Sports Numbers You Need to Know

Simply the best.

Simply the best.

So in honor of Derek Jeter’s historic sendoff last night, I thought I would compile a quick list of these sports stats and numbers you often hear in bar conversations, on Sports Center, and even in rap songs (scroll to :46 for a Jay-Z reference to #5).

So here is a baker’s dozen (and just a FEW–bear with me, I’m writing this on a coaster), so please feel free to comment with other biggies.

I’m listing the numbers first for a little quiz fun, then scroll down for the answers.

Let’s go!

1 — 2

2 — 12th Man

3 — 60 feet, 6 inches

4 — 23

5 — Game 6

6 — 42

7 — 17-0

8 — 158.3

9 — 100

10 — 99

11 — 2,131

12 — 18

13 — Oh let’s go for the baker’s dozen: 1,098. Now you may scroll….


1 — Derek “Captain” Jeter, Yankees shortstop for 20 years, retiring after 2014.

2 — Slogan (with a super cool history) of Texas A&M and Seattle football (and a host of others), meaning the crowd’s noise and support as the additional team member to the 11 on the field.

3 — Distance from professional pitcher mound to home plate.

4 — Michael Jordan’s jersey number.

5 — Famous 1998 NBA Finals game between the Bulls and the Jazz; Bulls won 87–86, their sixth NBA Championship in eight years. It was also the final game with the Bulls for Jordan and coach Phil Jackson. It earned the highest TV ratings of an NBA game of all time. Jordan hit a jump shot with 5.6 seconds left to put the Bulls on top for good 87–86.

6 — Jackie Robinson’s jersey number – first African-American to play in Major League baseball.

7 — Final 1972 record of the Miami Dolphins, still the only fully undefeated NFL season.

8 — A “perfect” passer rating for a quarterback’s game. Stat is calculated using a player’s passing attempts, completions, yards, TDs and interceptions. NFL rates QBs from 0 to 158.3. College football uses a different formula and ranks from -731.6 to 1261.6. (Shrug.)

9 — Number of points Wilt Chamberlain scored in a single game in an NBA win over the Philadelphia Warriors, 169-147, on March 2, 1962. (Another key number: 20,000, the number of women he claims to have bedded.)

10 — Wayne Gretzky’s jersey number, the first ever to be retired league-wide by the NHL.

11 — Number of consecutive games played by the Oriole’s Cal Ripken to surpass Lou Gehrig’s 56-year-old record (2,130).

12 — Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 career major championships.

13 — Number of all-time wins by Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, before retiring in 2012 due to dementia. She is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with at least 1,000 victories.


Tiger Tuesday and a Diamond in the Rough

A Swedish massage from ex-wife Elin Nordegren would be pretty good right now, right Tiger?

A Swedish massage from ex-wife Elin Nordegren would be pretty good right now, right Tiger?

So in a golf story that makes me feel very olllld, 38-year-old Tiger Woods withdrew from the World Golf Championship Bridgestone tournament Sunday on the ninth hole after straining his back on an awkward shot at the second hole.

Woods, who had surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve in his back March 31, deteriorated quickly after that, in his third tournament back on a Firestone Country Club course where he has won eight times. He opened the tournament with a 68 but got progressively worse and was 3-over par when he withdrew.

Now the golf world awaits whether Woods will appear in this weekend’s PGA Championship in Louisville. (Meanwhile the women of the world say, “tough nuggets, cheating moron.”)

While 38 is certainly not “old” for golf, Woods is not considered a spring chicken either, and he’s a chicken who has taken some battering both physically and spiritually the last decade. But he won his last major on a torn ACL six years ago, so don’t count him out yet. He is seeking his 15th major tournament win, four shy of Jack Nicklaus’ record 18.

Meanwhile at the same tournament, Sergio Garcia (who is no buddy of Tiger’s after the two have accused each other of racism and cheating in the past) knocked the diamond from a fan’s ring with his tee shot on the third hole Sunday.

As fans tried to help her find it, Garcia, the leader at the time (he finished second to Rory McIlroy) still had to play. Normally a golfer will give an autographed ball or glove to a fan he hits, and he did, while also continuing to look for the diamond. He asked for her contact information, but luckily the diamond was found and returned.

A Sports Poet and I Didn’t Know It…

For today, a little bit o’ verse to sum up last week’s biggest headlines:

I'm here, I'm queer, and I'm gonna make you wish you'd never picked up a football.

I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m gonna make you wish you’d never picked up a football.

Duke beats Syracuse when Coach Boeheim is sent away

Michael Sam’s football prowess overshadows being gay

Jason Collins, also gay, returns to play in the NBA

(Could it be we’re FINALLY seeing opinions on this issue sway?)

American hockey teams are sad Olympics reach final their day

With round-one knockout, Ronda Rousey makes Sara McMann pay

Dale Jr. wins Daytona (and sends first-ever tweet!) after rain delay

And a career-best win for adorable Aussie golfer Jason Day!

