Sideline Chatter 10/14/03

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

'Shoe' was never too attired to ride

Willie Shoemaker, the Hall of Fame jockey who died this weekend at age 72, was up for a good ride anytime.

Wrote Beth Harris of The Associated Press: "In 1965, he was returning to his hotel from a party at 4:30 a.m. on the day of the Kentucky Derby when a friend suggested they go to Churchill Downs and that Shoemaker work out a horse the friend had stabled there.

"He did, wearing a tuxedo, then 12 hours later rode Lucky Debonair to his third Derby victory."

Old news

Bob Fishwick, 93, is claiming to be the oldest golfer in Britain to score a hole-in-one after acing the 109-yard ninth hole at Craggan Golf Club in Strathspey late last month.

"We forgot to call in at the clubhouse to buy the traditional round of drinks," Fishwick's playing partner, Archie Ballantyne, 76, told the London Daily Telegraph, "but when we got home we enjoyed a nice cup of tea."

This is heavy stuff

Oakland boasts the NFL's heaviest offensive line -- 322.8 pounds, according to ESPN the Magazine -- while Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay's, at 299.3, ranks 31st.

Just goes to prove once again: Light makes right.

Earning her metal

Just wondering: Did U.S. defender Brandi Chastain celebrate her team's third-place finish in the Women's World Cup by having her sports bra bronzed?

Next up: Al Davis egg nog

With 73 shopping days still to go before Christmas, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle stumbled on one of the more unique Bay Area gift ideas -- a tree ornament called the Raiders Victory Balloon, featuring the team logo and Santa Claus as a passenger.

Wrote Ostler, noting the team's 2-4 record: "I assume the Victory Balloon comes with a patch kit."

Cancel that Code Red

Rumors of a heightened terrorist alert north of the border last week, it turns out, were just a false alarm.

The CFL's Calgary Stampeders had merely released running back Lawrence Phillips.

They said it

  • Doug Robarchek of the Charlotte Observer, describing a recent dream he had: "The Red Sox and Cubs were in the World Series, and nobody won."

    Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, giving Evander Holyfield three good reasons to hang up his boxing gloves: "You've got your health, you've got your money, you've even got most of your ear."

    Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, on Dikembe Mutombo signing with the Knicks: "Just what they need -- another 7-footer from Georgetown who won't lead them to a title."

    Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, on how to prevent his Buccaneers from blowing another late 21-point lead: "We need to call the Dodgers and see if we can get Eric Gagne, the guy with 66 saves. You go 8 1/3, you have to get the last two guys out."

    Head games

    What could Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez possibly have been thinking when, during Saturday's bench-clearing scrum, he got both hands on Yankees coach Don Zimmer's skull?

    Best explanation so far: Pedro just wanted to work both sides of the plate.

    -- Dwight Perry, The Seattle Times

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