Done Time? Don’t Worry About the Back Nine

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GolfWorld magazine reports that media applications for the U.S. Open were mailed out recently and the U.S. Golf Assn.--perhaps influenced by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the proximity of Bethpage State Park, where the tournament will be held, to New York City--is taking unprecedented security steps.

All media members planning to cover the national championship are being asked to submit to a background check, including permitting the USGA and “any authorized security agency” unfettered access to all records concerning driving and criminal history.

Just a guess, but the media “field” might be limited this year.

Trivia time: Who holds the Laker playoff record for rebounds in a game?

Not amused: Running back Ricky Williams, whom the Miami Dolphins acquired from the New Orleans Saints, once posed in a wedding dress with tuxedo-clad Mike Ditka for the cover of ESPN The Magazine.


“The whole 49er defense was on me about it one time, all game,” he recently told the Miami Herald. “None of it was clever, though. I would have laughed right with them if it had at least been clever.”

Comment from Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Even trash talk is judged on artistic merit.”

We’re stuck with ‘em: Patrick Hruby of the Washington Times on some of the worst sports ideas ever:

* “The prevent defense: a passive, gutless brand of football that runs counter to the game’s rock-’em, sock-’em nature and, more often than not, prevents exactly nothing--save a round of ulcers for both fans and the defensive staff of the team with the lead.”

* “Aluminum bats: a pinging pox on college baseball. Blessed with plus-size sweet spots, aluminum bats have turned the sport into a hit-happy burlesque, one in which the bottom of the order bats .350 and USC captured the 1998 College World Series by the football-like score of 21-14.”

Looking back: On this day in 1956, undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano retired. Marciano finished 49-0, with six title defenses and 43 knockouts.


Looking back again: On this day in 1994, Scott Erickson, who had given up the most hits in the majors the previous season, pitched Minnesota’s first no-hitter in 27 years as the Twins defeated Milwaukee, 6-0.

Oh no! Reader John Hughes to the San Francisco Chronicle on why the Cleveland Browns cut running back Ben Gay: “He must have rubbed Coach Butch Davis the wrong way.”

Trivia answer: Wilt Chamberlain, 33, against the Chicago Bulls on April 4, 1971.

And finally: Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star News is apparently turned off by the Pacers’ series with the New Jersey Nets: “It was fun when it was Hicks versus Knicks. It was good, clean, perpetually nasty fun, led by the legendary Reggie Miller-Spike Lee debates.

“The Knicks represented all big-city evils Hoosiers found so repulsive, and the Pacers were the face of a dull backwater where daylight-saving time continues to be a hot-button issue.

“But the Pacers and New Jersey Nets? Hicks Versus Swamp Rats?”