Sideline Chatter

Actor James Van Der Beek is up a creek when it comes to NCAA tournament acumen, but at least we know which one.

“The reason I know nothing about college bball is two fold,” tweeted the former star of TV’s “Dawson’s Creek.” “a) I suck at hoops, and b) I love NFL & MLB and want to stay married.”

Van Der Deek’s Final Four: Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis, Kansas and San Diego State, with Saint Joe’s winning it all.

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• At “Report: NCAA investigating Bruce Pearl for 38 NCAA violations at Auburn.”

• At “NFL announces Jacksonville Jaguars to play 16 games in London next season.”

Smoking the course

UC-Irvine engineers say two California brush fires might have been caused by sparks from duffers’ titanium clubs.

Either that, or somebody slipped ’em a flint golf ball.

Slam-dunk gift

TV magnate Oprah Winfrey has entered into an agreement with former Sonics owner Howard Schultz to market her own brand of chai tea at Schultz’s Starbucks outlets.

Yo, Oprah, while you’re at it, how about stashing an NBA team under Seattle’s seat?

Big whoop

Mercer 78, Duke 71.

It’s the biggest eyebrow-raiser out of Macon, Ga., since the hockey team there called itself the Whoopee.

Political basketball

Kobe Bryant told ESPN that President Obama could make the Lakers roster this year.

“I don’t know about that,” said NBC’s Seth Meyers. “He’s a good shooter, but he can’t seem to pass anything.”

Stat of the Week

The $1 billion prize for filling out a perfect NCAA tournament bracket went down the drain — before the Round of 64 was even completed.

Web Gem Dept.

The World Wide Web, in case you missed it, turned 25 last Thursday.

Coincidence? 1989 was also the last year the Oakland A’s strung together three W’s in a World Series.

Talko time

• Times reader Bill Littlejohn, on news that the Carlton Fisk home-run ball from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is on the auction block: “Prospective bidders are already practicing to wave their bids higher.”

• Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on the pro-rasslin’ dinner theater in Kissimmee, Fla.: “This is for diners who don’t mind when a 450-pound Russian lands on their salad.”

• Blogger T.C. Chong, on the Dodgers opening the season in Australia: “Look for Vin Scully’s comb-over to be the other way.”

• Janice Hough of, on the New York Jets bringing in Michael Vick on the heels of the Tim Tebow/Mark Sanchez circus: “Don’t take down those tents too fast.”


Twentieth Century Fox hopes to have a 3-D “Peanuts” movie in theatres by next year.

Spoiler alert: Charlie Brown & Co. finally win a game, a split-squad contest against the Houston Astros.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or