Happy Monday! Remember, the Olympics may be over, but pro hockey is BACK and baseball spring training is starting up! WOOT!

Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohhhh (Crap). Plus the Extra Point’s Future, Billion Dollar Brackets, and Tiger Declawed

—1—“The kick is up, and it…is…” no longer existent?

So, baby, you mean, baby, if I can't beat these charges, baby, I can't be an NFL kicker? Ohhhh.

So, baby, you mean, baby, if I can’t beat these charges, baby, I can’t be an NFL kicker? Ohhhh.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested this week that the league do away with the extra point or “PAT,” point after touchdown. “The extra point is almost automatic,” he told NFL Network Monday. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd attempts. So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play.” Instead he suggests making a touchdown worth seven points instead of six, with an extra play after from the scrimmage line worth an eighth point. But, if the team fails, their touchdown is only worth six points.

You would think concussions and crime would be enough “excitement” for the NFL any given day, but I must admit I am intrigued.

—2—Ahhhh, Warren Buffett. Gazillionaire, Philanthropist, College Basketball Fan. And now he and Quicken Loans are offering a $1 billion cash prize to anyone who correctly predicts this year’s men’s NCAA Tournament Bracket in the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. Unfortunately, the odds of getting all 63 games right, are around 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s nine quintillion. But if you do win, you get 40 annual installments of $25 million or a lump sum payment of $500 million. If there are multiple winners, the pot is divided, and the 20 brackets closest to the perfect outcome will still receive $100,000 each from Quicken Loans to purchase or remodel a home or refinance a mortgage. Contest starts March 3.

—3—There are two new sheriffs in Tennis Town. If tennis players wore hats, spurs and funny mustaches. China’s Li Na had been contemplating retirement, but defeated Dominika Cibulkova (who had ousted #3 Maria Sharapova) for the Australian Open crown, and at 31 became the oldest women’s champion in the Open Era. Known for her funny remarks in broken English, Li joked in post-match interviews about her husband and his snoring, and thanked her agent “for making me rich.”

On the men’s side, it was Switzerland’s #8 Stanislas Wawrinka who finally hoisted the trophy after defeating #1 Rafael Nadal. Nadal had previously knocked out Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final for the third time. It would have been Rafa’s 14th Grand Slam title. But he struggled with several small but nagging injuries, including a blister on his serving hand that drew gasps from the crowd when one TV camera got a little too close. Wawrinka was the first man in 21 years to beat the #1 and #2-ranked players (Novak Djokovic) en route to a Grand Slam title.

—4—For the first time in his career, world #1 Tiger Woods failed to make the PGA Tour’s secondary cut at Torrey Pines in San Diego. His 7-over-par 79 was his worst in an event he has won seven times. And it all means….meh, nothing. It’s the start of the season, and now, with girlfriend skier Lindsey Vonn sitting out the Olympics, they’ll enjoy a few free days before heading to Dubai.

5Finally, Saturday Night Live did two great sports parodies on “Weekend Update” the other night, one with Russian villagewoman, “Olya Povlatsky.” “So Olya, are your surprised the Olympics are coming to Russia?” “I surprised anyone would come to Russia…What was the other options, Haiti or middle of ocean?” The other had Kenan Thompson playing the Miami police officer who arrested Justin Bieber for drinking and drag racing. “You must have been shocked to pull someone over and discover it was Justin Bieber.” “Oh Cecily, I work in Miami. Nothin’ shocks me. When I pull somebody over, they usually got a tiger in the back seat, and an alligator in the trunk to guard their cocaine. It’s the only city where NBA players are the best behaved people.”

Woof Wednesday!

He doubles as an irons polisher.

He doubles as an irons polisher.

They call her “The Pink Panther,” but LPGA champ Paula Creamer doesn’t creep around on her poodle mix, Studley.

When she’s not getting canine cuddles, Creamer lights up the links in her signature color, winning nearly a dozen tournaments and reaching a #2 world ranking since she turned pro in 2005.

Welcome to #WoofWednesday, Paula and Studley!


High Five! Usain Bolt’s Loses! (No, Not Really.) And Will NCAA Pave New Rhodes?

It's electric, boogie oogie oogie!

It’s electric, boogie oogie oogie!

1) Jamaica’s Usain Bolt surpassed Carl Lewis in World Championship medals Sunday in Moscow, tying the American legend with 10—but Bolt has two silvers, while Lewis has a silver and a bronze. Bolt won the 100, 200 and anchored the winning 400-meter relay team. The Americans were leading that race, but a bad handoff cost them the win. What was most “electrifying” about Bolt’s performance was the non-Photoshopped actual picture that has gone viral—Bolt running as an actual lightning bolt strikes behind the stadium.

2) Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist shot the first ever Solheim Cup hole-in-one on Saturday, sinking the 17th hole alongside partner Caroline Hedwall in Parker, Colo. Americans Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, and Michelle Wie managed to gain ground, but the Europeans—despite having six rookie ladies, including 17-year-old Charley Hull, on the team—won the cup on American soil for the first time, 18-10.

