Hollywood Childhood Gave Coach a Head Start

As coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid must maintain a commanding presence and hold his ground. He has been well trained in the task, telling the Philadelphia Inquirer about his youth in Los Angeles, which included a stint helping cater meals for “The Tonight Show.”

At age 11, he found himself dishing up food for celebrities.

“I was in charge of the sweet-and-sour meatballs,” he said. “I was told to give each person three meatballs. That was it. I wouldn’t budge on that. I remember one time John Wayne was on the show, and he reached out his plate.

“Plop. Three meatballs. He said, ‘Son, could I have another scoop?’ ”


Nope, the limit was three and young Reid wouldn’t budge, even for The Duke.

Trivia time: Who holds the record for points by a rookie in an NBA Finals game?

Not even a blip: Washington Wizard Coach Doug Collins, who played in Philadelphia for eight seasons, got an earful from a 76er fan during his appearance there as an NBC commentator during the Finals.

“He asked me how we were going to deal with Shaq and the Lakers next season,” Collins said. “I told him we won 19 games last season. I don’t think we’re on their radar screen.”


Safety first: So, what did New York Giant Coach Jim Fassel give actress Angie Harmon as a wedding gift for marrying Giant defensive back Jason Sehorn? A No. 31 jersey with “Angie” on it.

“The reason why I’m giving you this jersey before your honeymoon is I know Jason won’t tackle or touch anyone in a jersey,” Fassel quipped.

Waffling: Chris Webber of the Sacramento Kings is looking for a new NBA home and the former Michigan star player is now talking about Detroit.

“I love Detroit,’ ” he told the Detroit News. “The Pistons are definitely still a possibility. I’m not saying I’m locked down to it, but Detroit is an exciting situation. Coming home would really be special. But to come home and not have a chance to succeed, that would not be special. That would hurt.”

Burning affair: Andre Rison, who may or may not be back with the Oakland Raiders this season, told an Atlanta radio station that he will marry longtime girlfriend and rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the hip-hop group TLC.

Lopes, you may recall, set fire to Rison’s $1-million Atlanta home in 1994. Commented Cary Sekoff to the San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s great that Andre still carries the torch for her.”

He’s still dazed: Shotputter Teri Steer introduced herself to discus thrower Jason Tunks by accidentally bonking him on the head with a shot, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“He wasn’t paying any attention,” she explained. “I whacked him. I thought I had killed him.” She hadn’t, but she had his attention. They are now wife and husband.


Really close: Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News: “Michael Jordan’s comeback has been delayed by two broken ribs, reported Ahmad Rashad, who actually was created from one of Jordan’s ribs.”

Looking back: On this day in 1960, Floyd Patterson knocked out Ingemar Johansson in the fifth round in New York to become the first boxer to regain the world heavyweight title.

Trivia answer: Magic Johnson of the Lakers, 42 against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 16, 1980.

And finally: Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated wants to downsize virtually everything in the sports world. “Couldn’t we all get by with an Indy 200? Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo. Your new name is Mel Ott.”