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TOTALLY RANDOM

Stephen Colbert skates into some new territory

The comedian sees marketing potential in his decision to help support the U.S. Olympic speedskating team. Though, he says, he will have to deal with many Canadians.

November 04, 2009|Mike Penner

It's no joke. Stephen Colbert has stepped in to help bail out the U.S. Olympic speedskating team, left in a lurch when the team's biggest annual cash sponsor, DSB Bank NV, declared bankruptcy in October.

The Dutch bank DSB was to pay $300,000 for the sponsorship but failed to make any payments.

So the team will turn closer to home for help, to Colbert, host of Comedy Cental's "The Colbert Report."

"On their enormous billboard thighs, it will say, 'Colbert Nation,' " Colbert told the Associated Press. "Be looking for that logo as it comes around the final turn. It will be easy to see because it will be in first place."

The comedian sees only one potential drawback with the decision to delve into speedskating.

"It still tragically involves a lot of Canadians," he said. "It's kind of unseemly how many Canadians I'm going to have to be dealing with."

Trivia time

How many Olympic gold medals have been won by U.S. short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno?

Batted back

By now, you have probably heard about and/or seen the video of basketball player Manu Ginobili swatting a bat out of the air at a recent San Antonio Spurs game, knocking it to the ground and carrying it off the court.

So has People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which chided Ginobili by posting the following on its website: "Here's our take on it: To bludgeon a 4-ounce animal to death, it takes either a small man or a totally unthinking one with no respect or consideration for lives humbler than his own. This is a time when athletes in particular need to be on their best behavior around any animal and show that they have brains and a heart, not just reactionary brawn.

"Bats always try to avoid contact with humans, and there are plenty of easy ways to keep bats out of a basketball arena [or your home]. We hope that the next time someone's life is on the line, Manu Ginobili will take just a few seconds to think before he acts."

Beyond that, Ginobili reported on his Facebook page that he had to get vaccinated for rabies after handling the bat.

Run of strange thoughts

Among the perks Meb Keflezighi received after winning the New York City Marathon was the chance to appear on David Letterman's show to present a Top 10 list -- "Top 10 Thoughts That Go Through Your Mind When Running the New York City Marathon."

Among them: "Wow, Staten Island is even more beautiful than I imagined."

"Cool! MapQuest found a route that's only five miles."

"Am I experiencing a runner's high or is it the bus fumes?"

"Is that the finish line or crime scene tape?"

"Why can I run 26 miles in less time than it takes to play a World Series game?"

"I really hope that was Gatorade."

Trivia answer

Two.

And finally

From Dan Daly of the Washington Times:

"In Boston, where four Japanese pitchers are already on the roster, the Red Sox are pursuing a Cuban southpaw who has been clocked at 102 mph. The club is also said to be talking to a U.N. interpreter who can catch the knuckleball."

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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