January 10, 2012
By Larry Harris
• Trail Of Tears: That loud cry of dismay emanating from the southwest came from the couple of hundred student-athletes at College Park who had their eight sports cut off at the knees because higher-ups declared the money well had gone dry. They just heard that the Terrapin football team hired an ace recruiter at a modest half-million bucks per year.
• Ripken Territory: Somebody better hurry up and cast an award for Dick Bavetta, the venerable NBA referee who recently rang up regular season Game No 2,500 in a row. He's only 72.
• Embarrassing: Nick Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers is one of those coordinated athletes for whom it all comes so easy. He plays basketball like Joe DiMaggio played center field. Watching him man-to-man against sharp-shooting but slow-footed Jimmer Fredette the other night made watchers want to cringe.
• Keep Him Away: The Pittsburgh Steelers billed Ike Taylor as one of the NFL's top cornerbacks -- which he was until he met up with the Broncos' Demaryius Thomas during that AFC shocker. Taylor got scalded for gains of 80, 58 and 51 yards and threw in a 32-yard interference penalty for dessert. Hey, even Night Train Lane lost a few in his day. But will Taylor ever be able to come back?
• Cheap Date: Rob Gronkowski, the massive Patriots tight end (6-foot-6, 265 pounds) who busted all the single-season records for his position, did it all for a measly $450,000. Think he's in line for a raise?
Posted Jan. 10, 2012