Hello again, sports fans!
It's been a heck of a week, hasn't it? Last week, when I
scheduled this column, it really looked like the Packers would
win the Superbowl. They didn't of course, so much of the Packers
material that I'd saved for Funnies went down the toilet. Then,
take Bill Clinton. Take him as far as you want, for that matter.
Only time will tell if he is another loser of the week. The Pres
may have gotten himself into trouble with the - ahem - Executive
Branch. But, in the spirit of the "Pack Will Be Back", we'll
continue on with the sports-related stories, anyway.
Thanks this week to: Sylvia Libin He, Ellen Peterson, Hong
Li, Sarah Moresman, Helen Yee, Dale Frederickson, Timothy
McChain, Carol Becwar, Jerry Taff, Kerry Miller, Paul Roser, and
Peter Adler - good sports all. Let the Funnies begin, and...
Have a great week!
GRUMPY OLD MEN 3?
Fisherfolk are famous for exaggerating the truth - it seems
like the two-pound fish that got away seems to grow bigger each
time they describe it. From minnow to Moby Dick may be only a
few re-tellings of the story. But that's not going to be the
case at this weekend's annual ice fishing contest in Hopkins,
Besides the two dozen fish inspectors checking on the 6,000
entrants to the fishing contest, the top three winners will have
to undergo lie-detector tests. It seems the fishing contest's
$125,000 in prizes - which include a new truck and a trip to
Hawaii - have been attracting too many cheats. The contest
organizers wanted to avoid repeating last year's fiasco when the
top two fish were disqualified as frauds.
The contest sponsors, had considered DNA testing the fish,
but rejected it as too expensive. (Reuters)
[ Would that be the scales of justice? ]
THE LIGHT THAT FAILED (AND FAILED, AND FAILED...)
The traditional torch relay from Mount Olympus in Greece to
the site of the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan has been more of a
challenge than usual. For one thing, the "sacred" flame keeps
going out. And not just once or twice, but at least a half dozen
times while the 7,000 runners were relaying the torch through the
To the embarrassment of the Olympic Committee, it has become
front page news in Japan and the major TV networks have called in
various experts to speculate on the reasons for the flame
problems. Since the torches worked fine along the relay route in
Greece, the guesses include high winds, holding the torch
incorrectly and faulty gas supplies in the torch. Each time the
torch went out, it was relit from a backup torch carried along
the route in a vehicle. (Reuters)
TAKING CRIME IN STRIDE
In Lincoln, Nebraska last year, two men ran off with
valuable designer athletic shoes from a store called The
Athlete's Foot. But the crooks had picked the wrong store and
were easily caught. Clerk Dave Olson is captain of the
University of Nebraska men's track team, and store manager Robb
Finegan is an Olympics-class marathoner. They ran down the
shoplifters without even breaking a sweat.
Also last year, near Warsaw, Poland, highway robbers forced
a car off the road and attempted to rob the occupants. The men
in the car turned out to be the coaches of the Russian and
Belarussian biathlon team (biathlon is that sport that combines
skiing and shooting). What the robbers didn't realize was that
the team bus was right behind. Faced with fifty Olympic-class
marksmen holding rifles, the crooks quickly ran off.
SPEAKING OF SPORTS...
For all you sports fans who wonder what it's like to be a star
athlete or coach, here are some words of wisdom...
- "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a
Bill Peterson, Florida State
- "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went
to prison for three years, not Princeton."
Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike
Tyson working again with promoter
- "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still
find my #%@# clothes."
Stu Grimson of the Chicago
Blackhawks, explaining why he keeps
a photo of himself on his locker
- "If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up
- "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went
Shaquille O'Neal on whether he had
visited the Parthenon during his
visit to Greece
- "You guys line up alphabetically by height"
Bill Peterson, Florida State
- "I get tired of hearing my ballplayers [complain] all the
time. They should sit in the press box sometime and watch
San Diego Padres president Buzzie
- "Look at him. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he doesn't
chew (tobacco) and he doesn't stay out late -- and he still
Yankee manager Casey Stengel, on
second baseman Bobby Richardson
- "The ballparks have gotten too crowded. That's why nobody
goes to see the game anymore."
- "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it
Senior basketball player at the
University of Pittsburgh
- "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is
a guy like Norman Einstein."
Football commentator and former
player Joe Theismann
- "I'm amphibious: I can shoot with my right hand OR my left
Charles Shackleford, then student
of North Carolina State University
[ Right... And the opposing team captain is
Kermit the Frog. ]
- "The last time I saw anything like this I was playing for
Tastee Freeze in the Little League."
