Tribute To “Sideline Chatter”

I doubt that Wikipedia will record an important event for today in its compendium of world events for 9 November, but I want to note it here. Dwight Perry writes Sideline Chatter in the Seattle Times four days a week. It used to be five days a week but the shrinking news hole cut him back. Nonetheless, today’s issue of the Seattle Times contains the 3000th iteration of Sideline Chatter. Folks, that is not an easy task.

If you look on the left side of this webpage, you will find a link to Dwight Perry’s Sideline Chatter columns under “Columnists I Read”. The columns are always entertaining because they are not intended to be serious. I have known for a while that I wanted to write a “tribute” today to the 3000th column here so I have been saving up a few of Professor Perry’s snarky comments and will present them here for your enjoyment.

I would say that Sideline Chatter items fall into three broad categories. The first involves Professor Perry finding good stuff written by others and citing that good stuff in his column. Here are 3 examples:

” ‘I’m sorry, but there are too many records in Major League Baseball,’ wrote Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. ‘The other night a game was halted to announce a player just tied the mark for most stolen bases on a Thursday by a guy named Gary.’ “

“NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, on Saints QB Drew Brees getting $60 million guaranteed of his five-year, $100 million contract: ‘That’s even better than Katie Holmes’ deal.’ “

“David Whitley of, putting Michael Phelps’ record Olympic medal haul in perspective: ‘He has more medals than 158 countries that are competing in London.’ “

The second category involves “putting 2 and 2 together” – and coming up with something more interesting than “4”. Consider:

“The NFL filed court papers alleging that Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams tried to manipulate a drug test, possibly with nonhuman urine.
“So, in addition to his six-game NFL ban, he’s been declared ineligible for next year’s Kentucky Derby.”

“The Vatican is reportedly $19 million in the red. David Stern immediately offered to make it an honorary NBA franchise.”

“NBA jerseys might feature small sponsorship patches in two years, generating an estimated $100 million in additional revenue per season.
“So what’s next, stitching a Nike swoosh onto David Stern’s wingtips?”

“Cancel that APB! The costume of Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster — originally feared to have been stolen — was found after a brief search.
“Turns out Wally was just sneaking a beer and some chicken down in the clubhouse.”

“Rome’s ancient Coliseum is leaning slightly and needs a $30 million makeover, city fathers say.
“David Stern, simply out of habit, threatened to yank the city’s NBA franchise if a new arena isn’t built.”

“A Roman lead scroll from the year 3 A.D. — unearthed in England three years ago — has a curse written on it, researchers now say.
“Talk about prescient: It mentions 25 cubs and a goat.”

The third category is probably the one that Professor Perry enjoys doing more than the other two. It involves plays on words and sometimes a horrible pun that makes you groan and send him an e-mail telling him to go to bed without supper. Such as…

“Greg Reid, Florida State’s star punt returner, has been charged with possession of marijuana.
“In other words, his game pants and his rap sheet are both sporting grass stains.”

“Think headline writers aren’t salivating at the thought of Pitt recruit Chris Blewitt missing a crucial kick?”

“Technical-foul magnet Rasheed Wallace plans to unretire and sign with the Knicks, the New York Post reported.
“Coincidence? After playing for Washington, Portland, Atlanta, Detroit and Boston, at least ‘Sheed finally found a city name without a T in it.”

“And from the ‘Sometimes These Items Just Write Themselves’ file comes word that South Korea sent sailing coach Lee Jae-cheol home from the Olympics for driving three sheets to the wind.”

“Gabby Douglas is already on Kellogg’s Corn Flakes boxes, but why stop there?
“Some other natural marketing tie-ins for U.S. female Olympians:

    • Girl Scouts/swimming: Franklin Mints
    • Planters Nuts/basketball: Swin Cashews
    • A&W Root Beer/soccer: Hope Floats

“A former corrections officer was arrested after throwing two footballs stuffed with drugs and contraband into the prison yard at the Richland (Ohio) Correctional Institution, the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum reported.
“Prosecutors can’t decide whether to charge her with drug trafficking or detentional grounding.”

“The best fast break in college basketball? It’s at Texas Tech, where 15 players have prematurely fled the program in the 1 ½ years since embattled coach Billy Gillispie was hired.
“Including his top recruit, the aptly-named Wannah Bail.”

Congratulations to Dwight Perry for 3000 columns. I cannot resist projecting numbers here but writing 4 columns a week for 50 weeks a year would put the 4000th Sideline Chatter column in the paper sometime late in 2017.

The Pulitzer Prize categories for journalism are very fluid; it seems that new categories appear and old ones disappear on a regular basis. Too bad, there isn’t a Pulitzer Prize for Snarky Sports Writing…

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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