The Last Word

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

The NBA is bringing in a dress code requiring players to wear sports coats and lose the bling-bling.

NBA players walk with more jingle than St. Nick.

Reaction was swift.

For instance, gold dropped $2.50 on the money market, but it's probably just a coincidence.

Allen Iverson was getting his do-rag in a knot, but the Raptors say they aren't concerned.

Which is understandable when you remember they haven't got anything left to lose considering every team in the league undresses them as it is.

TEAM SCROOGED

Not sure what Mike Tice is running: A football team, or a house of ill repute.

Either way, he's not getting the bounces.

On second look

Went to a Raptors game this week.

Didn't barf.

Maybe things are looking up, after all.

There's Jose Calderon passing the ball. So that's what a point guard looks like.

Who knew?

Vince who?

Charlie Villanueva and Chris Bosh could turn out to be everything -- given time -- that Tracy McGrady-Vince Carter promised but failed to deliver.

Not great inside, but at least this team tries to penetrate. In other words, the game strategy consists of more than an in-bounds pass and a prayer from 25 feet.

Dare they dream of .500?

General manager Rob Babcock may not be the next John Wooden or Red Auerbach, but maybe he can be the next, uh, John Ferguson Jr.

Leafs winning. Argos winning. Blue Jays setting attendance records. If this keeps up, smarty-pants columnists are going to run out of punchlines.

MASOCHISM 101

The patron saint of lost causes: Former Detroit Tigers manager Alan Trammell interviewing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays job.

As job satisfaction goes, this is right up there with walking barefoot over hot coals.

BOOKWORM

Wasn't that a lovely performance from Bill Romanowski on 60 Minutes?

Poor sap got teary talking about how he couldn't face going back to clean out his locker.

He was on the show to talk about his steroid use, but darn if he didn't just have a book to sell, too. What a coincidence ... and that'll be $25, please.

Save your money, not to mention sympathy.

Romanowski never had sympathy for the players whose fingers he broke, whose knees he took out, or for teammate Marcus Williams, whose face he smashed so severely Williams will never play again.

Yet there's no remorse for using steroids. In fact, he says he'd cheat again. The book, like everything in Romanowski's life, is a self-serving tome of epic emptiness.

No life lessons. No insights, unless you count the fact he had 20 concussions. Not that there was ever anything up there he could've hurt.

Remember when people said book burnings were a bad thing?

Well, they were a bit hasty.

WIE-BIT O' BLARNEY

Michelle Wie, 16, was disqualified from her first golf tournament as a pro because of a rules violation, costing her a $53,126 US paycheque.

First off, the Sports Illustrated writer who squealed on her should really pick on somebody his own size.

I mean, talk about stealing candy from a baby!

Kids are right ... you can't trust anyone over 18.

Then there is the punishment. It far exceeds the crime -- or the intent. I know they have rules. But rules are just arbitrary lines in the minds, set by people who have no imagination.

I mean, like other kids her age who make a mistake, couldn't the LPGA have just sent her to bed early, or made her stand in the corner wearing a dunce hat until recess time?

PAPER TIGERS

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on rookie Raymond Felton promising the Charlotte Bobcats (18-64 last season) would make the NBA playoffs: "He stars in the upcoming sitcom, Everybody Laughs At Raymond."

Bud Geracie, San Jose Mercury News: "NFL Films already has the title for one team's 2005 highlight video -- Minnesota Vikings: Naked Bootleg." 


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