Houston Astros pitcher Dave Smigh,
after his team fell behind the
Cincinnati Reds by 14 runs -- in
the first inning.
I COULDA BEEN A CONTENDER DEPARTMENT...
Thurman Jerome Hamlin from Kentucky has run unsuccessfully
for numerous offices including governor, Congress and the Senate
in his 73 years. Though he lost every election, he never
complained about injustice or discrimination. That's why it came
as such a shock when he filed a Federal class-action lawsuit last
May after being passed up for a position offered at the State
University. The position? Coach of the men's basketball team.
Hamlin has, as far as we could find out, never even played
basketball, let alone coached a college team.
PIZZA HUT GETS THE SACK...
Last November, the Pizza Hut restaurants in Maryland
sponsored a promotion promising a dollar off any large pizza for
every quarterback sack the Baltimore Ravens made against the
Unfortunately for the restaurant chain, the Ravens made a
record nine sacks, reducing the price of a large pizza to $1.69.
Some of the stores had two or three block long lines as people
rushed out for the pizza deal of the decade. (AP)
When Maria Teresa Egurrola was Miss Colombia, she was
invited to kick out the first ball at a soccer match in Bogota.
As she walked out onto the field in front of 40,000 fans (and 200
police officers), a man gallantly offered to hold her purse.
After the ceremony, she found that the man holding her purse had
disappeared - along with her wallet, jewels and ID. (The
Latest sport in the US? Why it's Bill-bashing. Many of the
jokes that are floating around about 'Fornigate' are re-treads of
old jokes, but there are some funny ones:
- Clinton's least favorite movie: "An Affair to Remember."
- An official Gallup survey polled over 1000 women with the
Would you sleep with Bill Clinton?
1% said, "No"
2% said, "Yes"
97% said, "Never Again"
- Hillary Clinton's new book: "It Takes a Village... To Watch
- In light of the latest allegations against President
Clinton, Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame are in
negotiations with publishers to write a new book about the
scandal, entitled "All the President's Women."
- Q: How does Bill keep Monica away from the White House?
A: He keeps offering to send Ted Kennedy over to
give her a ride.
- Q: Why is Clinton so interested in events in the Middle
A: He thinks the 'Gaza Strip' is a topless bar.
NOT ALL BAD NEWS...
Bill Clinton did have one bright spot last week... Though
the allegations of his affair with a White House aide may have
shocked many here in the U.S., a group called the Macho Movement
in Belo Horizonte, Brazil has named Clinton as it's man of the
year - the first non-Brazilian to win the award.
"Over the past year, no-one has done as much as Bill Clinton
to honor the traditions of machismo," according to Macho Movement
president, Luiz Mario Ladeira. The Brazilian group is known for
its irreverent pre-Carnival parades.
"Any president involved in this kind of scandal in Brazil
would see his approval ratings go up, not down," he said. Oddly
enough, the same thing happened here in the U.S., with Clinton's
approval rating approaching all-time highs. (Reuters)
[ Hmm... If the allegations turn out to be
false, do they take back the award? ]
CULTURAL DIVERSITY REPORT: IRAN
Militant Muslims injured the director of the Chitgar sports
center outside Tehran and destroyed the grounds protesting the
center's policy of allowing women to ride bicycles on the
premises. Though the center is private and isolated from public
view, the militants believe women should not cycle at all because
it is "provocative."
[ And they think Clinton has problems! ]
IT'S A BEAR MARKET IN WISCONSIN!
Late one night, a Packer fan from Green Bay was driving
south to Chicago and a Bear's fan from Chicago was driving north
Somehow, with no other cars on the road, they hit each other
head-on and both cars flew off the road into opposite ditches.
The Packer fan slowly climbed out of his car and surveyed
Looking at the wreck, he said, "Man, I am really lucky to be
Likewise, the Bears fan scrambled out of the wreckage of his
car and looked around. He said, "I can't believe I survived this
Then, the Bears fan limped over to the Packer backer and
said, "Hey, man, I think this is a sign from God that we should
put away our petty differences and live as friends instead of
The Packer fan thought for a moment and said, "You know,
you're absolutely right. We should be friends. Let's see what
else survived this wreck."
So the Packer fan pried open his trunk and found a full
unopened bottle of Jack Daniels. He said to the Bears fan, "I
think this is another sign from God that we should toast to our
newfound understanding and friendship."
The Bear fan agreed, saying "You're damn right!" He opened
the bottle and sucked down a long swallow of Jack Daniels. Then
the Bears fan handed it back to the Packer backer and said, "Your
The Packer fan twisted the cap back on the bottle and said,
"Nah, I think I'll wait for the cops to leave."
© 1998 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.