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OTAs, ATVs And an APB

By Tony Kornheiser
Monday, June 6, 2005

Wouldn't it have been a hoot if the one phone call they let Sean Taylor make from jail was to Joe Gibbs!

"Hello, Coach? It's Sean."

"Sean, great to hear from you. It's been a long time. Where are you?"

"I've been arrested."

"What's that? You're well-rested? I'll bet you are, missing all our OTAs."

"Coach, I'm in jail."

"Sean, hold a minute, son. This telephone connection is terrible. It sounded like you said you were in jail! I've heard about every excuse in the book from players not wanting to report to minicamp. But jail? Hahaha. Sean, stop, you're killing me."

No, Joe, not you .

I know everybody in America is innocent until proven guilty, and blah, blah, blah. But at what point does somebody in a position of authority with the Redskins look at the volatile history of Mr. Taylor's tenure here and ask, "Are we sure we want this guy?" I mean, what will Drew Rosenhaus want in the next contract, a provision for bail money?

As the story goes, Sean Taylor pulled a gun on some people who allegedly stole two all-terrain vehicles from him. Now you might want to ask: What exactly is Mr. Taylor doing with two ATVs? Is he going into the alligator-tracking business? More importantly, though, what exactly is Mr. Taylor doing with a gun? Or does that come with the scholarship at The U?

On the other hand, an ATV has at least three wheels, and sometimes four. If Mr. Taylor's college teammate at The U, Kellen Winslow Jr., had been tooling around on one of Mr. Taylor's ATVs instead of that motorcycle, he might be playing for the Browns this season.

Ah, but I digress. This is a cool week for sports in Washington. Both the PGA Tour and Mike Tyson are coming to town. And in neither case would you want to get in the way of the one that's driving.

The Booz Allen is being played at Congressional, which, coincidentally, was once the site of one of Mr. Tyson's homes. Tyson lived off the sixth fairway, and reportedly housed lions and tigers on his property. I suppose if you hit an errant drive on No. 6, which nestled near Tyson's house, the prudent play was to let it lie there, go back to the tee and hit 3. Of course, you could send your caddie after the ball, providing he had a chair and a whip.

As we learn, sadly, every year, Tyson's tiger would have been the only tiger we'd see at Congressional. Tiger Woods ain't coming. Again. Every year, a month or so out, somebody floats the story how Tiger Woods "might" play. But much closer to the tournament there's a concession that Tiger, in fact, won't play. It always smells like a ruse to sell tickets, because everyone knows Tiger doesn't play the week before a major, and the Booz Allen is the week before the U.S. Open.

But all the other great players are coming. Phil, Ernie, Vijay and Retief will play. As will defending champion Adam Scott, now ranked No. 6 in the world, and the late, great Bear Bryant, who yesterday won the Memorial. Oops, not Bear, Bart; and sorry, he's not entered. Largely because the tournament is at Congressional and not TPC at Avenel -- which a lot of pros consider the Biscayne Kennel Club of the PGA Tour -- it's a world-class field even without Tiger Woods.

The same can't be said about the Tyson fight. Tyson's opponent is Mr. Kevin McBride, who really could be anybody. He could be your next door neighbor. I suppose he's ranked, but by whom? The WBA? The WBC? The WBO? HBO? REM? Hall and Oates? I've never heard of Mr. McBride. Have you?

The excitement in this Tyson fight isn't so much about who will win -- because if McBride wins, Tyson may as well go to work in a deli. How great would that be, to have Mike Tyson ask you, "You want that Swiss cheese sliced or shaved?" These days, the excitement is about: 1) whether Tyson will actually show up and fight; 2) what progress has he made on that face tattoo? Is it still only on one side of his face, or is it circumnavigating his entire head? and 3) will he eat any of Mr. McBride's body parts during the fight?

A guy I know wants to buy a ticket to the fight, real close up, inside the first five rows. Yesterday he told me he's willing to spend $1,000 on such a ticket on the grounds that this is the legendary Mike Tyson fighting in Washington, and that's worth spending for.

"Does it matter that he's fighting Kevin McBride?" I asked.

"Doesn't matter if he's fighting Kevin Bacon."

Whoa! That one I'd pay to see.

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