Pat Bigold

The Way I See It

By Pat Bigold

Tuesday, August 3, 1999

A bizarre week in the
sports world

IN Sports Illustrated, they have a regular item headed, "This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us."

Well, I sure don't want to steal SI's idea, but there were plenty of things going on last week that made me mutter those words to myself.

Things like:

Bullet Ricky Williams and Mike Ditka allowing ESPN's magazine to pose them on the cover as bride and groom.

Williams in a white wedding dress is an ugly, ugly sight. The look on his face would make you think he just came charging through a clothesline like a Looney Tunes cartoon character, and the dress just stuck to his body.

Ditka, meanwhile, is doing the classic Ditka smirk as the groom, and in this case he looks like an idiot.

Bullet St. Louis School's athletic program falling prey to another stripper invasion less than a year after the team scandal in Las Vegas.

Unlike the incident in September 1998 when strippers joined Crusaders players in their hotel after a preseason victory over a Nevada high school team, this time the women actually came on the campus of the Roman Catholic school to party with some members of the athletic staff.

I hope for the sake of long-suffering St. Louis alumni that stripper control will finally be in place when the football team travels to play West High School in Salt Lake City (Aug. 28).

Bullet Dollar Rent-a-Car, in its promotional halftime contest at Sunday's Hawaii Hammerheads vs. Louisiana Bayou Beast indoor football game, requiring both men and women contenders for the prize of a rental-car- for-life to throw a football 32 yards through a four-foot-square hole in the endzone.

It was a grossly unfair challenge for the women, who threw no longer than 15 yards.

Well, maybe Wahine softball star Kelly Gentle would've had a chance with her arm. But she's an exceptional athlete. Bad idea, Dollar.

Bullet And finally, that the NFL can't resist the charms of a notorious woman beater like Lawrence Phillips.

Yes, I know I wrote a few weeks ago that time heals all wounds between the public and its sports heroes. But I'm not so sure a season in NFL Europe is enough to make us forget who Phillips really is.

Consider that this "hero" was fined 56 times, arrested three times and sued by two women in 19 months with the Rams.

The briefly unsealed civil complaint by ex-girlfriend Kate McEwen in 1996 alleged that in five different incidents, he: 1) Pushed her head into a wall, breaking the wall; 2) dragged her by the hair down three flights of stairs and rammed her head into a wall; 3) threatened to shoot her in the kneecaps and elbows; 4) slashed her tires and threatened to kill her when she refused to get him a glass of water, and 5) sexually assaulted her in a drunken state.

While with the Dolphins, he was accused of striking a woman for not dancing with him in a nightclub.

The NFL has plenty of other woman beaters under contract. These include another Nebraska alumnus, Christian Peter, who hooked on with the Giants after Patriots owner Bob Kraft had the integrity to release the thug after drafting him in 1996. And don't forget the Jets' 308-pound Jumbo Elliott, who is being sued for urinating last month in a women's restroom sink and then punching an 18-year-old female bar patron in the chest.

How can a league that is trying so hard to connect with America's youth to perpetuate itself allow kids to look up to morons like these?

Pat Bigold has covered sports for daily newspapers
in Hawaii and Massachusetts since 1978.

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