John McCain's gain may have been ESPN's loss. . . .
In a YouTube clip from Sarah Palin's brief, late 1980s stint as an Anchorage sportscaster, the Republican vice presidential candidate quips over a shot of Tom Lasorda yawning in the Dodgers dugout, "He's got to learn to relax." . . .
Mostly, Palin comes off as green and distant, such as when a colleague asks about an upcoming game and she says, "Well, they're going to play anyway." . . .
Snorts the anchorman, "Don't go overboard there, Sarah." . . .
A former point guard -- she helped her high school team win a state championship in 1982 -- Palin left broadcasting and eventually turned to politics. . . .
Speaking of broadcasting, how many times do you think NBC will show David Tyree's incredible, ball-pinned-to-helmet Super Bowl catch before tonight's NFL opener between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins? . . .
Most appropriate would be a view from outer space, because Tyree's game-changing reception of an Eli Manning pass was out of this world. . . .
Rolling right along, USC under Pete Carroll has been ranked No. 1 at some point in all but one of the last six seasons. . . .
In 2006, the Trojans got only to No. 2 before losing to UCLA. . . .
From 1981 to 2003, the Trojans were never ranked No. 1 under John Robinson, Ted Tollner, Larry Smith and Paul Hackett. . . .
UCLA's stirring opening-night victory was straight outta Crompton. . . .
Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton was so erratic that, even with UCLA's Kevin Craft throwing four passes for interceptions in the first half, the Bruins stayed close enough to rally when Craft staged his miraculous turnaround. . . .
Rick Neuheisel, oddly enough, was the third UCLA football coach to make his Bruins' coaching debut against Tennessee -- and the first to win. . . .
Dick Vermeil tied in 1974, Bob Toledo lost in 1996. . . .
Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks and former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre of the Seattle Mariners both hit for the cycle Monday, a fresh reminder that Wes Parker in 1970 is still the only Dodger to hit for the cycle since the club moved from Brooklyn in 1958. . . .
Andre Ethier came close Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres, grounding out in the eighth inning after singling in the first, tripling in the third and homering in the sixth. . . .
Five Angels have hit for the cycle, most recently Chone Figgins in 2006. . . .
For Mike Scioscia and this year's runaway Angels, boredom will be their most challenging obstacle in the regular season's final weeks. . . .
You'd think that the Sparks' announcement of the signing of Margo Dydek might have mentioned that the veteran Polish center is 7 feet 2. . . .
She is the only 7-footer in WNBA history. . . .
Former Lakers coach Bill Sharman, 82, is resting comfortably at home in Redondo Beach, expected to recover fully after colon cancer surgery. . . .
Among the items up for bid today at a silent auction in Encino benefiting the Alzheimer's Assn.: a signed Sandy Koufax baseball; a Kobe Bryant jersey; Jerry West's shoes; boxing gloves from Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton; a Pete Rose helmet; a soccer ball from Pele; a Tony Hawk skateboard. . . .
For information: (818) 995-1455. . . .
Reader Joe Jares e-mails to note that the late George Toley, a Los Angeles High graduate whose Trojans teams won 10 NCAA championships, was among the 15 initial inductees to the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, meaning that at least 10 L.A. High alumni are enshrined in various athletic halls of honor. . . .
Notes L.A. High alumnus Dick Bank, "There was also a guy who ran on the C relay team and played varsity tennis: Dustin Hoffman." . . .
Whatever became of him? . . .
Attention, paparazzi: Jennifer Lopez and Anna Kournikova are among the celebrities scheduled to participate in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Sept. 14 at Zuma Beach, a fundraiser for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. . . .
In response to a question from reader Damon Franzia of Sherman Oaks, Deion Sanders won Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers and reached the 1992 World Series with the Atlanta Braves. . . .
Sanders and the Braves lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games. . . .
Since turning 40 on Feb. 22, 2003, Vijay Singh has won 22 PGA Tour titles, among them last weekend's Deutsche Bank Championship, and become only the second player to pass the $60-million mark in career earnings. . . .
You can guess who was the first. . . .
Tiger Woods' earnings top $82 million.