivably could appear in the coming days and weeks, including:

“Bourbon Street Bail Bondsmen Praise Sugar Bowl Pairing”

“Penguins’ Owner Punched On Ice”

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“Yankees’ Owner Punched On Purpose”

“M.J.: Firestone Better Investment Than Wiz”

“Iverson Disappears After Tattoos Removed”

And then there was this particular favorite, although NBC might not think it amusing:

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“Men’s 4x100 Live Tonight From Sydney”

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Trivia time: When referring to soccer, he talked about “the muddied oafs at the goals.” Who was he?

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Game, set and match: With the Australian Open only a few weeks away, recall for a moment Sydney Morning Herald columnist Richard Hines’ comments earlier this year about tennis:

“It is a little-known fact, but tennis has a code of conduct. No, seriously, there are actually rules of behavior that the players are expected to follow on and off the court, although by the way some of these tortured souls strut, preen and vent their spleens, you get the impression these rules have not been posted in the locker-room since Fred Perry was a ball boy.”

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The Kournikova rule: Hines also suggested implementation of a new dress code:

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“A serious attempt will be made to stop female players trading on their good looks. Henceforth, any blonde Russian teenager who has not won at least two tournaments will be required to wear overalls and a balaclava during all matches.”

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Burning bright: The Washington Post’s Tony Kornheiser reckons no one in sport today comes close to Tiger Woods.

“Tiger is sport’s greatest roadside attraction; he makes the needle move like nobody else. The Olympics were a bust; nobody remembers them. The NBA is gasping without Michael Jordan. Baseball has no punch until October. Tennis is a two-tournament-a-year sport, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. There’s the NFL and Tiger. And Tiger plays 12 months a year.”

The Olympics were a bust? What was Kornheiser watching?

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Give no quarter: The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons despairs of hockey ever being completely understood south of the Canadian border.

Simmons said he recently received an e-mail from the United States asking, “Why are there two halftimes?”

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Return to sender: Damien Cox of the Toronto Star says “getting Mario Lemieux back on skates is arguably more meaningful to the NHL than another Michael Jordan comeback would be to the NBA.”

No, it’s not.

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Trivia answer: Rudyard Kipling.

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And finally: Bill Lyon of the Philadelphia Inquirer, in a comment this week’s bowl watchers will empathize with, writes, “You know you’re getting older when you wake up with a hangover and you haven’t been out the night before.”


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