It’s well known that Michael Jordan loves to win and he loves to have the odds in his favour. It seems that he and Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen would bet $100 on animated bull races on the big screen during games at Chicago Stadium. Jordan showed up early for one game and happened to see video technicians getting prepared. Here’s ESPN’s Amin Elhassan: “Mike is watching this and says, ‘You guys already know who’s going to win?’ And the guy says, ‘Yeah, it’s all prerecorded.’ ” . . . Now you know how Jordan never lost a bet. . . . “Will Power won last week’s IndyCar race,” reports Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “Who was second? Dee Termination?” . . .
“Last month, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake released a list of wasteful and distasteful government expenditures,” reports Brad Rock of the Deseret News. “Among the revelations was a $1-million grant, part or all of which went to learning what music monkeys like. Another $1 million helped study why yawning is contagious. If you want to know whether cheerleaders are more attractive as a group, $1.1 million should help the cause. And a $3.9-million grant funded research on what makes goldfish feel sexy. All of which pale in comparison to the Houston Rockets spending $87 million to find out whether Dwight Howard can play.” . . . Post-concussion syndrome has claimed the career of another athlete. Wide receiver Corey Robinson of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has retired, citing multiple concussions. Robinson, 21, is a senior and also is student body president. The son of former NBA star David Robinson, he is to stay with the team as a student assistant coach. . . .
“Head coach Rex Ryan says that the Buffalo Bills ‘won the offseason’,” reports Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “Can’t wait to see their NFL offseason championship rings.” . . . One more from Hough: “Story now that maybe Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden didn’t injure himself trying to catch his cell phone. Hmm. Was he washing Jeff Kent’s truck?” . . . Hough, again: “Disney just opened its first China theme park in Shanghai. Hope local children can visit and in gift shops actually see the fruits of their labor.” . . .
Third baseman Juan Uribe of the Cleveland Indians ended up with a testicular contusion — owwww! — after being struck by a batted ball the other day. He has said that he doesn’t wear a protective cup because one his size wasn’t available. “No word,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “on whether he was bragging or complaining.” . . . “The creator of the beehive hairstyle, Margaret Vinci Heldt, has died at the age of 98,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “She leaves behind family, friends and a generation with horrible wedding photos.” . . . Here’s Hutchinson, again: “The call Buck Martinez made twice in the same game when a Toronto Blue Jays player hit a ball with home-run distance down the line: ‘STAY FAIR BALL!’ It continues to disgust me that he can cheerlead like that on a national telecast.” . . .
If it has been keeping you up nights, rest easy knowing that Brendan Shanahan apparently holds the NHL record for most career Gordie Howe hat tricks, with 17. . . . Believe it or not, Howe only had two in his lengthy career. . . . “Game 1 of the (NHL final) drew 4.08 million on NBC, less than a Monday night repeat of ‘Scorpion’ on CBS, and 2 million fewer than an episode of The Bachelorette,” writes Torben Rolfsen at vancouver.24hrs.ca. “By contrast, on the same night (May 30), Game 7 of the Warriors-Thunder NBA Western Conference final had 16 million viewers. Fox Sports 1 and Univision’s combined Copa America soccer matches are getting higher ratings in the U.S.” . . .
“Draymond Green once played tight end for Michigan State,” recalls Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “In a film from one game, I thought I saw four defenders adjust their cups.” . . . One more from Littlejohn: “Ichiro dethrones Pete Rose as the hit king. Is that in baseball or black jack?” . . . Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “What the NHL really wanted: Expansion teams in Las Vegas and Seattle. That would have given the league 32 teams, 16 in each conference. All that prevented Seattle from entering the NHL was a bid, an owner and a building to play in.” . . .
With athletes attending the Olympics in Rio to be given bug spray and mosquito netting, John Loregio of the Brandon-based Westman Journal notes: “Fly-swatting has been rejected as an official Olympic sport.” . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Mosquitoes pull out of Olympics due to poor conditions in Brazil. . . . “Rory McIlroy was almost hit by a golf ball thrown from the gallery,” Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald noted the other day. “You look at this incident, drunk NFL fans, NBA fans tossing debris on courts, baseball fans running on the field — the best behaved people in sports now follow the WWE.” . . . Dickson didn’t even mention the hooligans running amok at Euro 2016. . . .
An NBA-related note from Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon: “Cavs’ coach Ty Lue said after Game 4 that LeBron James does not ‘get a fair whistle’ and that the officials are not giving him the calls he deserves. If true, that would be precedent-setting for the NBA; star players have gotten nothing but deference from officials going back to the days when I began to watch the NBA. Moreover, I will say as a former basketball official and a neutral observer here that if officials called James for every offensive foul he commits by pushing off, he would never make it to the second quarter of an NBA game.” . . . A Picasso valued at $28 million is on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery. As Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong notes: “The owner says the work is not for sale, but he would consider a couple of fixer-upper properties on the city’s West Side as fair exchange.”
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at email@example.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)