One of the first sports to return in England after lockdown restrictions were eased after 2½ months? Pigeon racing.

“The whole current situation has got people down and there are a lot of mental problems,” organizer John Greenshield told BBC of the Barnsley Federation of Racing Pigeons event, in which 4,465 birds were released in Kettering for a 90-mile trip home. “The racing is something for people to get out of bed for.”

The hard part, insiders say, was getting the birds to fly 6 feet apart while keeping their little N95 masks on.


• At “Adam Silver shows solidarity with players by inserting self as Milwaukee Bucks point guard.”

• At “NBA owners vote to send entire league to Disney World.”

Penalty on the play

Tennessee RB Tim Jordan was caught during a traffic stop with a loaded handgun in his back pocket — for which he didn’t have a concealed-carry permit — Lakeland, Florida, police say.

Probably not the pistol offense his Vols coaches had in mind.


Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first soccer player to earn over $1 billion, according to Forbes.

That’s what you call the ultimate golden goal.

Spacing form

A 2-year-old colt named Fauci finished second at Belmont Park’s belated opening day of racing, by 4¾ lengths.

Or for you social-distancing fans, roughly 38 feet.

Greener pastures

Bob “The Sodfather” Christofferson, the head groundskeeper at the Mariners’ T-Mobile Park, has retired after a 40-year career.

As hitters like to say, the guy could rake.

Couching their bets

Rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III — the No. 12 pick in this year’s draft — wound up with a wounded thigh while moving furniture, but the Raiders insist “he will be fine.”

In other words, he’s quite adept at coming out of his cuts.

Hey, bettor, bettor

Online poker nationwide is reporting record numbers during the coronavirus quarantine as cooped-up gamblers look for ways to cope.

Apparently one full house deserves a shot at another.

Touchy, touchy

Michael Jordan, after becoming president of the Wizards, traded Laron Profit in retaliation for Profit trash-talking Jordan in practice during their days as Washington teammates.

In a related story, rumor has it that Jordan’s TV set still has rabbit ears.

Clubhouse amenities

Florida’s minor-league Pensacola Blue Wahoos have put their ballpark and its amenities up for rent on Airbnb for $1,500 per night, good for up to 10 people.

In other words, the Class AA version of a Marlins home game.

Twisting the dial

ESPN’s viewing fare on May 30 included the live social-distanced Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships from Las Vegas.

At least they spared us the usual three-hour pregame show.

Talking the talk

• Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, on the haves and have-nots in college football: “Georgia spent $422,047.07 on chartered flights for football recruiting. The (San Diego State) Aztecs are thankful gas prices dropped.”

• Blogger Patti Dawn Swansson, on rumblings of a third fight between 50-somethings Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield for charity: “Or, as Tyson likes to call it, ‘Leftovers.’ ”

Quote marks

• Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, on the ESPN narratives featuring Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong: “Now how about a documentary or two on people who become superstars without being bullies and jerks? Just to show the kiddies that it can be done that way.”

• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on reports that Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are back in the hunt to buy the Mets: “Ordinarily, this would qualify as one of our weirder sports stories. This year, it doesn’t make the top 20.”

• Canadian women’s goaltender Shannon Szabados, via Twitter, on the downside of the NHL returning to play with no fans: “How will opposing goalies know they suck?”

• Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, not impressed with the MLB season being held up by haggling over dollars: “At this point in history, nothing seems less important than how much money Hyun-Jin Ryu will be paid to pitch half a season for the Blue Jays.”

• Retired receiver Reggie Wayne, to NFL Network, saying Pats coach Bill Belichick gets a bad rap for his grumpiness: “I just think he doesn’t like the media. Every day I saw Bill, he was smiling and laughing. He does have teeth. A lot of people don’t think he has teeth.”

Bull market

A 20-page love letter that basketball great Michael Jordan wrote to actress Amy Hunter in 1989 sold at auction for $25,703 — or 10 times what it fetched just six years ago.

That’s what you call a noteworthy change of possession.

Quote, end quote

• Comedy writer Brad Dickson, via Twitter, after Cornhuskers football coach Scott Frost taped a public-service announcement endorsing medical care during the pandemic: “After listening to his deadly dull monotone, I now know why Nebraska usually plays bad in the third quarter.”

• Sherry Bassin, to the Toronto Sun, on the Oshawa Generals hockey team he coached to a 5-57-4 record in 1976-77: “We were so bad, we played intrasquad games and lost.”

• Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times, on MLB’s financial squabbles not being a good optic: “Baseball is engaged in a bench-clearing brawl with itself.”

• From the Facebook page of Everett’s KRKO Radio: “I miss baseball so much that I made hot dogs for my family today and charged them $10 per hot dog.”