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Original Issue

Charles Is Gone, But The Chuckies Aren't

'Tis a bleak day for sportswriters. We'll lose our appetite for
the free pregame buffet, set our seat backs at half mast, sing
dirges at the karaoke. The world's greatest quote has hung 'em

Charles Barkley ruptured the quadriceps tendon in his left knee
last week, ending his NBA career with 23,755 points, 12,544
rebounds and 3,241 They Said Its. Sales of recording tape and
notepads immediately plummeted.

But the Round Mound of Sound lives on in the Chuckies, the
annual celebration of the people we would most like to chuck
through a plate-glass window, just as Barkley once tossed an
annoying but aerodynamic sports fan in Orlando. Asked if he had
any regrets afterward, Barkley said, "I regret we weren't on a
higher floor."

Really gonna miss that man.

The envelopes, please....

Chicago Bears rookie Cade McNown, the former UCLA quarterback
who, after pleading no contest to illegally possessing a
handicapped parking placard, showed up for his first day of NFL
training camp and, you guessed it, parked in a handicapped spot.

Evander Holyfield, who came out of his losing championship bout
with Lennox Lewis as unmarked as a mobster's mistress. "It makes
me think I should have fought a little harder," Holyfield
allowed. "Maybe I'd be sore and sick, but I'd have the victory."
And maybe we should ask for our money back.

Golden State Warriors forward Chris Mills and Dallas Mavericks
forward Samaki Walker. In the dumbest NBA moment of the year,
Mills attempted to make a layup at the wrong basket. Luckily,
Walker fouled him as he went up. For them, a double pane.

Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal, who said, "I'm like
the Pythagorean theorem. Not too many people know the answer to
my game." Actually, Diesel, the answer is c2. Feel free to hurl
yourself through any sixth-grade classroom window and let the
kids clue you in.

Auburn athletic director David Housel, who paid $500,000 to get
the Tigers out of playing Florida State this fall. After
football coach Terry Bowden resigned in October 1998, Housel
said that without Terry on the Auburn sideline, playing against
dad Bobby Bowden's powerhouse Seminoles didn't seem so
appealing. Duh.

The Grand Viking, a.k.a. Minnesota Vikings fan Brian Siegmann,
walked the streets of Eau Claire, Wis., asking, "Who's a Packers
fan?" When one couple said, "Us!" Siegmann set the man's pants
leg and the woman's jacket sleeve and hair afire. Neither fan
was seriously injured. Hey, Grand, we're chucking you through
the front window of the nastiest Harley bar in Green Bay. Ask if
there are any Packers fans in there.

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing, who refused to sign
autographs for seriously ill kids from the Starlight Children's
Foundation at a Thanksgiving luncheon. "I don't sign on game
days," Ewing explained. He was on the injured list at the time.

Denver police officers, who maced members of the Colorado State
marching band as they stood in the Mile High Stadium stands
trying to play the school fight song amid an unruly crowd. The
police said they were worried the band was going to storm the
field. Cover me, Fred, I'm goin' after the clarinetist.

Orlando Magic rookie Corey Maggette, who missed a game with an
infected toe after a bad pedicure.

The Animal Protection Institute, which protested the fish-toss
contest at games of the minor league Sacramento Steelheads.
Contestants tossed a dead fish from a base line to second base,
and closest to the bag won. When a head came off in one fan's
hand, the API complained to the team. Uh, folks, one small
detail: The fish were dead already! Where were you two days ago
when they needed you?

Kevin Mitchell, former National League MVP, who was arrested on
suspicion of hitting his father because Dad owed him rent.
Kevin, as you smash through the window, remember, this will hurt
us a lot more than it'll hurt you.

Cheryl Smith, wife of Missouri football coach Larry Smith, who
stood on the sideline in the final quarter of Missouri's 66-0
loss to Kansas State berating her husband's players. Yo, Cheryl,
much more of this and you're no longer Team Mom.

And, last, the Chuckie Chuckee we've saved for Chuckie to chuck
himself, Bob Knight, Indiana basketball coach, who in October
filled a friend with shotgun pellets while bird hunting. Knight
said his finger slipped off the safety and hit the trigger.

Hey, Chuck, whatever you do, don't go to his shootaround.


To the Animal Protection Institute, which protested the fish-toss
contest at Sacramento Steelheads games.