Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom has had it up to here with those Nike TV commercials and recently ripped everything bearing a swoosh. Excerpts:
* "Nike founder Phil Knight, a man who pretty much wants to rule the world, had nothing to do with Jackie Robinson breaking the color line and nothing to do with fighting prejudice in golf."
* "A recent report revealed that Nike's factories in Vietnam are treating women like slaves, paying them $1.60 a day . . . not even enough to buy three meals of rice and vegetables. These women are limited to one bathroom break per shift, two drinks of water and if they talk too much they have their mouths taped."
* " . . . no other company tries to paint itself as an angel, while doing so much of the devil's business."
* "This is the same company that prices shoes up to $180 a pair . . . releases them on a school day, then can't understand why mothers complain that their kids are cutting school to buy them."
Trivia time: Which American golf course has the highest greens fees?
The naked lady: From the Jack Kent Cooke file:
At a King game in the mid-1970s, when the streaking fad was at its peak, a woman clad only in boots suddenly appeared and ran the length of the ice.
Afterward, sportswriters surmised that Cooke, the team owner, had hired the woman, but he professed innocence.
"I know nothing about that," was his only comment.
Bad duds: Notre Dame held a charity roast recently for former football coach Lou Holtz.
Jerome Bettis, a former Irish running back, recalled that he was once visiting Holtz's house and peeked into his closet.
"I used to think he owned only a single pair of gray slacks, a blue blazer and a yellow tie," Bettis said.
"But when I looked in his closet, I saw he had a lot of outfits--but they were all identical."
Dome on wheels: The proposed 42,000-seat downtown home of the Houston Astros will have a retractable dome and a natural grass playing field.
Financing for the $250-million baseball-only stadium, which will be called the Ballpark at Union Station, was narrowly passed Nov. 6 by Harris County voters.
Defining deal: Peter Gammons in the Boston Globe:
"Consider that the six-year, $61-million extension Gary Sheffield signed with the [Florida] Marlins doesn't begin until next season, so between this season's $6.1 million and 2004, the payout will be $79.1 million.
Wayne Huizenga paid $95 million for the team, so at least he has defined "franchise player."
Trivia answer: Pebble Beach, which charges $275 for golfers who aren't guests at the resort.
And finally: Calgary Flame center Todd Hlushko, on what it's like to have a concussion:
"When you go to a bar and have those first two beers, you get a buzz, right? I had that buzz 24 hours a day for two weeks. The light switch in my brain seemed halfway between on and off."