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Originally published Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:21 PM

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NCAA is the Soviet Union? Where’s the Smirnoff Bowl?

The Seattle Times


The NCAA has John Calipari seeing reds.

College sports’ ruling body had best bone up on 20th-century history, the Kentucky basketball coach says, and it’s all in his new book, “Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out.”

“The situation reminds me a little of the Soviet Union in its last years,” Calipari wrote. “It was still powerful. It could still hurt you. But you could see it crumbling, and it was just a matter of time before it either changed or ceased to exist.”

Coincidence? The NCAA says it’s withholding comment until it finishes seizing the NAIA.

Hot and cold

Updated season averages for the Angels’ Josh Hamilton: He’s batting .462 and sliding .000.


• At “Kentucky fires John Calipari after discovering improper who/whom usage on his résumé.”

• At “NBA viewers ruled out until playoffs.”

Big cheese-in-waiting

Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been banned from playing in next year’s NCAA basketball tournament because of players’ substandard classroom work.

Which means — based on UConn’s Lazarus act this year — the smart money is on the Panthers to win the NCAA title in 2016.

Mustn’t-see TV

The Houston market drew a 0.0 Nielsen rating for Monday’s Astros-Angels game.

Among the competition in that time slot: the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 stock-car race, which drew a 1.7.

This make me look fat?

Won’t be difficult finding Martin Neal among the 37,000 running in Sunday’s London Marathon. He’ll be the one wearing the 22-pound hippo costume for charity.

“People look at me like I’m a little bit strange,” he told The Guardian. “It’s certainly a showstopper, but living in England, no one likes to point out the hippo in the corner.”

Quote marks

• Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press, on actor Billy Dee Williams having to pull out of “Dancing with the Stars” with a balky back: “Too bad for ‘Star Wars’ fans ... How far did you have him going in your bracket?”

• Comedy writer Tim Hunter, with a ready-made suggestion if Lexington wants to name a street after the 2014 Kentucky basketball team: “Second Place.”

• Browns fan John Luteran, to The Plain Dealer, on “Draft Day,” the new Cleveland-based NFL film: “If the movie ends on draft day, that’s OK. That’s usually our Super Bowl, anyway.”

Grab your bloomers

It’s “Undie Sunday” at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors hockey game Sunday, when fans get to throw undergarments on the ice, for charity, after the Condors score their first goal.

Looks like they’ve scheduled a hockey game — until the Tom Jones concert breaks out.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or

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About Sideline Chatter | Dwight Perry

Times night-desk editor Dwight Perry uses Sideline Chatter as a not-so-safe haven for the humorous, offbeat and bizarre events and characters that color the sports landscape. His Page 2 column runs Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in Sports. | 206-464-8250


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