Wade Miller of Santa Fe, N.M., recently called the Summer Olympics ticket office in Atlanta to inquire about volleyball tickets.
Miller, 31, was assured that volleyball tickets were available. Then the ticket agent asked for his address and zip code.
"She put me on hold, then came back and said she couldn't sell tickets to someone who lives outside the United States," Miller said. "She said I needed to call my own national committee."
Miller spent the next 30 minutes trying to convince the ticket seller, and a supervisor, that New Mexico has been a state since 1912--to no avail.
Add tickets: Then Miller went to Plan B. He had moved to Santa Fe two years ago from Phoenix and still maintains a residence there, so he decided to have the tickets mailed to his Phoenix address. That did the trick.
The next day an Olympic official apologized for the mistake.
Residents of New Mexico, please apply for a passport now!
Trivia time: Was USC ever top ranked in basketball at the end of a season?
Headache transfer: Peter May in the Boston Globe on the multiple trade that included Golden State's Tim Hardaway going to Miami for Kevin Willis:
"The Hardaway-Willis deal was your basic Excedrin-Tylenol swap. The Heat had no intention of re-signing the ultra-selfish Willis. Hardaway had succeeded in doing what everyone thought was impossible: further poisoning the already-polluted Warrior waters."
Trimming the roster? Rick Hummel in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Colorado slugger Dante Bichette raised Manager Don Baylor's ire by showing up three hours late for the first workout with hair down to his shoulders.
" 'He'll get a haircut,' Baylor said. 'If I have to give him one, he'll get a haircut.' "
Separate paths: Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal said recently that he and his rival from Miami, Alonzo Mourning, are not good friends and have little in common besides being the first and second picks in the 1992 draft.
Said Shaq, "I work for Reebok, he works for Nike. I work for Pepsi, he works for Coke. I work for AT & T, he works for MCI. I work for Frosted Flakes, he works for Wheaties."
So, let's call the whole thing off.
Lost in America: Former Chicago baseball broadcaster Jack Brickhouse on learning that Ken Burns' next project will be about the Lewis and Clark expedition:
"If he mistreats this as badly as his 'Baseball' film, they'll wind up in Miami."
Trivia answer: Yes. In 1940, before the news service polls existed, USC, with a 20-3 record, was named No. 1 by the Helms Foundation of L.A.
Quotebook: New York Islander Coach Mike Milbury on Ranger hatchet man Ulf Samuelsson: "Jerk that he is, he's always wearing the smirky grin that makes you want to punch him in the face."