Photo by SANDI FAHY
On Friday, March 3, our Phillies hosted the Cleveland Indians on a perfect afternoon before a capacity crowd. Philadelphia's All-Star second baseman Chase Utley is ready to pounce on a fat pitch.
-- Let college basketball's March Madness "big dance" begin ... Due to pressure from the NCAA, Chief Illiniwek performed his last dance a couple of weeks ago as the mascot of the University of Illinois. Chief Illiniwek is hoping to return for a spot on Dancing with the Stars.
-- 2007 marked the first NFL championship won by an African-American coach (Tony Dungy). Thirty-six years ago, Bill Russell led the Celtics to an NBA title not only as a player-coach but without an assistant (a la Red Auerbach's 11 trophies in 13 years). Most colleges today have at least six assistants ... Last month, NBA badboy Ron Artest's starving Great Dane was seized by animal control officers. Apparently the dog refused to eat until Artest quit playing his CD (to date he's sold 314) ... Plans call for an NBA team in Moscow soon. Sounds grim but you just know the players will get priority treatment in bread lines ... Oh, the modern athlete--Lakers' Kobe Bryant now owns a helicopter. "It'll take me to games in eight minutes," he says.
-- According to Ralph Hodge, the armadillo always gives birth to identical quadruplets.
-- Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who also owns Little Caesar's Pizza, has given four franchises, free and clear, to four veterans of the Iraq War, including one who lost his legs in a bomb explosion last year ... Detroit manager Jim Leyland knew at a young age he wasn't college material: "In 6th grade, I thought Joan of Arc was married to Noah!" ... Everyone's talking about Red Sox Japanese phenom pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka's gyroball. Batters reportedly can't see the ball as it flies to the plate wrapped in Greek pita bread ... Cubs pitcher Kerry Woods was injured again, this time in a hot tub fall. This is a recording ... Did you know Babe Ruth was named captain of the Yankees in 1922 but lost the position six days later after he threw dirt in an umpire's face? ... Dodger prospect Matt White could be baseball's first billionaire player. Seems he bought a 50-acre rock quarry in Massachusetts. Geologists estimate 24 million tons of stone on the land worth over $2 billion. Material is used for sidewalks and patios.
-- For USC coach Pete Carroll to consider the NFL, he'd probably want a sweeter deal than Reggie Bush had with the Trojans ... National signing day: the only time all year you can find high school football players in the library (holding their press conferences).
-- Prices courtesy of ticket broker Ascend Tickets, Inc: parking at the Super Bowl $260, hotel room and one ticket between the 20 yard lines $8,949 and between the 30s--$10,182. Ouch!
-- The only thing closer than the recent Daytona 500 finish was Britney Spears' haircut. Runnerup driver Mark Martin has denied eating french fries on the final lap.
-- And finally, Anna Smith tells us about the little girl who became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on. She leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?"
(Some of the information in this column was obtained from other news organizations)
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