Fifth Annual Too True To Be Good

For 12 long months, Steve Rushin rummaged the depths of sports to unearth these nuggets of surreal news from 2005
December 26, 2005

THREE YARDS AND A CLOUD OF MOM

Christopher Noteboom was arrested for sprinting onto the field at a Philadelphia Eagles home game and spreading a "powdery substance" that turned out to be his late mother's ashes.

COULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION?

Asked if Raptors players held a grudge against former teammate Vince Carter, forward Matt Bonner told the Toronto Sun, "Uh, yeah, I mean, it's tough to say, woulda-shoulda-coulda, ifs and buts like candy and nuts, you know, you never know. This, that and the other thing. Who knows? You know, there's a lot of what-ifs."

THUS INFURIATING THE ANAHEIM DODGERS OF LOS ANGELES

The Anaheim Angels changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

BUT I STILL SAY CHARLIE FINLEY OWES ME $10,000

When the Albuquerque Journal informed Bill Richardson that he was never drafted by the Kansas City Athletics in 1966, contrary to his longtime claim, the New Mexico governor said, "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter, I have come to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's."

NO GUTS, NO GLORY

New Zealand adventurer Peter Bethune announced his plan to set the speed record for around-the-world powerboating in a watercraft fueled entirely by the fat deposits of liposuction patients.

CHIVALRY IS OFFICIALLY DEAD

Asked why he hasn't accepted any of the NBA assistant coaching jobs that he's been offered, Scottie Pippen told the Chicago Sun-Times, "They weren't the right fit.... Every time a girl looks at you is no reason to take her out for a date. Some you might just bring to your room."

NOW STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING SCENES FROM THE LITTLEST GROOM

After Vikings receiver Randy Moss pantomimed mooning fans in Green Bay during a wild-card playoff game, Fox announcer Joe Buck said, "That's a disgusting act by Randy Moss, and it's unfortunate we had it on our air live."

SHE GOT LOOSE IN TURN 3

NASCAR announced a joint venture with the publisher Harlequin to produce a series of romance novels centered on stock car racing.

MAGIC JOHNSON

When Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith was stopped at an airport checkpoint, guards found the Original Whizzinator--a prosthetic penis designed to fool drug testers--stowed in his luggage.

"AND I DON'T LIKE JALEN'S GARDEN EITHER"

Asked by the Detroit Free Press what he'd say to President Bush when the Pistons visited the White House, forward Rasheed Wallace replied, "I don't have [expletive] to say to him."

NUMBER 2 IN YOUR PROGRAM

The second half of a Pistons-Orlando Magic game was delayed after a guide dog defecated on the court at halftime.

"IS THAT DOG [EXPLETIVE]?"

The excrement in question was discovered by Rasheed Wallace.

AMANA FEW SCRUPLES

Formula One racing chief Bernie Ecclestone said of Danica Patrick, "Women should be all dressed in white, like all the other domestic appliances."

TIRELESS ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN

Three months earlier Ecclestone reportedly had two tires stolen from his day-old $300,000 Mercedes, which was parked outside his London home.

TWO MINUTES FOR WITHHOLDING

When 84-year-old Archie Bennitz died during the NHL lockout, his death notice in the Ottawa Citizen included this last wish: "He asked that Mr. Bettman and Mr. Goodenow know that they are 'skunks' for denying him the pleasure of watching the NHL on TV this year."

TURNED OUT HE DIED IN 1978

At his viewing, deceased Pittsburgh Steelers fan James Henry Smith was stretched out in a recliner and draped in a Steelers blanket, with a remote control in one hand, a beer and a pack of cigarettes at his side and Steelers highlights playing on a TV.

HE'S NOT RIDING IN MY SQUAD CAR

After receiving complaints for months, police in West Memphis, Ark., finally arrested a 39-year-old man for jogging naked.

ANOTHER JOGGING PARTNER YOU DON'T WANT

Shoe manufacturer Goosebumps Products Inc. sued the supplier of its insole-gel chemicals because, they said, customers complained that every step produced the sound of flatulence.

AND HER SHOES WERE FARTING AT 102 DECIBELS

The London Sun measured Maria Sharapova's grunting during a Wimbledon match at 101.2 decibels.

VLAD THE IMPOUNDER

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft urged Vladimir Putin to try on his 124-diamond Super Bowl ring, which the Russian president promptly pocketed.

BUT CAN I HAVE MY PLANE BACK?

In a subsequent official statement, Kraft asserted that the ring was intended as a gift.

HE'S NOW ON THE LAMB

Police who stopped Oregon State football player Ben Siegert for driving under the influence found in his backseat a ram that was being used in a study of homosexuality in sheep.

A-B-C-D-U-I

After Baltimore Orioles pitcher Eric DuBose was arrested for drunken driving, he allegedly told police who asked him to recite his ABCs, "I'm from Alabama. They have a different alphabet."

JUICED OR SEUSSED?

While promoting his tell-all memoir, Jose Canseco said of steroid revelations in baseball, "The cat's out of the hat."

