"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 10-2-10


*Mandi Schwartz Update: The Yale women's hockey center received her long-awaited stem cell transplant last week in order to beat cancer; with her immune system having been wiped out due to chemotherapy and radiation, the hope is that the transplanted stem cells begin to grow in her bone marrow and manufacture new blood/immune cells. Prior to the transplant, Mandi had these heartfelt words for her fellow hockey teammates: "I'm praying every day for everything to work out, and I know you all are thinking about me and praying for me; thank you very much--your support means the world to me. I think about the team, your workouts, the busy school day, and the beautiful feeling of stepping out onto that ice every day." Trust me, Mandi--many people you've never even met are thinking of YOU, too. Best wishes, Mandi..........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1990 Chicago White Sox--who finished 2nd in the AL West under manager Jeff Torborg--had three players who stole more than 30 bases apiece. Can you name this trio? Answer to follow..........There have been many questionable decisions over the years regarding baseball's postseason awards, but how 'bout this one for pure insanity: In 2000, Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies led the NL in hits, doubles, RBI's, batting average, on-base%, slugging %, and total bases--and finished FIFTH in the MVP voting. Just unfathomable..........ITEM: N.Y. Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards is arrested for DUI--reportedly registering a blood-alcohol level of .16. When I first saw that number, I immediately asked myself if it also was his approximate grade-point average while he was attending Michigan..........This week in sports history, October 5, 1985: Grambling's Eddie Robinson becomes the winningest coach in college football history as his Tigers defeat Prairie View A&M 27-7 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The victory was the 324th in Eddie's remarkable career--breaking the record of 323 formerly held by Alabama coaching legend Paul "Bear" Bryant (who retired in 1982). Over 36,000 fans and 500 media members were on hand to witness Robinson's record-setting win--which came in his 45th year as a coach..........Lazzari's "Lopsided Score of the Week": In a college football game last week, Wisconsin annihilated Austin Peay 70-3; the Badgers scored TD's on all SEVEN of their first half possessions. My first thought? Since Wisconsin is a leading state in milk and cheese production, I'm wondering if the current Austin Peay players will become nauseous after consuming ANY type of dairy product over the remainder of their lifetimes.........If any retailers up there in the Boston area are interesting in peddling more antacids, just continually remind Red Sox fans of THIS: The team will pay under-achieving starters Josh Beckett and John Lackey approximately $33 million in 2011. {{belch}}...........Answer to trivia question: LANCE JOHNSON (36), IVAN CALDERON (32), and SAMMY SOSA (32)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NFL cornerback Albert Lewis--who blows out 50 candles on October 6th. A native of Louisiana who attended Grambling, Lewis played a remarkable 16 seasons in the league between 1983 and 1998; he spent eleven seasons with the Chiefs and five with the Raiders. Albert intercepted 42 passes in his career and appeared in four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1987-1990. Lewis was named Chiefs MVP for the 1986 season when he recorded 69 tackles and four interceptions. He was elected to the Chiefs 25-Year All-Time Team in 1987 and was also inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in March of 2007. Best wishes, Albert..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of former Utah high school basketball/football coach Ray Odette--who passed away recently due to a stroke at the age of 72. Odette may not have been a national, household name, but he developed an immense reputation throughout Utah as a selfless coach who flat-out LOVED kids; he was a second father to many young men who were fortunate to cross paths with him. Just how respected was Ray Odette? After going 0-8 at Dixie High back in 2000, many parents begged him to stay on as coach due to the immense, positive influence he had on their children. He spent the majority of his coaching life at Dixie, but also coached for three years at Snow College. Odette truly led by example; unlike many current coaches, he wasn't classified as the in-your-face/"rah-rah"-type. He even preferred to sit on the visitor's side of the field while viewing games in retirement in order to remain anonymous. Yes--he truly disdained the limelight; refreshing, huh? Odette leaves his wife of 51 years, Rose, three sons, and a daughter. Rest in peace, "Coach"--you'll truly be missed.

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