The Schnatter matter, TO chatter and can Harper be a better batter?
By Mike Ashley
HOLD THE ANCHOVIES & RACISM: After Papa John’s pizza poohbah John Schnatter’s recent racist rant, several pro sports leagues dropped affiliation with him in 30 minutes or less.
TIMEOUT FOR TO: Terrell Owens, who has famously announced he will skip the Gold Jacket ceremony that is the centerpiece of the NFL Hall of Fame induction, has now said he will celebrate at a Century 21 office near his home.
QUICK PITCH: So I think Bryce Harper can break out of his prolonged hitting slump if the Nats can somehow get other teams to pitch to him really quickly. And maybe if they just let him wear a headband instead of a batting helmet.
GLOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP: The Baltimore Orioles suck so badly – 39 ½ games out in the AL East – they recently hired the Human Vacuum Cleaner, Brooks Robinson as a special advisor.
BACK DIOR PLAY: For the sake of all mankind I hope those suits with shorts LeBron and some other NBA guys wore aren’t the next big thing. There’s where Michael Jordan has it all over today’s stars – he made the pants longer back in his day.
TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: The last time the National League won the MLB All-Star Game, who was the MVP? It helps, by the way, if you know when that was.
HAD IT IN THE BAGUETTE: Vive la France in the World Cup. It was a fait accompli because of how they played with such esprit de corps and became a cause celebre. There! Unlike algebra, I just made that French I took in high school pay off.
NICE PARTING GIFT: So how about when free agents sign big contracts with other teams, they have to use part of their money to buy back their jerseys from the fans they just abandoned?
HIGH ROLLERS: Seat licenses – for the RIGHT to BUY season tickets -- in Las Vegas’ new $1.8 billion stadium will cost up to $75,000 per. Maybe you get a complimentary buffet or something? Low-end seat licenses are only $20,000. What happens in Vegas stays there because who can afford to see it live?
SUBSTANTIVE ADDITION: Dallas defensive end Randy Gregory is coming back from a year-long NFL suspension for substance abuse. The Cowboys are high on his chances to help their defense.
JOHNNY BENCHWARMER: So Hamilton Tiger-Cat Johnny Manziel can’t unseat former Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli for a CFL job. Masoli has thrown for over 300 yards in nine straight games. Johnny Football has stayed out of trouble – the first step in his comeback.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Then-San Francisco Giant Melky Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and two runs. He did it in the NL’s 8-0 win in 2012 in Kansas City where the well-traveled OF had played the year before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Athlon, Lindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.