November 28, 1996 in Sports

Cheap Seats

 

Who ya gonna call?

Ghostbusters! Sounds like a plan for the Tampa Bay Lightning, winners of only two NHL games at its new arena. Lightning players are convinced there are supernatural reasons for their failures.

It seems when the site was excavated two years ago, a man’s remains were found. They were believed to be from the 1820s and may have been a soldier from nearby Fort Brooke.

“This land, prison here before Civil War. Find dead body,” Lightning winger Alexander Selivanov told the St. Petersburg Times. “Very bad. No luck.”

A local radio station even sent over a character known as “the Whammy Doctor” to exorcise the bad vibes, but the Lightning is still only 2-4-2 at home.

At least they’ve got a title for their 1997 highlight video: Dead Men Checking.

Uncle Phil’s bookmobile

The Bulls are on a West Coast road swing, and coach Phil Jackson annually marks the occasion by passing out books to his players - and who gets what becomes a bigger story than who scored how many.

“That’s a personal thing; it should remain private,” Bill Wennington deadpanned, but then he smiled and held up “A Walk Among the Tombstones.”

“Drug related. Gangsters. New York City,” said Wennington, a St. John’s grad.

For veteran center Robert Parish, the choice was “The Wedding,” set in the 1800s, shortly before Parish was born. “House Made of Dawn,” which takes place in the Southwest, was Jackson’s choice for Arizona grad Steve Kerr.

Toni Kukoc and Scottie Pippen didn’t remember the names of their books. Michael Jordan, alas, did.

“He gave me a duplicate,” Jordan yelped in mock anger, revealing the book as “Shoeless Joe Jackson,” recounting the life of the outfielder implicated in the Black Sox scandal.

“He gave it to me the year after I had that gambling thing,” Jordan said. “But I took it in jest.”

Notice that “Bad As I Wanna Be” isn’t on anyone’s reading list?

The bunker mentality

Golf is war, according to Capt. Bruce Warren Ollstein. The former military intelligence officer and West Point graduate has written “Combat Golf,” which is described as a manual adapting the tactical approach of war to the normally sedate game.

Among other things, the book tells how to use combat reconnaissance techniques to reduce error on the course.

Ollstein is described as an expert on rules. He can, for example, recite an obscure ruling on what to do if your golf ball is embedded in a rotten orange.

Stat sheet

For all you college basketball fans - and coaches - who think your teams didn’t look good in their openers, it could have been worse. You could be Northern Michigan.

In a 46-21 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay, the Wildcats did not sink a field goal until 18:57 remained in the game - and made only 7 of 50 attempts.

They didn’t even score until 8:11 remained in the first half - but were hardly out of it at intermission. Green Bay led 14-3, making only 7 of 22 shots.

The last word . . .

“Shaquille O’Neal was happy to get Magic Johnson’s old parking spot at the Forum, until he found out it was the free-throw line.”

- Chicago Tribune columnist Bernie Lincicome

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo


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