Posted: Tuesday November 7, 2006 10:30AM; Updated: Tuesday November 7, 2006 11:41AM
Who would've guessed that Ronald Miller would grow up to be Dr. McDreamy?
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1. Actor Patrick Dempsey was the celebrity chosen to introduce ESPN's Raiders-Seahawk Monday Night Football game this week. Surely we can understand the choice, since Dempsey is one of the stars of Grey's Anatomy on Disney sister station ABC. Still, we wonder what percentage of the MNF audience said to themselves not "Hey, there's Dr. McDreamy" but rather, "Look! It's Ronald Miller from Can't Buy Me Love!" (By the way, whatever happened to Amanda Peterson, who hasn't appeared onscreen since 1995's Windrunner?) And was anyone's first reaction, "Hey, I wondered whatever happened to the guy from Loverboy"?
2. Elena Dementieva says that the male models being used as ball boys at this week's WTA Championships in Madrid need to start keeping their eyes on the ball rather than on the female players. Indeed, that's what the fans are for.
3. This Saturday's Notre Dame football game won't be shown on a major sports network -- NBC, ABC, CBS or ESPN -- for the first time since 1992. See, my parents warned me about such rampant anti-Irish Catholicism; it's just been lying dormant. We must stay vigilant!
4. Ricky Williams' agent says that the player, fresh off a season in Canada during his NFL exile, will co-author a book on his life. Sadly, Up In Smoke is already taken.
5. Gainer the Gopher update: As we discussed in last Thursday's 10 Spot, the Saskatchewan Roughriders mascot was given the cold shoulder by the host Calgary Stampeders before their CFL playoff game. The Stampeders originally banned Gainer altogether before relenting partially, but Gainer apparently decided to stay home because he wasn't allowed on the field. Well, Gainer had the last laugh, presuming that seven-foot-tall fake gophers can laugh. The Roughriders overcame a 16-point halftime deficit in a 30-21 victory on Sunday and advance to face the B.C. Lions. The Lions have already announced that Gainer will be allowed at their game, though the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix calls him "no more than a rat with better PR." Ouch.
6. In fact, if anything we underestimated the tension between Calgary and Saskatchewan in our item last week. Consider that Alberta Premier Ralph Klein (Calgary is located in the province of Alberta) weighed in by calling Gainer "no better than vermin." Several Canadian 10 Spot readers also informed us that thousands of Saskatchewan natives have relocated to Alberta in general and Calgary in particular in search of better job opportunities, so the Stampeders had a legitimate fear of being overrun by Roughriders fans revved up by a mascot. Indeed, about 40 percent of the "home" crowd at Sunday's game was evidently rooting for the visitors. And in a related note, judging by my email, either the 10 Spot is unaccountably and disproportionately popular north of the border (my hope), or Canadian readers are more statistically likely to write in than Americans.
7. Two Carnegie Mellon University students were arrested early Sunday morning after setting off a security scare by trying to sneak into Pittsburgh's Heinz Field at around 2 a.m., purportedly to film a music video. Well, it's about time the Steelers' defense stopped somebody.
8. People often ask me how I come up with material each day, at least when they're not requesting that I give up the column and start digging ditches. The truth is that I perform hours of sifting through various sports news items, hoping that something will spark a sliver of creativity. Sometimes, though, reality beats me to the punch line. Take Monday, when I came across a small nugget in SportsBusinessDaily, one of my regular reads, that Mike Ditka has partnered with a California-based wine company to produce five red wines. Immediately the gears in my head, such as they are, started turning. Hmmm, a notorious tough guy developing what some might think of as a dainty drink; that's an interesting juxtaposition. Surely I could come up with some clever pretend name for the wine. Alas, when I did a little more digging, I discovered that Iron Mike had beaten me to the joke by naming the first vintage "Mike Ditka Kick Ass Red." Well, I can't top that, and not for the first (or last) time.
9. Shawn Kemp said on Sunday that he still hopes to return to the NBA at age 36. At least Kemp can legitimately say that he needs to feed his families.
10. Tiger Woods has announced that he intends to start building golf courses. Woods' rivals fear that he will design courses that play to his strengths, i.e. any layout that features 18 holes.