It doesn’t pay to bet against Tom Brady, even if you’re Al Michaels.

The NBC broadcaster is out 86 grand — all because, during a sitdown with Brady last year, Michaels offered up 43,000-to-1 odds the New England QB wouldn’t leave the Patriots.

“And one of our great research people, Andy Freeland, then plunked down $2 on the table to take the bet,” Michaels told “So I now owe Andy Freeland $86,000 when we do our first Tampa Bay game this year.

“… It will be installment payments of about $3 a year.”


• At “Miss having the winter and summer Olympics in the same year? Well, Tokyo may have some good news for you.”

• At “Olympic torchbearer has been jogging in place on street corner for past 2 weeks.”

Batting 500,000

At the opposite betting extreme from Al Michaels, somebody picked the winners of the first five races on April 11 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., and raked in $524,966.50 — on a 50-cent wager.


So forget your buddy with the hot stock tip. We want to talk with this guy.

Doing the splits

Not that college athletics are totally sticklers for the 6-foot rule or anything, but even William & Mary are social distancing.

Right ’em, Cowboy

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy apologized for his comments about a quick return to football in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

But saying “I’m a man — I can take it!” once again seemed a bit over the top.

Clean handoff

Overzealous college boosters, embracing the spirit of social distancing, are now including a tiny bottle of sanitizer with every $100 handshake.

2 minutes for fighting

Forbidden Spirits Distilling near Kelowna, B.C., offered the locals free coronavirus disinfectant, but the jockeying in line quickly devolved into fistfights.


In other words, they scheduled a hand-sanitizer giveaway — and a hockey game broke out.

NewDateline: Dyersville, Iowas flash

The “Field of Dreams” ghosts, tired of waiting for a statewide quarantine edict, are reportedly social-distancing six cornrows apart.

Winner’s circle

Jazz guard Mike Conley beat Bulls guard Zach LaVine “H-O-R-S-E” to “H-O” to win the first NBA HORSE competition.

In other words, he won by three lengths.

Just had to ask

Does Florida deeming pro rasslin’ — as in WWE — an “essential business” qualify as fake news?

100% chance of Suns

Phoenix’s Devin Booker beat teammate Deandre Ayton to win the 16-player NBA 2K Players Tournament broadcast on ESPN.

Suns in the NBA Finals? We are living in an alternate universe these days.


Full house?

Police who arrived after reports of a big party at Dak Prescott’s home in Prosper, Texas, say they were unable to verify that there were more than the maximum 10 in attendance.

So what could they charge him with? Violating quarantine restrictions? Too many men in the huddle?

Moving on up

Cubs great Billy Williams once got balked to second, third and home by Bob Shaw in a 1963 game in which the Giants pitcher balked a record five times.

Had Williams’ run ended the game, would that have been considered a walk-off balk?

Talking baseball

• Ex-pitcher Phil Hughes, via Twitter, upon seeing a Rays home game on the MLB The Show 20 video game: “Man, those graphics are incredibly realistic. Then I saw fans in the stands.”

• Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, on why the Astros will emerge as big winners from the baseball shutdown: “No one has the time or energy to hate them anymore.”


Pitching through pane

Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly, practicing his craft, missed his target net entirely and the ball went crashing through a window.

Don’t know about his heater, but his breaking pitch is in midseason form.

Tweet of the Week

“Cal Ripken has missed 2,916 consecutive Orioles games. Something the media always leaves out.” — @SportsPickle

Quote marks

• Bruce Penton of the Medicine Hat (Alberta) News, on how desperate he is to see live sports returning: “Booth reviews … coaches’ challenges. Bring ’em on. As long as the game is live. Will never complain again about games being lengthened by replay delays. At least for a year.”

• Blogger Gregg Drinnan of, on shedding no tears for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred taking a 35 percent pay cut: “I’m sure he will be able to survive on $7 million.”

• @HeelsBasket, via Twitter, on news that flying coronavirus particles can travel up to 13 feet: “Got a ways to go to catch James Harden.”


• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on being ahead of his time: “I began social distancing years ago when somebody would approach and try to tell me about his fantasy-football team.”

A real head-shaker

Another sign that we are living in strange times, indeed: The recently minted Dr. Anthony Fauci bobblehead has surpassed Loyola Chicago’s Sister Jean as best-selling doll in the history of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame & Museum in Milwaukee.

A Dr. Deborah Birx bobblehead is on the way.

Some show of hands

Sure, coaches like to tell us, everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time.

But how many — like gymnast Simone Biles just demonstrated — can take them off while performing a handstand?

Quote, end quote

• Darren Rovell of, on reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will announce first-round picks standing in his basement in Bronxville, N.Y.: “Will be the first draft that he won’t get a single boo.”

• Janice Hough of, on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deeming WWE an “essential business”: “I miss the days when Florida man was only a danger to himself.”

• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, on the “Scripps canceling its annual National Spelling Bee on May 24: “Leaving a bunch of 13-year-old brainiacs totally c-h-a-g-r-i-n-e-d.”

• Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune, on the NFL trashing replay review for pass interference after just one year: “That’s OK. Buffoons can’t get it right with it or without it.”