Tales from the Dark Side

May 21, 2006

Your mother alwayssaid, "Nothing good happens after midnight," but in sports the breadthof human experience happens while you sleep: births, deaths, punch-outs,break-ins, triumphs and tragedies. Pack the past few weeks into a night, andyou'll see: As with icebergs or Indy-car drivers, most of sports is hidden fromview.

Midnight At aKentucky Derby party in Louisville, Archie Manning gets up on stage to standwith his sons Eli and Peyton while they sing You Never Even Called Me by MyName, which works every country music theme into a single song:

I was drunk theday my mom got out of prison

And I went to pickher up in the rain

But before I couldget to the station in my pickup truck

She got runnedover by a damned old train.

12:06 a.m. AfterCam Keith scores to give the Alaska Aces a triple-overtime win to advance tothe semifinals of the East Coast Hockey League championship, he skates andslides the length of the ice in celebration.

1:50 a.m. Chargerslinebacker Steve Foley is arrested following a traffic violation in San Diegoon charges of resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and being drunk inpublic. (In a final indignity, his Range Rover is impounded for having expiredArkansas tags.)

2:00 a.m. To hisgreat surprise a University of Delaware football player wakes to find a formerUniversity of Delaware football player burglarizing his apartment.

2:15 a.m. Whiledriving his BMW on I-76 after a visit to a Denver club, Nuggets rookie JuliusHodge is shot four times by someone in a passing vehicle.

2:35 a.m. Japaneseburglar Konoshin Kawabata sneaks through an unlocked door in Osaka but isquickly subdued by, he says, "more than a dozen" sumo wrestlers whosetraining compound he has unwittingly entered.

2:45 a.m.Shortstop Brandon Fahey wakes up early so as not to miss his 6 a.m. flight fromOttawa to Baltimore, where 7 1/2 hours later he will single sharply to left forthe Orioles in his first major league at bat.

2:45 a.m. Unableto find his car after a protracted search at Fenway Park following a postgameflight from New York, Red Sox manager Terry Francona finally remembers that hedidn't drive to the ballpark three days earlier. He hails a cab in therain.

2:55 a.m. A fightinvolving dozens of people outside the University of Louisiana at Monroebaseball stadium results in the suspension of five members of the team.

3:00 a.m.Returning from a road playoff game, Cavs center Zydrunas Ilguaskas stops forgas on his way home from the Cleveland airport. The convenience store cashierruns out to the pump and frantically asks him to autograph the bulldog editionof that morning's newspaper. Says Ziggy, "Stuff like that makes you feelgood."

3:00 a.m. CalebKimmel is awakened by a phone call at his home in Fort Wayne, Ind., from highschool buddy Rob Bowen, who has just hit a walk-off home run for the San DiegoPadres and cannot wait to talk about it.

3:17 a.m. FormerPadre Derek Bell, now retired, is arrested after a traffic stop in Tampa andcharged with felony cocaine possession.

3:30 a.m. As itdoes every morning during the NBA playoffs, Pat Riley's body clock wakes him,at which time the Miami Heat coach says to himself, Let's go, man!

3:30 a.m. USCbasketball guard Ryan Francis is shot and killed while sitting in a car at astoplight in Baton Rouge, where he has gone to visit his mother.

3:37 a.m.University of Tennessee linebacker Marvin Mitchell is arrested after allegedlythreatening to "knock out" another customer at the Rocky Top Market inKnoxville.

4:45 a.m. Headcoach Herm Edwards reports to work for the Kansas City Chiefs, who have had toreprogram their workout facility's security system to accommodate his nocturnalarrivals.

4:57 a.m. Shaunie(Mrs. Shaquille) O'Neal gives birth to a girl six minutes before Vanessa (Mrs.Kobe) Bryant does. The infants are immediately whistled for doubledribbling.

5:00 a.m. PGAgolfers take their first swings on the floodlit driving range at the WachoviaChampionship in Charlotte.

5:05 a.m. After across-country flight from Tampa, Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon goes to bed inSan Francisco as the rest of America is waking up.

6:00 a.m. Fivedelirious members of the West Division champion Alaska Aces (see 12:06 a.m.)arrive at KWHL radio for their scheduled guest spot on The Bob & MarkMorning Show. None have slept.

For them, as forso many others, it has been a long night's journey into day.

• If you have acomment for Steve Rushin, send it to rushin@siletters.com.

2:00 a.m.: To his great surprise a University ofDelaware football player wakes to find a former University of Delaware footballplayer burglarizing his apartment.

PHOTOSIMON BRUTY

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)