Arrow-right Camera

Cheap Seats

He’s Greek to them

What some men will do for the sake of soccer. A native of Cyprus, Nicky Papavasilou desperately wanted to play in England’s Premier League. Newcastle United was interested and, in order to hasten his transfer under European Community rules, Papavasilou exchanged his Cypriot passport for a Greek one.

But he flopped in Newcastle and soon was traded to OFI in Crete, where the Greek government caught up with him. It seems that as a new Greek citizen, he has the small matter of a military obligation to fulfill.

This is called being all you can be, even though you aren’t.

Radio Free Warrior

Don Nelson formally signed off Tuesday. One day after stepping down as coach and general manager of the Golden State Warriors, he conducted his final radio show on KNBR.

Nelson and studio host Frank Dill chatted and fielded two calls - one from John Madden, another KNBR voice, and the other from Garry in Sacramento.

As in Kings coach Garry St. Jean.

Formerly an assistant on Nelson’s staff, St. Jean praised his old boss and wished him well. Then, knowing St. Jean’s contract expires at the end of the season, Nelson got cute.

“Maybe someday this will be the Garry St. Jean Show,” he said.

Dill: “Hey, that would be nice.”

St. Jean: “Come on guys, let’s not get me in trouble.”

Does he mean trouble with Kings brass or the trouble of coaching Golden State?

Stand up, sit down, strike, strike, strike

Here’s one for Bill Clinton to mediate. The Buffalo Jills - pompon team of the NFL Bills have won a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board to form the first employees union representing a professional cheerleading squad.

“We absolutely view ourselves as a sport or at least a very large industry,” said Nancy Bates, a seven-year veteran of the Jills, who feel they’ve been underpaid and mistreated by Mighty Taco, the fast-food chain that manages them.

The Jills aren’t paid for performing, though they get an extra game ticket to games. They earn up to $25 an hour for promotional appearances, though most said they make only a few hundred dollars a year. In addition, the Jills paid their own way to perform at the Bills’ four Super Bowls.

“We’re not whiny little cheerleaders,” said Erin McCormack. “We’re intelligent women.”

You paid your way to cheer for the Bills in four Super Bowl flops and you work for a company named Mighty Taco. Something tells us Mensa isn’t calling, lady.

The last word …

“I grew up worshiping God. But I liked North Carolina a lot.”

- Oklahoma and former WSU coach Kelvin Sampson, a North Carolina native, when asked if he grew up worshiping the Tar Heels

Tags: column