2C: The fan page

By Tom Jones
Published November 1, 2006

Couple of the day

Former Lakers star Rick Fox, once married to singer Vanessa Williams, was seen having dinner in a hip L.A. restaurant with actress Sharon Stone. Wonder if the two were canoodling? We're not suggesting they were, but we've always wanted to get the word "canoodling" in the sports section.

Sign the world has gone crazy

Jeff Kantner, a youth-league hockey coach in Reading, Pa., allegedly gave performance-enhancing pills to his 11- and 12-year-old players. He quit after parents claimed he gave the kids glucose tablets, an over-the-counter supplement that boosts energy in adults.

Rumor of the day

The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser is reporting that if and when Bobby Bowden leaves Florida State, the two coaches most likely to replace him are West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez or Louisville's Bobby Petrino. Our guess? Petrino and Rodriguez will be too old when Bowden decides to step down.

Three things you might not know now about television and sports

1. Harold Reynolds is suing ESPN. The former ballplayer turned broadcaster was fired by ESPN last summer after working as a baseball analyst since 1996. He is suing for wrongful termination.

"I have tried everything possible to handle this situation quietly behind close doors," Reynolds said in a statement. "At the end of the day, my integrity, reputation and family are my top priorities, and for those reasons I need to set the record straight and clear my name."

It isn't known exactly why Reynolds was fired abruptly in July, only rumors and innuendo. In his suit, Reynolds does allude to a "brief and innocuous hug" of a female intern. If there is a trial, the details should come out. ESPN is saying, "The suit is without merit" and that it stands by its decision to fire Reynolds.

The real shocker in all of this is Reynolds is suing for $5-million for the five years left on his contract. So you're saying ESPN is paying people $1-million a year to tell us Barry Zito has a good curveball?

2. Did you notice that TNT's NBA studio host Ernie Johnson was without hair Tuesday night? Johnson is in the process of undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He has had six rounds, will have one more Friday and, perhaps, one more after that. According to the Associated Press, doctors have told Johnson he had shown an "excellent response to treatment."

3. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, television ratings for the Canadian Football League are way down this season, as much as 10 percent. The league cites many reasons: a Canadian team (Edmonton Oilers) was in the Stanley Cup final, there was the wildly popular soccer World Cup to compete with, the Toronto franchise had a slow start and the team in Ottawa suspended operations before the season. Oh, maybe there's one other reason: It's the Canadian Football League!


Dumb move of the week

Vikings coach Brad Childress tried to give Pats coach Bill Belichick some of his own medicine before Monday's game, closing practice to reporters, doubling the size of his injury report and being vague about their injuries. He was obviously taking a shot at Belichick, who does the same things week in and week out.

Maybe Childress should've put more time in on his game plan. The Patriots waxed the Vikings, 31-7, in Minnesota on Monday.