You may have noticed Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning speaking with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after last Sunday’s AFC championship game. Manning told Belichick that this season “might be my last rodeo.” . . . “That may end up being a fitting analogy for Super Bowl 50, too,” notes Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, “because not many people expect the Broncos to last eight seconds with the Carolina Panthers.” . . . Hamilton again: “Bones belonging to a 10,000-year-old mammoth were discovered Monday during a construction project at Oregon State University’s football stadium. It’s the first fossil spotted near a football field since Brett Favre retired.” . . .
Sydney Leroux, who has a Kamloops connection, won’t be playing for the U.S.A.’s women’s soccer team at the Rio Olympics this summer. Leroux has revealed that she and husband Dom Dwyer are expecting their first child in September. Leroux is the daughter of former MLB pitcher Ray Chadwick, who runs the TRU WolfPack baseball program in Kamloops. . . . Dwyer is a soccer player, too. He plays for the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City. . . . The NFL plans to use fighter jets, helicopters and K-9 units in its security detail at the Super Bowl. “Or as Bay Area football fans call such extreme measures,” notes Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., “a regular-season Raiders game.”
A report from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Cliff Robinson — known as ‘Uncle Cliffy’ during his NBA career, in which he was twice suspended for smoking marijuana — says he’ll open a pot-selling venture in Portland this year to be called . . . wait for it . . . ‘Uncle Spliffy.’ ” . . . A question from Perry: “The largest prime number yet — 22,338,618 digits — was discovered when: a) a computer at the University of Central Michigan spit it out; or, b) agent Scott Boras announced one of his clients’ next salary demands?” . . .
“Dr. Bennett Omalu, the Concussion doctor, suspects strongly that O.J. Simpson has CTE,” writes Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “Dr. Omalu also thinks someone should check out Kato Kaelin.” . . . “Going out on a limb here,” tweets Mark Towhey (@towhey), the author of Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable, “but I predict Lady Gaga will show up at the Oscars wearing a dress made entirely of cauliflower.” . . . During that blizzard that hit the East Coast a couple of weekends ago, the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers played host to the Chicago Wolves in an empty arena. “Or,” noted Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen, “as the Carolina Hurricanes call it: business as usual.” . . .
Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on the Seahawks’ assertion that RB Marshawn Lynch is ‘leaning toward retirement’: “So Lynch wants to spend more time not talking to his family?” . . . Here’s Hough, again: “Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin reportedly fractured a hand during an argument with a member of the team’s equipment staff. So was the injury during the fight itself, or when the guy moved towards Griffin and Blake flopped?” . . . Linebacker Thomas Davis has had 12 screws and a metal plate surgically placed in his broken right forearm. He was injured in last Sunday’s NFC title game, but is talking about playing in the Super Bowl. . . . What? Does he think he’s a hockey player?
Milos Raonic may not have won the Australian Open but he showed that he now has what it takes to crack the top four. No longer does he depend entirely on that cannon of a serve. Somewhere along the line, he learned to go to the net and play from there, and that makes all the difference. . . . Now if he can only stay healthy. . . . RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com points out: “Canadian Milos Raonic beat Stan Wawrinka for the first time ever, knocking the No. 4 seed out of the Australian Open. I’m thinking Raonic added some new wawrinkles to his game.” . . . Currie, again: “If suspended Calgary Flames blue-liner Dennis Wideman had been George Washington, he’d have sworn the cherry tree got in his way.” . . .
In this era of advanced analytics, we bring you an NBA-related stat, courtesy of ESPN, from mid-week: Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops, who is in his third season with the Boston Celtics, averages 11.5 points and shoots 46.3 from three-point land when his hair is in a man-bun; when he lets the hair flow, the numbers are 7.9 and 38.9. . . . On Friday night, using the man-bun approach, Olynyk had 16 points and was 1-for-2 from beyond the arc in a 113-94 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic. . . . “Johnny Manziel was spotted last Sunday at a Dallas bar . . . watching football, drinking and dancing,” reports Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “What could possibly go wrong if he ends up with the Cowboys?” . . .
A note from Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon: “The Super Bowl halftime show will feature a group called Coldplay whom I would not know from Hotwork.” . . . Here is the Curmudgeonly One, after learning that you are able to purchase caskets and urns adorned with your favourite MLB team’s logo from Walmart: “I am not shocked to learn that MLB would license its logo and its teams’ logos to a casket manufacturer; after all, that is the last opportunity they will have to generate any revenue from the fan who will inhabit the product.” . . . After a couple of Cleveland teams made coaching changes, putting Hue Jackson and Tyronn Lue in charge, a Cleveland Plain Dealer reader named Jeff asked: “As far as ‘buying into’ the new coaches of the Browns and Cavs, Huey and Luey . . . well, do we?”
(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.)