Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel tells one about a kicker named Gillespie who tried out with the Orlando Renegades of the USFL.
Schmitz: "A few weeks, ago they brought him in and checked him into the team hotel. One night, a Renegade assistant made his regular 11 p.m. bed check. He knocked on Gillespie's door after hearing a commotion.
"When the door slowly opened, the young man squinted and stumbled out, reeking of beer, admonishing the coach for bothering him. The coach was fit to be tied, but he let the incident ride. Players are known to have a beer and let their hair down in camp.
"The next morning the coach found out from the front desk that Gillespie, the kicker, had left a day earlier. His room had been sold to a civilian."
Add Renegades: The Orlando Sentinel ran a picture of Coach Lee Corso drinking a Coke at halftime of the team's exhibition opener. The word Coke could be seen clearly. The next day, Corso learned that one of the team's biggest sponsors is Pepsi.
They call him King Richard, and Richard Petty doesn't shrink from the title.
The all-time NASCAR winner told Patrick Reusse of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "A lot of athletes change when they become successful. They start winning and they put themselves on a pedestal. I never had to change. I always was sort of an s.o.b. I put myself on that pedestal from the first time I climbed in a race car."
Herschel Walker becomes eligible for the NFL draft for the first time this year, but Atlanta Falcon General Manager Tom Braatz doesn't think Walker will be the first or second choice.
"It doesn't look like football is his No. 1 priority anymore," Braatz told the Atlanta Journal. "Our scouts tell us he doesn't run with the same authority anymore.
"On physical ability, he's still a first-round draft choice, but he's running tentatively. Maybe he's changed his style, I don't know. He just looks different."
The collective wit and wisdom of former Minnesota Twin owner Calvin Griffith has been set down by author Dave Anderson in the book "Quotations from Chairman Calvin."
In one of his quotes, Griffith calls Rod Carew a "damn fool," but later says he was misquoted.
He says he meant Tony Oliva.
So-you-want-to-be-a-coach dept.: Peter May of the Hartford Courant details the travails of Cleveland Coach George Karl after the Cavaliers lost to the Dallas Mavericks Feb. 12 at Richfield, Ohio: "Karl's car skidded off the road on the way home from the game. After getting it free, he then ran out of gas and had to walk the four miles home in freezing rain, arriving at 4:30 a.m.
"The next day, the Cavs' flight to Newark was canceled because of snow and the team eventually got a plane to New York after a six-hour wait at the airport. But once their bus arrived, the driver got lost, and it took them two hours to make it to the Meadowlands. Needless to say, the Cavs lost, 112-105, scoring just 18 points in the fourth quarter."
According to George Usher of Newsday, Doug Flutie is facing fewer problems than Joe Namath did when Namath came out of Alabama to rescue the American Football League.
"With Namath, there was a lot of resistance," Usher said. "He wound up standing in front of the entire Jets team once, challenging anybody to fight. The players are more sophisticated now. They don't resent the fact that someone else is making a lot of money. They've taken to this kid right away."
Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Bob Richards, on his one-time role as No. 1 spokesman for Wheaties: "I still eat 'em. A bowl of Wheaties and 10,000 hours of hard work will get you anything you want."