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TOTALLY RANDOM

David Buehler does the heavy lifting

USC kicker has been impressive at the NFL combine.

February 25, 2009|James Wagner

Come on, kickers aren't athletic. (Right?)

Well, if you were in Indianapolis for the NFL combine, you would've seen otherwise. Former USC kicker David Buehler, no physical slouch at 6 feet 2, 227 pounds, raised some eyebrows when he performed better at strength and speed tests than some linebackers and offensive linemen.

Buehler recorded 25 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, according to NFLDraftScout.com. That's more than projected first-round picks Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher, tackles who are both listed at 6-5, 309 pounds.

Buehler even bested his former teammate, linebacker Rey Maualuga, who recorded only 23 reps. And he lifted as much as Wake Forest outside linebacker Aaron Curry, who could be the first pick overall in April's NFL draft.

Even in the 40-yard dash, Buehler's unofficial times of 4.56 and 4.63 seconds were better than Trojans linebackers Brian Cushing (4.74) and Clay Matthews (4.67).

Now how's that for an athletic specialist?

Trivia time

The Accenture Match Play Championship begins today in Marana, Ariz. What golfer has won this event the most since its inauguration in 1999?

A tall tale

Thank David Dellucci for injecting a little humor into the normally mundane injury reports.

When reporters asked the Cleveland Indians outfielder about the stitches on his left thumb, he offered this explanation.

"I was fishing on the side of my lake, and I heard a little boy screaming," Dellucci dejectedly told the Associated Press and others. "I ran over and an alligator had him by the leg. I jumped on the gator, poked him in the eyes, freed the kid, but he [the gator] got me in my thumb. I got stitched and had surgery."

Reporters dutifully took notes. Then Dellucci confessed. "Just kidding," he said.

Instead of an alligator, Dellucci said he slammed his throwing hand on a trailer tailgate at his home in Louisiana.

According to Dellucci, "There are about a dozen guys in this clubhouse who still believe" the fib.

Trivia answer

Tiger Woods has won the event three times, in 2003, 2004 and last year.

And finally

Ben Wade, the former women's soccer coach at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri, was fired less than a week after he premiered on the CBS show, "Survivor."

The former coach told school officials he would be gone for a week in October shooting in Brazil, but his stay lasted eight weeks, longer than officials hoped, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

"I'm going to be the next big thing on the big screen," Wade said.

--

james.wagner@latimes.com

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