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Tournament provides bankable laughs

March 29, 2009|Mike Penner

The combination of a faltering economy and a pulsating NCAA basketball tournament has created loads of fodder for late-night comedians.

David Letterman last week commented on how quickly the tournament whittles itself down -- from 64 to one in a little more than two weeks. "It's like GM stock, when you think about it," he said.

From Jay Leno: "As you may know, President Obama has made his prediction for the Final Four. . . . The only ones left standing after next week will be Citigroup, Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley."

Jimmy Kimmel steered clear of the economy, unless you consider how the price of marijuana is affecting college students. Quipped Kimmel: "I love the NCAA tournament. It's a pleasure to see these young college kids passing something other than a joint, isn't it?"

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Trivia time

In 1985, the Big East Conference sent three teams to the Final Four. Name them.

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Dumb caller

Thursday night in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, police arrested a man for making phone calls to Nationwide Arena threatening a goaltender during the Blue Jackets' game against the Calgary Flames.

How did the police find their man, one Peter Stenzel of Dublin, Ohio?

Easily. Caller ID took them to the man's house, where police found him wearing a Flames shirt.

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Dumb contracts

Every professional team has at least one -- a player's contract it regrets. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors did some research and recently presented his 45 worst contracts in baseball.

Local teams had three on the list. Gary Matthews Jr. represented the Angels with his five-year, $50-million contract. Wrote Dierkes: "The Halos were enticed by Matthews' career year, but at least they've acknowledged their mistake by reducing his role." Jason Schmidt (three years, $47 million) and Juan Pierre (five years, $44 million) made the list for the Dodgers. They would have had three, but Andruw Jones (two years, $36.2 million) is now the Texas Rangers' problem.

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Trivia answer

Villanova, Georgetown and St. John's. Villanova defeated Georgetown, 66-64, for the championship.

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And finally

David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, after golfer Henrik Stenson stripped down to his underwear to play a shot out of the mud: "We may have to start calling it the PG-13 Tour."

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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