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Bring me the head of Giuseppe Polomi

When groundskeepers showed up at the stadium of third-division Viterbese in Italy recently, they found 11 wooden crosses, each bearing the name of a team player, planted in the middle of the soccer field. Police said disgruntled fans of the central Italian club, which had lost its last four games, were presumably to blame.

Great Concepts in Coaching Dept.

The Knicks and Bulls could be great rivals. Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy thinks Phil Jackson is a phony and Michael Jordan is a con man. Jackson and Jordan want to know how a little nobody from nowhere is calling them names.

Now, if only the Knicks could win once in a while.

Van Gundy has tried to heat things up - first by needling on Jackson the author (“I read his book. There’s some very good coaching stuff in there if you can get past all the self-serving stuff.”) and love of Native American lore (“Our biggest concern in the off-season was to find as many Indian artifacts as we could.”)

Then he told a Chicago radio station Jordan was nice to opponents - like Charles Oakley, an old friend from their days as teammates, and Patrick Ewing, whom Mike got into “Space Jam” - to lull them to sleep.

“You watch him, game in and game out,” Van Gundy said, “and he sidles up next to guys and smiles at them, pats them on the butt and then he goes out there and kicks their butts. And they hug him after the game, like that was some great thing that he got 45 on them. He sucks them into thinking that he wants to see them develop. He talks about young players, he invites people to be in his movies and it’s all a con.”

Sputtered Jordan, “That’s a crock of crap. He never played the game, so he doesn’t know.”

Said Van Gundy: “He obviously didn’t know I scored in double figures my last year at Nazareth.”

After such pleasant preliminaries, Jordan lit up the Knicks for 51 points in their most recent game - then told Knicks fan Spike Lee afterward, “The next time your coach opens his mouth, tell him to put some shoes on and come out and play.”

And his law practice he musta quit

Noting that O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro was being mentioned as a potential buyer of the Dodgers, Jay Leno quipped, “If he bought the team, none of the gloves would fit.”

Not quite dead solid perfect

You could fill out a nice missing person’s report from the cover of the official program for the recent Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Pictured were Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer, Kevin Costner and John Elway. All pulled out except the host; Hope, 93, took one shot on opening day.

For whom the Del towels

Lakers coach Del Harris never saw Robert Horry, acquired by the Lakers in a trade with Phoenix, throw a towel at Danny Ainge, Horry’s coach at the time. But the one thing he couldn’t understand was Ainge not being able to get out of the way.

“I didn’t see it, so I don’t have any response visually,” Harris said. “But I’m surprised a guy as agile as Danny didn’t duck. I can understand me taking one. I do reserve the right to throw a towel back at him.”

The last word …

“Marge Schott, recovering from pneumonia, is in stable condition. For the first time in her life.”

- Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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