In a shocking development, the five-member committee charged with evaluating figure skater Michelle Kwan on Friday decided to uphold the medical bye that placed her on the U.S. Olympic team.
There really was never any doubt U.S. Figure Skating would keep Kwan on the team, and - as I pointed out Friday - she could have gotten stuck under the Zamboni and still would be on her way to Turin.
The only thing that was truly surprising was that it took an hour to come to that decision after Kwan performed her short and long programs back-to-back in Los Angeles. It was such a slam-dunk that one committee member got a technical foul for hanging on the rim.
However, there are a few scenarios that could still prevent Kwan from joining U.S. Nationals winner Sasha Cohen and runner-up Kimmie Meissner at the Winter Games, and here they are:
Kwan could decide that she would rather represent the Dominican Republic to honor the heritage of Alex Rodriguez's parents.
The International Olympic Committee could outlaw the Heimlich maneuver, making it too risky for her to compete.
Three words: Tonya Harding comeback.
I like this Bode Miller guy. He makes headlines by telling 60 Minutes that he has raced under the influence of alcohol, and he just popped up in Rolling Stone, charging that Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs.
Now he drops out of two World Cup events because he wants to get away from media scrutiny? What's next, Anna Benson joining a convent?
Miller, by the way, also told Rolling Stone that he's worried someone will try to frame him for substance abuse, which is a pretty strange thing to say unless you're worried about testing positive. Just hope he knows that the tainted B-12 alibi has already been taken.
Sorry I missed the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park. The event, which brings together thousands of marginally disturbed Marylanders to dunk themselves in the icy Chesapeake Bay to benefit Special Olympics, apparently was a resounding success.
The plunge will be followed this week by the annual run on Sudafed at local grocery stores and pharmacies, and - with any luck - a mild case of laryngitis for WBAL morning show host Chip Franklin.
The Boston Red Sox finally completed the three-team trade that brought them center fielder Coco Crisp. The Orioles, again showing the decisiveness of the new front office hierarchy, immediately countered by ordering two cases of Frosted Flakes.
Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane is being made out to be a villain because he doesn't want injured superstar Jeff Bagwell to show up at spring training next month.
If Bagwell retires because of his damaged shoulder, the Astros can recoup $15.6 million of his $17 million salary from the insurance policy that the team took out on the $85 million deal he signed five years ago. But Bagwell wants to test the surgically repaired shoulder in spring training, after the deadline for making a claim.
Can't blame him for not wanting to be forced into retirement, but before you skewer the Astros for being stingy, consider that they've paid him more than $130 million during his career and he will make a total of $34 million for 2005 (three home runs, 19 RBIs) and 2006 (whether he plays or not).
Bagwell postscript: The Astros may have a tough time collecting on that policy regardless now that word is on the street that they are pressing him to retire. I'm guessing the insurance carrier will resist a full payout now that Bagwell is on the record claiming that he might be able to play.
If I had only known it was this easy to change your name. The town of Washington, Pa. - which is south of Pittsburgh - has officially been renamed Steeler, Pa., by its mayor and town council in anticipation of next Sunday's Super Bowl between the Steelers and the NFL team from the state of Washington.
Mayor Kenneth Westcott told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the town will revert to its original name right after the game.