DUNDALK, YOU should be proud of this guy - I'll give you his name in a minute - because he's one of yours, he turned 70 years old on Memorial Day and, at a national weightlifting competition here two weeks ago, he bench-pressed 330 pounds. Think of what that means. That means, if Tony Siragusa ever sat on this senior citizen ... he'd suffocate.
But if the Goose's lighter Ravens teammate, Sam Adams, sat on him, our hero - I'll give you his name in a minute - could lift him straight up and lock arms. That's impressive, my friends. That's big. This 70-year-old retired stevedore and plant foreman - hold on for the name, please ---- has set records of the U.S. Powerlifting Federation and, most recently, the World Natural Powerlifting Federation in the 70-and-over category. A Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War and a prostate cancer survivor, he's been lifting competitively for years, and he's a regular at Bally's Northpoint. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, I give you - and this is his real name - Bill Strong.
"My name's not funny," he says. "If my name was William Weak, that would be funny."
A Las Vegas show
Sorry we missed Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister's performance in Las Vegas on June 14, but how could we have known about it? It's not like his agent had booked him for a week at Harrah's and sent us a press release. Apparently, this was a spontaneous outburst of loud, angry and threatening vulgarity, not a scheduled one.
The venue was Gate B at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport.
According to a review of the performance by an Officer R. Hindy of the Las Vegas Police Department, McAlister and recently cut Raven Clarence Love, unhappy with their flight arrangements, pushed an attendant out of the way and took seats without permission on an America West jet. Then, when asked by officers to leave, they apparently engaged in a long, loud and profane tirade against the airline, within earshot of families with small children. The incident report says McAlister and Love provoked laughter among several passengers when they accused the Vegas police of racial motivations in their efforts to remove the two black athletes from the plane.
McAlister continued his profane performance into the gate area, up a ramp, down an escalator, at the ticket counter and, at one point, according to the report, "started yelling so much and turning in a violent manner that he almost knocked a handicapped woman out of the chair near the electric walkway."
McAlister and Love smelled of alcohol, according to Hindy. The football players were charged with disturbing the peace and released on their own recognizance. Nice work, guys. Let us know when your CD comes out.
At the other end of the pool, there's Michael McCrary, the Ravens stellar defensive end and point man for charitable give-backs to Baltimore. His foundation, Mac's Miracle Fund, paid to send, this week and last, about 40 city kids who've never been anywhere to Twin Creeks at Camp Minnehaha in Marlinton, W. Va. High fives, again, to No. 99.
Letting go - of tickets
What was it that I said in Friday's column about Baltimoreans not wanting to let go of anything? You should see the remarkable number of Orioles tickets for sale on e-Bay, some running as high as $1,000 a pair, for Cal's last home game. Today's Oriole fan is so sentimental, no?
Sticky prom situation
Something else to check out via the Internet: Maryland high school students in prom gowns and tuxedos made from the world's most valuable substance - duct tape. Manco Inc., the Ohio company that manufactures Duck brand duct tape (in several colors, too), has just finished staging a "Stuck At The Prom" contest, offering $2,500 "scholarships" to each of two students who fashion the coolest prom outfits from its product. Winners will be announced next week.
I don't know their identities - no names are posted with their prom photos - but 22 Maryland kids have entered the contest. You can check them out at www.ducktapeclub.com and vote for a favorite, no easy task. I like the dude in the top hat. Nice work, kid. If the dot-com thing doesn't work out, you definitely have a future in duct work.
We weren't invited to the wrap party - an oversight, we assume - so we can't say for certain that the Maryland filming of "Tuck Everlasting," the Disney production directed by Jay Russell ("My Dog Skip"), is finished. But we're told the making of "Tuck" went smashingly, with several scenes in state parks and reservoirs around Baltimore and at a mansion in Harford County.
Last month, the Eastern Shore town of Berlin was transformed into the fictional town of Treegap. Crews covered Main Street with dirt and dressed store windows in an early 20th-century look (not difficult to do in Berlin). The film, which is based on the popular children's novel by Natalie Babbitt, stars William Hurt as Mr. Tuck, whose family discovers a spring that gives them eternal life, and Ben Kingsley as "the man in the yellow suit," who learns the Tucks' secret. No release date has been announced, but we're told "Tuck" will likely be in theaters in early to mid-winter.
Friday's TJI referred to Maryland as the nation's fifth most-populated state. Make that the fifth most-densely populated state. Sorry about that.