3) The NCAA is prohibiting Marine Stephen Rhodes from playing football at Middle Tennessee State University because he played “organized” games (scorekeepers, officials, etc.) while in the military. NCAA rules state athletes must play college sports within one year of graduating high school or be charged one year of collegiate eligibility for every academic year they participate in “organized competition.” MTSU has won a partial appeal to regain Rhodes’ eligibility—two years from now, but he is appealing to play this season, which begins August 29.

(If you think, as I do, Rhodes has served our country and now deserves a chance to play, please ask NCAA president Mark Emmert to change the bylaws,

4) Even sadder news in Tennessee football, five Vanderbilt football players have been arrested in connection with an alleged dorm room rape of an unconscious victim on June 23. Chris Boyd turned himself in Sunday for allegedly trying to help four other players cover up the crime. Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Brandon Banks, and Jaborian McKenzie have been indicted on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Boyd has been suspended from the team pending review; the other four have been dismissed from the team and banned from campus. Other witnesses may face charges as the case remains open.

5) New network FOX Sports 1 launched last week, featuring shows like “FOX Football Daily,” and talk show “Crowd Goes Wild,” hosted by Regis Philbin. Coverage will also include NASCAR, Pac-12 football and eventually MLB and FIFA games. The network hopes to one-up competitors ESPN and NBC Sports with original programming too, such as “The Ultimate Fighter” with Ronda Rousey, and “BEING,” a documentary series taking a deeper look into sports figures like Mariano Rivera and Mike Tyson.

Meanwhile, as excitement builds for next year’s men’s soccer World Cup in Brazil, NBC Sports has begun showing English Premier League Football. According to a PR department tweet, the Sunday telecast of Swansea-Manchester United was the most-watched Premier League opening-weekend match in U.S. history with 792,000 average viewers. An average NFL TV audience is 19.3 million, but hey, it’s a great start. And this clip of Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach recruited to coach…football is well worth four minutes of your time.

High Five! Jason, Johnny, and James

Happy Monday! This week an MVP reports to court and when good golfers go grumpy in my High Five best sports headlines to discuss with the office, the other half, and the offspring….

1) Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is in some very hot water for allegedly selling autographs, as claimed by an eBay dealer who released photographs of the alleged evidence. Though far from fair–considering how much money the NCAA, colleges and other entertainment entities make off of student-athletes–rules are very clear about the kids selling such merchandise to profit themselves. Whether Manziel will be play this season remains to be seen (I’m guessing he will); as of now he is practicing as investigations continue.

Is it 3 o'clock yet?

Is it 3 o’clock yet?

2) After setting a course record 63 on Friday, Jason Dufner slipped past leader Jim Furyk to win the PGA Championship in Rochester on Sunday with a 2-under-68, despite bogeying the final two holes. The tournament was the last “major” of 2013. The win redeemed Dufner for the 2011 championship, where he lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.

But Bradley still haunts Dufner, with whom he is a buddy off the course. A photo Bradley posted of Dufner sitting slumped against the wall during a youth center appearance has set off an Internet rush of “#Dufnering”–fans recreating the pose (see’s gallery here), even brides, bears and Lebron James, who had a busy week himself…

3) The NBA champion Miami Heat’s Lebron James was summoned for jury duty in Cleveland last week, tweeting about how honored he was to be serving his civic duties—although he was later dismissed. The Akron native is no longer Ohio’s favorite son, having departed the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 in a very public snub to join Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade for what has become a potential dynasty in Miami. Still, James not only showed up like the rest of us common schlubs, but he reportedly sat in the foreman’s office reading to avoid unnecessary attention—no autographs or distractions (and Lord knows Cleveland has had a few crimes lately), and for that, I salute him.

4) If your husband has a certain gleam in his eye lately, it may be because NFL pre-season has begun. While league teams are currently at their respective training camps, they are also squaring off in games throughout each weekend leading up to the official season start, Baltimore at Denver on Thursday, Sept. 5. The games, though ticketed and televised, really are glorified scrimmages; “starters” may play little if at all, while rookies and lesser-known players get playing time on a real field. With the competition and possible injuries, even at the elite level, no one is ever really safe–only 53 players can be on an active NFL roster once the season begins. Pre-season is when we find out who.

5) After Russia’s parliament overwhelmingly supported a new anti-gay law, celebrities, athletes and activists are speaking out worldwide in protests, “vodka-dumping,” and even calls to boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, as the U.S. did for the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. It is feared gay athletes and their supporters could be arrested. Still, many (myself included) feel another boycott would punish American athletes, and that our gay team members and those of other countries should enter Sochi with heads held high, forcing Russia to re-examine its human rights policies on an international stage.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has issued a statement claiming that the “highest levels” of Russian government (because that’s going so well for the U.S. lately) promises that gay athletes, visitors, media and the like will not be affected by the law.