Friday, February 20, 2009

Plenty of good seats still available...

Time for an ersatz tribute to the old American Basketball Association...
This gentleman had plenty of room to stretch out whilst enjoying the game.

And here's a whopping throng enjoying a Houston Mavericks game at the old Sam Houston Coliseum. The players and officials actually outnumbered the crowd!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Don't look at me--I didn't name them!

A little tribute to those poor unfortunate athletes of the past whose parents had a sense of humor (or didn't, depending on one's point of view).

I'll start you off with a few oddballs:
  • Blenda Gay:  Former NFL defensive back, mostly with Washington and Philadelphia.  His first name was pronounced "Blen-DAY".  Don't ask me why...
  • Boobie Clark:  Former Cincinnati Bengals running back.  Not sure if he was a "Bubble-headed" Boobie or not.
  • Icky Woods:  Another former Cincinnati Bengals running back, who temporarily created a national sensation with his "Icky Shuffle" touchdown celebration dance a few years ago, and may well have been the inspiration for the Genesis song "I Can't Dance".
  • Parris Duffus:  Well-traveled minor-league hockey goalie, whose last name we tended to rhyme with "Rufus"...
  • Bombo Rivera:  Former Major League journeyman player, mostly with Montreal and Minnesota, but had a brief stint with our Royals in 1982.  No relation to Geraldo...
  • Dit Clapper:  Hall of Fame Boston Bruins' hockey defenseman born Aubrey Victor Clapper.  I have no clue where the "Dit" came from...
Then we have a small concubine faction:
  • Fair Hooker:  Former Cleveland Browns defensive back. Why anyone would name their child after a mediocre prostitute is beyond me!
  • Levern Tart:  Journeyman basketball player who played in the old ABA.  His nickname was "Jelly", naturally.
And let's not forget the female anatomy division:
  • Rusty Kuntz:  Former Major Leaguer/current K.C. Royals first base coach.  Yes, I know his last name is pronounced "COONCE", but somehow, us adolescents just can't resist making it rhyme with "runts'.
  • I.M. Hipp:  Former Nebraska University star running back, who had a brief career in the NFL.  I never have heard what the "I.M." stood for, but he sho was Hipp, wasn't he?
  • Marion Butts:  Former San Diego Chargers running back who often kicked butt.
  • Homer Bush:   Journeyman Major Leaguer.  No relation to Dubya or Jed, but you'd think he might've been with a name like that.
And lastly, the male anatomy division:
  • Dick Trickle:  Former NASCAR driver whom ESPN's Dan Patrick always took great pains to inform his audience where D.T. finished each week.
  • Dick Lines:  Former Major League pitcher, mostly with the Red Sox in the '60s. No comment needed here.
  • Dick Pole:  Former Major League pitcher with a career record of 25-37, with one save in the Major Leagues, but somehow, that qualifies him to now be a pitching coachgo figure!  Meantime, he bears the one name in sports which is GUARANTEED to elicit a chuckle from me each and every time I hear it uttered!
  • Pete LaCock:  Former Major League 1st baseman, mostly with the Cubs and Royals, and son of one Pierre LaCock, Sr., better known to the world as original "Hollywood Squares" host Peter Marshall.
  • Peter Ing:  Professional hockey player, last seen with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Leaves?).  I prefer to pronounce his name all as one"Petering"!