How about Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke asking the "mayor of Glen Burnie," Charley Eckman, to be the grand marshal in the city's Christmas Day Parade on Dec. 6?
Eckman, who was a member of the first Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame induction class in 1991, is ecstatic.
"The mayor loves me even though I voted for Bush," said Eckman. "In all seriousness, I'm really honored that I was asked."
Eckman has been battling cancer for a couple of years, has stopped taking the treatments and hasn't slowed down despite his so-called retirement status.
The colorful broadcaster and former NBA coach and referee is the analyst on the Baltimore Spirit indoor soccer TV broadcasts and recently completed another season as master of ceremonies of the World Series of Handicapping at Penn National near Harrisburg, Pa.
"I've been doing the World Series of Handicapping for 19 years, and in that time we've gone from a first prize of $5,000 to $100,000," said Eckman.
"Guys who travel all over the country say the World Series of Handicapping is the best tournament in the United States. They say it's better than anything in Vegas."
The indoor soccer league, the National Professional Soccer League, has instituted a scoring system in which more than one point can be awarded for scoring from a certain distance. The result has been scores like 13-11 instead of 3-1 and attendance ** is up.
"A couple nights ago, I worked a Spirit game in Milwaukee, and we won 13-11 in front of 17,500," said Eckman.
"You know, I always said that Americans love scoring, and 18-6 can be like 3-1, but they love the sound of 18-6. Got to give them what they want."
* Do you county Sports Hall of Fame members know there is an important meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at Michael's Eighth Avenue to discuss the goals and objectives of the organization for 1993?
* Doesn't North County football coach Chuck Markiewicz have a right to be proud of his Knights, not just for their great playoff season, but also because every player on the 37-man squad has a GPA of 2.00 or better?
Do you winter sports athletes realize that you have to have a 2.0 GPA to participate in high school athletics? The new academic ** requirements start in January with the 1.67 GPA standard lifted to the 2.0.
"We wanted to get a head start on next season and have been emphasizing the 2.0 with our players all fall," said Markiewicz. "I'm very pleased with what the guys did."
Did you know that the North County big post-game circle with coaches and players holding hands and chanting their school name was copied from Navy?
"I saw Navy do it a couple years ago in order to signify unity, and I decided we would do it at North County," said Markiewicz.
* County and region cross country champion Kristen Nicolini of ++ Annapolis is not going to run indoor track this winter.
"I just thought I needed some time off to get ready for the outdoor track season," said Nicolini, the Panthers sophomore who first emerged as a special talent as a freshman during indoor track season.
* How about the job being turned in by North County girls lacrosse coach Tom Taylor, who has coached the Catonsville Community College women's soccer team into the National Juco semis a second straight year?
"Angela Farace has had a great year for us and is one of the top 10 scorers in the nation," said Taylor, who has a host of Anne Arundel players on his squad, including the North County grad.
Farace led Maryland Region XX junior colleges in scoring with 23 goals and seven assists.
"One of our most satisfying wins was over Anne Arundel by 2-0 because [AACC coach] Jim Shuck said he had better county players than we did," said Taylor, who got both goals in that game from Farace. "I have to thank Jim Shuck for the motivation he gives us with his remarks."
* Did you know that former Severna Park All-County pitcher Paul Frank ('85 grad) is employed by the CIA in Okinawa and before that spent some time in Africa?
* Larry Hackley of the Gambrills-Odenton area, asks, "When are the youth football referees going to let the kids play and stop calling so many penalties?"
Is part of the problem that too many of the refs want to impress to get a shot at high school officiating that opens the door to the next level?
"College officials couldn't care less how many youth football games you've called," said Marty Peters of the Washington District Officials Association, which works county high school games.
"They want to know how many high school games you've done. That's why a lot of us don't do youth football games."