CANSECO SAYS HE SUPPLIED THE WHITE LIQUID

The Florida Marlins suspended a batboy for six games after he vomited the gallon of milk he drank on a $500 bet. Marveled Brad Penny, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who put him up to it, "You get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk."

CARPE PER DIEM

Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets, who is making $7 million this season, said that if the NBA is going to impose a dress code, it should give players a clothing allowance.

SUI-SIDESPLITTER

As a Halloween prank USC football player LenDale White pretended to commit suicide by throwing a uniformed dummy off a rooftop in front of horrified teammates.

RIP VAN TINKLE

After a Wigan-Leeds rugby match in England, 40-year-old fan Paul Walsh fell asleep in a toilet stall at JJB Stadium and awoke nine hours later, at which time he called police to come rescue him.

BEER, NUTS

After Wales beat England in the Six Nations rugby tournament, a Welsh rugby fan--making good on a bet--cut off his testicles, after which pub patrons placed them in a pint glass for safekeeping.

CHEVY BLAZER

A fire started by the hot coals of a tailgater's grill left in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot before a Chargers-Rams exhibition game engulfed six cars, destroying them.

HE WON'T BEND OVER TO PICK UP A $4 MILLION BILL

Asked if his client, Latrell Sprewell, would accept less than $5 million to play basketball this season, agent Robert Gist told The New York Times, "That's a level beneath which he would not stoop or kneel."

EXCEPT ROBERT GIST--HE'S GOOD PEOPLE

Welcoming Latin American athletes to a sports festival in Havana, Cuban president Fidel Castro denounced the "promoters, agents and all the parasites that live off the efforts of the athlete to get rich."

SOMEONE OWES AGENTS AN APOLOGY, FIDEL

Reviled agent Drew Rosenhaus performed CPR on an unconscious boy pulled from a swimming pool at the Grand Floridian resort near Disney World, saving his life.

THAT ALL CHANGED WITH HARLEQUIN'S FIRST NASCAR NOVEL

According to the London Daily Mail, Victoria (Mrs. David) Beckham told a Spanish magazine, "I haven't read a book in my life."

IT'S ALSO HOW BECKS LANDED POSH

A spring training game had to be called when Colorado Rockies pitcher Darren Oliver was swarmed by bees, evidently attracted to the coconut oil in his hair gel.

THEY BROUGHT THEIR EH GAME

As noted in the Regina Leader-Post, the field at the Canadian men's amateur golf championship included Andrew Parr, Dave Bunker and Ryan Yip.

BUT OTHERWISE, I GOT NO ISSUES WITH HIM

Carolina Panthers tackle Kris Jenkins said of Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp, "I hate him. He talks too much. He doesn't make any sense. He's sloppy. He acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly. He stinks. His mouth stinks. His breath stinks, and basically, his soul stinks too."

I'M NOT REALLY A STATS GUY

Heat veteran point guard Gary Payton seemed surprised when a reporter from the Miami Herald told him that one of his Bentleys was for sale on eBay, so the reporter asked him, "How many Bentleys do you have to have to not know that you're selling one on eBay?" Replied Payton, "I've got about four or five of them."

HUMERUS ANECDOTE

After Temple basketball coach John Chaney sent 250-pound little-used reserve Nehemiah Ingram into a game to commit hard fouls against St. Joseph's, Ingram broke the arm of opposing forward John Bryant.

PAUL'S THE CUTE ONE

During a congressional hearing on steroids, Connecticut Representative Christopher Shays told NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, "I kind of love you guys."

BUT I DO KNOW THAT FIDRYCH LOOKS GREAT

Introduced to the press as the new manager of the Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland said, "I know very little about the ball club. To be honest, I don't even know a lot about the American League."

AT SPEEDS EXCEEDING 3 MPH

A University of South Florida student had her purse snatched by a brazen thief who fled in a stolen golf cart.

THEY ALL SPED OFF AT A 90-DEGREE ANGLE

It was the school's 23rd golf cart theft of the year.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR BROWN?

Before accepting the Knicks job, Pistons coach Larry Brown said, "I'm not going to coach anywhere but Detroit. It's my last pro coaching job."

THE LAST HONEST MAN IN SPORTS

Asked if teams had shown any interest in trading for then New York forward Shandon Anderson, Knicks president Isiah Thomas said, "To answer that question honestly, I'd have to lie to you."

TREADLOCKS

Goodyear paid Detroit Pistons guard Rip Hamilton an undisclosed sum to braid his hair in the tread pattern of the company's Assurance TripleTred tire.

THE ICE WAS GLAZED, AS WERE HIS EYES

A 63-year-old New Jersey man was arrested and charged with drunken driving after erratically operating the Zamboni in a public skating session at a Morristown, N.J., arena.

IF ONLY HE HAD BEEN A GRETZKY FAN

Eric James Torpy, sentenced to 30 years in prison for robbery and shooting with intent to kill, asked an Oklahoma County District judge to increase his jail time to 33 years--in honor of his favorite athlete, Larry Bird. (The judge was happy to accommodate Torpy.)

FOUR ILLUSTRATIONSIllustrations by Darren Gygi
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)