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MORNING BRIEFING

For T.J. Houshmandzadeh, it's not in the game

The NFL receiver is unhappy because he thinks the new Madden video game has him rated too low.

July 24, 2009|Mike Penner

T.J. Houshmandzadeh isn't the first NFL player to complain that his rating on a Madden video game is too low. But Houshmandzadeh has decided to do something about it.

He says he's boycotting the game.

Houshmandzadeh, who ranks sixth among wide receivers in the upcoming Madden 10, told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd that he's bothered by his overall rating of 91 (out of 100) and says his yards-per-catch numbers were dictated by the game plan of his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I understand I averaged 10 yards a catch, but it's the offense, not me," said Houshmandzadeh, now with the Seattle Seahawks. "I'm not playing Madden no more until they get my rating right. . . .

"I used to be the best in the world at Madden. I'm going to miss not playing it, but until they do me right, I'm not playing it anymore."

Trivia time

Who was on deck for the New York Giants when Bobby Thomson hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951?

Always something better

After starting 0-5 under new Manager Jim Riggleman, the Washington Nationals claimed a piece of history Wednesday: They won their second game in a row.

"Two wins in a row -- you can't beat that," said Craig Stammen, winning pitcher in the Nationals' 3-1 victory over the New York Mets.

Stammen, the Nationals and their fans were later shocked to learn that something can beat two wins in a row: hree wins in a row.

Concentrate on this

Tony Romo played all kinds of sports growing up in Wisconsin, and believes the variety is a big reason he eventually became starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.

"People sometimes today are predominantly putting their kids into one sport," said Romo at a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe last weekend.

"Age 10, they're going to do one thing the rest of their life. I have a hard time with that because, shoot, I was like a basketball player as a kid. I would have just concentrated on one sport, soccer or something," he told reporters after shooting a three-under-par 69 on Friday.

"I never would have been able to do what I'm lucky enough to do: play football," he said.

Sage advice, although Dallas Cowboys fans wish Romo would concentrate on one specialized activity: winning football games in the month of January.

Trivia answer

Willie Mays.

(Question and answer provided by reader Charles Freeman of Baldwin Hills.)

And finally

From comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: "A surfboard maker in France is making a bio-friendly surfboard using a resin made out of soy, corn and sugar. Because, with an ocean full of sharks, what you really want to be on is a great big huge snack."

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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