What were they thinking?

By Times Staff Writers

Television has the Emmys. Music has the Grammys. Sports has the Dummies. The envelope, please, for 2006.

Want to get away?

Receiving an award at NASCAR's end-of-the-year banquet, driver Kyle Busch gave thanks to his girlfriend, Eva. One problem. Eva is his brother Kurt's wife. Kyle's girlfriend, Erika, who was in the audience, was not amused. Neither, probably, was brother Kurt. No word from Eva.

New Coke award

NBA Commissioner David Stern unveiled a new non-leather basketball. The players complained that not only was it slippery when they sweated, it cut their hands. Six weeks into the season, the commissioner relented and announced a return to the old ball on Jan. 1. Bandages on players' hands apparently didn't fit into the dress code.

New Coke award runner-up

Attempts to market an ESPN cellphone ended after seven months. The ring tone was that annoying "SportsCenter" tune. da-da-DA! Worse, it was always Chris Berman on the other end of the line.

Mick should be glad he's not around for this

"Rocky Balboa," with 60-year-old Sylvester Stallone in the lead, opened the week before Christmas.

Who says Bobby Bowden is old and out of touch?

After his son was forced out as Florida State's offensive coordinator, Bowden blamed it on all the complaining fans who write into EBay.

Did you get the license plate number of that raccoon?

New Orleans Saints reserve quarterback Adrian McPherson was knocked out for the season when run over on the sideline by a golf cart driven by Tennessee Titans mascot T-Rac.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to win in NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson drove an entire NASCAR season without suffering so much as a scratch, then broke his wrist at a charity golf tournament. He was horsing around on the top of a golf cart and fell off when it hit a bump. T-Rac wasn't driving.

The one time J.D. Drew decides to hustle ...

Jeff Kent was tagged out at home trying to score from second base on a ball hit off the right-field wall, which was bad enough for the Dodgers in the second inning of their opening playoff game against the Mets. It would get worse. Hot on Kent's heels was Drew, who was trying to score from first. Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca barely had to move to also tag him out. Talk about a rally killer. The Dodgers lost the game, 6-5, and were swept in three games.

The only suicide here

was her career

Denying that her friend and client, Terrell Owens, purposely overdosed on painkillers, publicist Kim Etheredge said during a nationally televised news conference that he makes too much money to attempt suicide. "Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive," she said. She added that T.O. is a man of "great statue." You mean, like Abraham Lincoln?

By the way, there is no truth to the rumor that Owens is writing a book about the incident called "If I Did It."

Tiger insulted, says his wife is way hotter than that

The week of the Ryder Cup, an Irish magazine ran a photograph of a nude woman and identified her as Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren. Not true. The magazine also said one thing American golfers' wives have in common is that they like to take their clothes off in public. Woods, the U.S. captain, said he and his teammates were incensed and that the magazine had provided motivation for them. Then they were routed by the Euros.

You don't need Jon Stewart for this Daly show

At Torrey Pines in January, John Daly's wife, Sherrie, went to jail on charges involving a drug ring and illegal gambling the day before the tournament started. Daly played anyway.

He would wind up in sort of a footrace with Sherrie to see who could file for divorce first. Sherrie, just out of jail, beat him by 24 hours.

But, as of a couple of weeks ago, they were taking a mulligan, attempting to reconcile. "We love each other a little more than we hate each other," Daly said.

And now Oswald is replacing Tony Kornheiser

When Al Michaels left for NBC so that he could remain in the booth with John Madden, ABC demanded fair compensation. After much haggling, NBC relented and gave up Oswald the Lucky Rabbit -- a 1920s Walt Disney creation considered the forerunner to Mickey Mouse -- as well as cable rights to Friday coverage of the Ryder Cup for four years and future Olympic highlights.

As Mrs. O'Leary's cow

was saying ...

Make one little mistake and it follows you for eternity. It doesn't matter how many field goals you make, basehits you have or children you raise with your buckets of milk. Ask some people who are famous primarily for failing. Wrong Way Corrigan. Bill Buckner. Leon Lett. Scott Norwood. Roberto Di Vicenzo. Jean Van de Velde.

Now there's the snowboarder from the Winter Olympics in Turin who was hot-dogging when she should have been shredding across the finish line, fell and lost a chance for a gold medal. Hmm, you know ... what was her name again?

Is this another dumb-blond joke?

Did you hear the one about the USC song girl who was captured by a photographer cheering after a Texas touchdown in the Rose Bowl? When someone mentioned the quarterback, she thought she was getting a refund.

He has to stop quoting from 'Chariots of Fire'

Bode Miller to the Associated Press at the Olympics after failing to medal in five Alpine events:

"It's been an awesome two weeks. I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level." And to "60 Minutes" on what it's like to ski after a hard night of partying: "Talk about a hard challenge right there. I mean, if you ever tried to ski when you're wasted, it's not easy."

And they say there are no more heavyweights

For the second time within eight months, Jose Luis Castillo failed to make weight for a lightweight title fight in June against Diego Corrales.

Unlike the first time, in October 2005, the fight didn't go on. Castillo ultimately was suspended for the remainder of the year, fined $250,000 and prohibited from fighting in Nevada at less than 140 pounds.

Corrales called that ruling "mind-boggling," arguing that the punishment should have been much more severe.

Four months later, Corrales weighed in five pounds overweight for a fight against Joel Casamayor.

They forgot the Alamo

AEG chose the name 1836 for its MLS team in Houston, commemorating the year the city was founded after Texas' bloody war of independence with Mexico.

That's not exactly a year celebrated by the city's Latinos, many of whom AEG was hoping would become fans of the team. The nickname was quickly changed to Dynamo.

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