Rice Won’t Retire; Why Should His Number?

Times Staff Writer

How could Jerry Rice ask Steve Largent whether he could bring No. 80 out of retirement in Seattle? Or, how could he not?

The dueling schools of thought on bringing retired numbers out of dry dock had folks lining up to take sides last week. Keyshawn Johnson had sympathy for Rice’s situation.

“Why is it such a problem that Jerry Rice wears No. 80?” Johnson said on his talk show on Sirius NFL Radio. “He is comfortable wearing No. 80. He feels good in the No. 80. He likes to run down the field wearing No. 80. They are not going to retire Jerry Rice’s No. 80 in Seattle.”


Trivia time: Who is the NCAA career passing yardage leader?

Take your mark: San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler on banned sprinter Alvin Harrison, who accepted a four-year suspension last week: “Alvin Harrison admits to using testosterone cream, insulin, modafinil, THG, HGH, EPO and EIEIO (I made up that last one). When Harrison’s blood was examined under a microscope, doctors could see the six different molecules lined up at tiny starting blocks, waiting for the gun.

“If you’re wondering, Harrison broke the record held by Elvis.”

Bambino who? If you think the memory of Babe Ruth is slipping away, well, it could only get tougher for the larger-than-life legend, according to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic: “The legacy of Babe Ruth could be fading into oblivion. This year, he could relinquish his curse on the Red Sox. Next year, he gets chased down by Barry Bonds. All that’s left is his candy bar, and no one buys a Baby Ruth anymore, do they?”

Role reversal: Different place, different job.

The Florida Panthers’ Jay Bouwmeester, now with San Antonio of the American Hockey League, has turned into more of a puck-rushing defenseman.

“When you have a Secretariat, you don’t want him pulling a milk wagon,” Rampage Coach Steve Ludzik told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Bad blood: Boston College, on its way out of the Big East, got an extra shove toward the door this month at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh defeated the Eagles, 20-17, and as it turned out, the B.C. flag was not included with other flags of Big East schools on display at the stadium, according to reports.

“They have a smugness about them that they’re above you,” Pitt offensive tackle Rob Petitti told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “They’re this big Catholic school in Boston. They think they have something on us. Go ahead and think we’re garbage. We won the game -- again.”


Trivia answer: Ty Detmer. Detmer threw for 15,031 yards from 1988 to ’91 at Brigham Young. Hawaii’s Timmy Chang needs 241 yards to pass the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner.

And finally: Legendary ski filmmaker Warren Miller, who turned 80 on Oct. 15, describing his job to Outside magazine: “I feel like I’ve been selling an illegal substance. People tell me how I’ve messed up their lives, because their kids are jumping higher, farther, faster. But if you don’t scare yourself at least a few times every time you ski, you’re doing something wrong.”