Retirement out, now's time to reload for the long haul

Commentary

August 21, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

I'm back by popular demand. I got a grand total of four emails begging me not to retire, which - out of a total readership that has to number in the twos of hundreds - was enough to convince me that there still are people out there who love great sports commentary.

That and the fact that Human Resources informed me I can't start collecting my huge Baltimore Sun pension for another 15 years. Apparently, there are some kind of service time rules that don't allow you to live without working until you're too old to really enjoy it - information that would have been nice to know when I was hired in 1990.

So, I guess I'm staying, though the thought of taking one of those Alaskan cruises with Steve Davis and his family was pretty appealing.

Not everyone is going to be thrilled about that. My last few columns have been posted on various Eagles Web sites, so you can imagine the amount of Lionshead lager (New advertising slogan: "Just take it. It's free.") that was consumed yesterday in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area celebrating the end of my Eagles-bashing career.

I'm sure there are some Redskins fans who also raised a glass in mock tribute. My son, in fact, appears to be passed out in the living room.

Suck it up. It's only going to be another decade or so, and it could be less if I continue to eat like this.

Nice outing for the 'Skins on Saturday night. I know that nobody cares about the final score in preseason, but when your fans are talking about the Super Bowl, you might want to look, well, slightly interested.

The Redskins have scored a total of 17 points in their first two preseason games and have lost Clinton Portis and Cornelius Griffin to injuries. They've also lost Shawn Springs and Phillip Daniels to injury over the past week. I'm just surprised Mark Brunell hasn't gone down with a strained back from carrying around Al Saunders' 700-page playbook.

Tell you what. If the offense doesn't get untracked soon, Daniel Snyder will be using that playbook for a booster seat.

I continue to marvel at the intensity of Tiger Woods, which can be impressive and off-putting at the same time. He backed away twice from a long putt on the final hole of the PGA Championship yesterday and could be heard grousing about some noise from the gallery, even though he could have six-putted from there to win his 12th major championship.

That's probably why he's back in a class by himself. He clearly was upset about his third bogey of the tournament on No. 17, perhaps because he needed just to par out to break his record for most strokes under par at a major.

Woods quickly mended fences with the fans at Medinah, complimenting them on their enthusiasm during the trophy ceremony.

New Monday Night Football third wheel Tony Kornheiser got mixed reviews after his first game in the booth, including a negative one from The Washington Post, but I think he's going to end up being a good fit in a difficult role. And if you think I'm just stroking a fellow sportswriter, you don't know my history with Tony.

It isn't easy to walk into a broadcast booth and be spontaneously funny and insightful. Dennis Miller, who is one of my favorite comedians and least-favorite football analysts, proved that.

The decision to sit Jamal Lewis for essentially the rest of Ravens' preseason is, along with being the right thing to do, more proof of the terrific depth that Brian Billick has at the running back position, where Musa Smith has opened a lot of eyes during the first two preseason games.

In fact, if Lewis ends up needing another week or so to get all the soreness out of his hip, there are a lot people - including myself - who are curious to see what Smith can do when it counts.

Belated congratulations to the Maryland Orioles, who won their fourth straight All American Amateur Baseball Association national championship on Aug. 13 in Johnstown, Pa.

Manager Dean Albany, who also scouts for the major league Orioles, has made a habit of putting together a terrific 20-and-under team each summer. The young Orioles went 6-1 in the tournament, and Jason Bour was named Most Valuable Player.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com.

"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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