July 10, 2007

Rumor & Innuendo

“The Mustard Belt is back in a America.” In a call rivaled only by Al Michaels in 1980 — “Do you believe in miracles? Yes.” — Paul Page thus capped one of the great contests in sports history. Joey Chestnut bested Kobayashi in the Nathan’s Famous July 4 International Hot Dog Eating Contest — “The Greatest 12 Minutes In Sports,” as coined by Page — by a count of 66-63. Kudos to event officials for not giving Kobayashi the automatic DQ when “suffering a reversal” in the last minute. And that is one of sport’s most sublime euphemisms.The dog house. My sources advise that unless Atlanta wins the Super Bowl next season, it will be Michael Vick’s last as a Falcon. Get ready for another shot at prime time, Chris Redman.Great breakfast. I am not a tennis maven, but it sure seemed to me that Roger Federer’s gutty five-set win over arch-nemesis Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon was one of tennis’s best ever.This Bud’s for you. Much ado was made about the forced retirement of tennis commentator Bud Collins. It is long past due. This guy was Dick Vitale when Vitale was still somewhat tolerable. These are two guys with an incredible knowledge of their sport, and yet neither ever learned to tone it down to even a dull roar, or that less can be much more. If only ESPN had the guts to do what NBC did.SchnellSpeak of the Week. You think we are hoops-obsessed around here, think we carry a grudge? Check out the pigskin addiction in OOOOklahoma. In a story Sunday in The Oklahoman, retired Sooner SID Mike Treps still cannot get over The Schnell’s one-year stint in Norman — a dozen years ago:“Howard Schnellenberger was really a misfit. He came in here with an ego far beyond what most people have as far as what he was going to do with the university. It just never worked out, and he just didn’t get a feel for what OU tradition was, never did. And as a result, when they started losing, people just didn’t want to have any part of him. It was just a bad fit.” Not that Terry Howard’s name still doesn’t make a few Cardinal fans wince.BY SEEDY Kseedyk@culturemaven.com