Posted: Thursday January 25, 2007 10:00AM; Updated: Thursday January 25, 2007 12:02PM
What will be the Vegas odds on a race between Charles Barkley and Dick Bavetta?
Have a question or opinion for Pete? He might answer/address it in his mailbag.
1. Run, Charles, run: He may or may not try to become governor of Alabama, but Charles Barkley is being drafted for a different kind of run. USA Today is reporting that TNT has proposed that Barkley race 67-year-old referee Dick ("Knick") Bavetta on Feb. 17, the day before the NBA All-Star Game. Barkley has been riding Bavetta on-air for being too old and presumably too slow to get up and down the floor as a ref, challenging him to a match race. Sir Charles has even joked that Bavetta's tombstone will read, "He keeled over while racing the Chuckster." No word yet if Bavetta will accept, but this sounds more interesting than whatever that All-Star weekend "skills" competition is supposed to be.
2. Tiger Woods says he may miss this July's British Open for the birth of his first child. But Tiger's pretty sure he can have the kid ready to compete by August's PGA Championship.
3. Bengals veterans are upset that all the arrests -- nine players in nine months -- are tarnishing the team's good name. The Bengals want to be known for their on-field accomplishments, like not winning a playoff game in 16 years.
4. Miami police allegedly erased the airport security video of Falcons QB Michael Vick ditching his water bottle after the tape was requested by an Atlanta newspaper. Apparently the video would prove embarrassing to Vick -- he just dumped it off to the first receptacle he saw rather than going through his reads.
5. Do you have two Super Bowl tickets to spare, plus a hankering for all the steak sandwiches you can eat? Then you should contact the owners of Baby's Steak and Lemonade in suburban Chicago. Proprietors Albert Hasan and Amjed Sughayer are big Bears fans who are hoping to land two lower-deck seats to the big game. In exchange, they are offering free food for life. Medical experts, however, might warn that said life could be significantly shortened by eating at Baby's every day. Consider that the house specialty is a "crispy cheese steak," which is a cheese steak wrapped in a tortilla and then deep-fried. Hmm, that actually sounds pretty good.
6. Two-time NASCAR Busch Series champ Martin Truex Jr. was arrested last week for urinating in a parking garage. Truex's excuse, of course, is that he feared uromysitisis poisoning if he held it in.
7. When you've gotta go: The Truex story is another one that is strange on many levels, beyond the obvious Seinfeld connection to The Parking Garage episode. (And thanks to 10 Spot reader Dale of Elizabethton, Tenn., for being the first to alert me to the sordid tale.) According to the police report, an officer saw Truex "urinating on his car" in a parking garage early last Friday near Daytona Beach. Now, isn't that bad for the car's finish? Or was Truex actually handling his business on the tire, or simply near (under?) his car? The officer then writes that he smelled alcohol on Truex's breath and repeatedly asked Truex to place his hands behind his back so he could handcuff him. Not to be indelicate, and as the son of a retired NYPD sergeant there are few who support the police as I do, but did the officer at least allow Truex to finish what he started before presenting his hands? Because weren't they occupied? For his part, Truex -- who concedes that he had had a "few drinks" -- says that the officer didn't immediately identify himself as law enforcement. Did Truex think he was just a very curious bystander?
But our favorite nugget is that according to the police report, the officer approached Truex and said, "I hope that's worth 100 bucks," which is presumably the fine for said offense. Truex allegedly responded, "It is worth 100 bucks," and held out a $100 bill. Hey, if you really want to get on a police officer's good side, just wave money at them. They love it!
8. The NFL and the players union have agreed to more extensive steroids testing. Good for them. Alas, no players could be reached for comment because they were too busy injecting HGH.
9. President Bush honored Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo in Tuesday's State of the Union for his charitable efforts in Africa. Mutombo said his inspiration came from watching fellow Georgetown center Patrick Ewing charitably allow other teams to win championships for two decades.
10. The 18-year-old Mets fan accused of posing as a reporter to meet players in the locker room has been banned from Shea Stadium for three years. As a sportswriter, this story really burns me up. How would this punk like it if I put a baseball cap on and tried to pass myself off as a teen-ager? Oh, wait ....