Posted: Thursday March 3, 2005 9:33AM; Updated: Thursday March 3, 2005 3:41PM
Powlus flashes the form that won him two Beano Heismans.
Gary Mook/Getty Images
1. The NFL has always run a tight ship, but sometimes the No Fun League goes overboard. That appears to be the case at the NFL Shop, which sells jerseys online and allows fans to personalize them with a name on the back. The league has an automatic filter to prevent obscenities and other crude phrases from being inscripted. The filter, however, can be overzealous, as an LSU professor recently discovered. The professor wanted a Patriots jersey emblazoned with the name of a former student, current Patriots defensive back Randall Gay. As it turns out, "gay" was verboten along with more than 1,000 other words and phrases (the list is available on outsports.com). The NFL did finally reverse its policy to allow Gay jerseys but still forbids putting the name of jailbird Rae Carruth on a jersey. All other current and former NFL felons seem to be fair game.
2. President Bush welcomed the world champion Red Sox to the White House on Wednesday. Critics sniped that the President just wanted a photo op with people that aren't concerned about potential changes to Social Security.
3. Notre Dame has hired former quarterback Ron Powlus as director of personnel development with the task of overseeing football recruiting. The Irish believe potential recruits will be wowed when Powlus shows them the two Heismans he was awarded by Beano Cook.
4. The stir over Jose Canseco's book Juiced has renewed debate over whether the admitted steroid user still deserves to have a street named in his honor near his old high school, Florida's Coral Park High. Jose Canseco Street was originally a small one-way road but suspiciously grew to a six-lane expressway in the late '80s.
5. TNT's studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith will call the Lakers-Heat game on March 17, marking the first time the trio will work a regular-season game. The impediment has been finding a press row large enough to accommodate Sir Charles.
Have a question or opinion for Pete? He might answer/address it in his mailbag.
6. The Sixers held Allen Iverson Night on Wednesday against the Nets. In addition to giving away 5,000 Iverson bobbleheads, Sixers fans were able to get temporary tattoos and cornrows to look like their favorite player. Alas, the event was BYOP -- bring your own posse.
7. More than 300 NFL players became unrestricted free agents Wednesday as the league kicked off the offseason signing period. Put another way, that's more than 42 tons of blubber on the open market.
8. A boycott by Indiana State House Democrats killed 132 bills Tuesday, including one containing funding for a new Colts stadium. That measure had sailed along during the regular session before finally running into a superior defense.
9. China is a burgeoning Olympics sports power, particularly as the 2008 Beijing Games approach. Even so, the role of sports superstar is still a tenuous one in the world's most populous country. Diver Tian Liang, a gold medalist in Athens, was recently tossed from the national team for cashing in too much on his Olympic fame. It seems Liang made paid appearances, signed a deal to act or sing and endorsed a Taiwanese company's instant noodles. But Liang was supposed to seek advance permission from the government and share as much as 50 percent of his earnings, and it seems he did neither. Can you say "defect"?
10. Reader submission, from Sam Silver of New York City: "A new study claims that 56 percent of NFL players face potentially serious health risks because they are clinically obese. The remaining 44 percent are in danger of being sat on by fat guys." Well done, Sam, and thanks as always for all the entries.