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Ohio State Dealt With Pronounced Obstacle

Times Staff Writer

So how is it that Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, of Findlay, Ohio, ended up at Miami of Ohio instead of Ohio State? Chalk it up to a recruiting mistake by the Buckeye coaching staff.

“We had a lot of bad experiences with Ohio State,” Roethlisberger’s father, Ken, told The Times’ Sam Farmer. “If we got any phone calls at night, after 10, the latest one would be from Ohio State. He’s got school the next day, the phone is ringing after 10, and we’re saying, ‘There’s Ohio State calling.’ ”

According to Roethlisberger’s mother, Brenda, the Ohio State recruiters also had trouble pronouncing the family’s last name.

“They’d say, ‘Mrs. Ro ... Mrs. Roeth ... ,’ ” she said.

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Add Roethlisberger: He said he almost ended up playing football for Duke. Why Duke? “I figured I’d get good seats for the basketball games,” he said.

Trivia time: How many former USC players are head coaches in the NFL?

Good question: On the eighth tee at the Skins Game on Saturday, The Times’ Joel Greenberg overheard Tiger Woods asking an event official about the wait between shots, which was required for ABC to insert commercials.

“If we’re on tape delay, why don’t we just play [continuously] and they can fill in the commercials [later]?” Woods wondered.

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In need of assistance: On the fourth tee at the Skins Game, after her three male playing partners had hit 300-yard-plus drives, Annika Sorenstam, before hitting her tee shot, turned to the crowd and asked, “Can you all blow at the same time?”

Things change: Brett Favre, who has been in the NFL since 1991, told CBS’ Lesley Visser he had changed a great deal.

Visser agreed.

“When I first came to talk to you, you had two six-packs and leftover Chinese food in your refrigerator,” she said.

No perfect 10: Eli Manning, the New York Giant rookie quarterback who wears No. 10, was outmanned against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Wrote Steve Serby of the New York Post: “This is how the official scorer in baseball would have scored it: E-10.”

Looking back: On this day in 1987, Bo Jackson put on one of the greatest running exhibitions in NFL history as he led the Los Angeles Raiders to a 37-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at the Kingdome on “Monday Night Football.”

Jackson rushed for 221 yards in 18 carries -- he had 202 in his first 11 carries -- and scored three touchdowns. His 91-yard touchdown run, after which he kept on running through the Kingdome’s runway behind the end zone, is one of the all-time “Monday Night Football” highlights.

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Trivia answer: Three -- Mike Holmgren, Seattle; Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville; and Jeff Fisher, Tennessee.

And finally: From reader Janice Hough of San Francisco, on the 49ers’ loss to the Miami Dolphins: “Can we now officially rename them the 4th and 9ers?”

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.


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