Hi. How are you? Did you miss me?
I missed you.
Did your friendly neighborhood columnist, Michael "Back To You, Danderoo" Wilbon, slurp up to the Redskins enough for you? How about that line from yesterday's paper in nominating the exhibition Redskins for Team of the Century: "The Redskins shut out Drew Bledsoe and Kordell Stewart, arguably the two best young quarterbacks in the NFL."
Kordell Stewart? Oh, please. The same Kordell Stewart who threw 11 touchdowns and eighteen interceptions last season? Those TV lights must have fried Wilbon's brain. Raise your hand if you really believe Kordell Stewart is a better quarterback right now than Steve McNair, Mark Brunell, Jake Plummer or Peyton Manning.
There now, Tony, didn't that feel good? Taking a shot at Wilbon so quickly. Isn't it great to hit the ground running.
Ah, so many comments to make. So little space.
I was so happy to read Dana Stubblefield say that he had "a great offseason." I shouldn't wonder, considering Stubblefield's offseason began just seven games into his on-season. The only guy in town with a longer offseason is Lorenzo Williams.
Did you read where Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow declared herself pleased with the "direction" Maryland's football team is moving in, and she's "looking forward" to signing Ron Vanderlinden to a contract extension! Where did Yow get that compass, Toys `R' Us? In Mark Duffner's final two seasons Maryland was 11-11. In Vanderlinden's first two seasons Maryland is 5-17, and the only Division I-A teams the Terrapins have beaten, Duke and Temple, are among the nation's worst. Everybody wishes Vanderlinden the best, but what is Yow's rush to extend his contract? Shouldn't she turn her attention to filling the 300,000 empty seats in Byrd Stadium?
The Wizards have been very busy, re-signing Mitch Richmond, trading with Orlando for Ike Austin and signing unknown Aaron Williams, who, for all I know, could be the lead singer for the Backstreet Boys. Williams was described as "providing high energy." Given that his career numbers with four different NBA teams are 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds a game, the Wizards may have been better off acquiring a case of PowerBars.
Austin was a very good player two seasons ago for Pat Riley in Miami, but that was apparently before Austin discovered pastries. Austin's weight is said to have "hovered around 290" last season. Hahaha. What is he, a helicopter? Nobody's weight hovers at 290. It sags at 290. I read where Austin said he didn't want to be in Orlando anymore because Orlando was "in a rebuilding stage." The Wizards are perpetually in a "groundbreaking stage." To correct that they signed Richmond to an enormous contract that runs through the year he turns 38. But hey, if it doesn't work out the Wizards can buy him out after two seasons for $10 million! Memo to Washington Post management: Oh, baby, give me some of that.
Ted Leonsis, come back, all is forgiven. I mean, where is this guy? He buys the Caps, then immediately disappears. Who does he think he is, D.B. Cooper? Teddy, sweetheart, do something splashy, like hiring Wilbon to do color.
Go see "Bowfinger," it's laugh-out-loud funny. No, I'm not a movie critic. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Congratulations to Peter Angelos for his bold Roto League moves, replacing Rafael Palmeiro and Robby Alomar with Will Clark and Delino DeShields. Palmeiro is batting .337 with 40 home runs and 127 RBI for playoff-bound Texas, and Alomar is batting .328 with 96 RBI and leading the American League in runs scored (113) for playoff-bound Cleveland. In 77 games, Clark gave Baltimore 29 RBI -- only 10 fewer than Palmeiro this month! DeShields has scored 46 runs. Free agent gold mine and Mr. Personality Albert Belle continues, of course, to make the red-hot Orioles a contender.
Surprisingly, Barry Sanders remains retired. Not surprisingly, the Lions want back some of the bonus money they paid Sanders. Detroit is seeking to recover $7.3 million of $11 million. Sanders's agent is contesting the Lions' claim, apparently invoking the "money for nothing and your chicks for free" clause. "It's a gray area," Sanders's agent said shamelessly. "If Barry has to pay it back, then he wants to." He wants to? What's stopping him? Has someone tied him to the railroad tracks?
By the way if Sanders does have to give back the money, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, David Duval and Mark O'Meara would like to designate to which charity it goes. Then again, if it's all the same to you, they'd actually prefer to put the money in their pockets.
Don't tell me Otis Thorpe is gone already.
Did it ever occur to the myopic columnists who are knocking baseball as being nothing more than a boring home run derby that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa might be the most extraordinary power hitters to come along in the last 40 years -- and that it's our great fortune to see them together, slugging it out like Frazier and Ali? How can anyone who celebrates the historic importance of Michael Jordan fail to appreciate that?
Consider yourself lucky you don't work for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Two weeks ago the Tampa Bay brain trust -- and I use that term loosely -- decided not to tell quarterback Eric Zeier that his parents and sister were involved in the crash of a private airplane Zeier's father was piloting until after the Bucs completed a preseason game against Cleveland, in which Zeier was 11 of 16 passing. Apparently the thinking was that since Zeier's family members, luckily, only had "minor injuries" that Zeier didn't need to know until after he played. Whoever made that decision needs to be reminded of the difference between life and football.
Usually when I'm away somebody around here gets fired. I thought it might be Nancy Darsch, coach of the Mystics, who were on a Lamar Alexander pace when I left. But the Mystics got hot late, and Darsch is still working.
I will take vacation again next year, though.