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Well, the Republican Convention is winding down. Are you like me? Are you waiting for John Kerry to hire Butch Harmon to work on the swing states?

COLIN POWELL CANCELS TRIP TO OLYMPICS He was too busy trying to build a coalition of support for Larry Brown's roster selections.

See the closing ceremonies? I thought this was nice. The Greek team chipped in and bought the pregnant woman with the glowing belly a car seat.

NBC kept the cross-promotion going to the very end. Twice, I could have sworn I saw Matt LeBlanc toweling off on the 10-meter platform.

GYMNASTICS SCORING CONTROVERSY CONTINUES Poor Paul Hamm. First he has to share a womb, now this.

The International Gymnastics Federation requested Hamm give up his gold medal in the all-around, but it was turned down flat by USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth. I hope the expression "Go take a flying FIG" was in there somewhere.

The request came from FIG president Bruno Grandi. I think I know his superior, Bruno Venti.

For those who don't remember Ueberroth, he rose to prominence when he turned a $225 million profit on the 1984 Games. Of course, the net profit was $24 million after they paid Carl Lewis's hair, makeup and wardrobe people.

Elsewhere, the U.S. had its lowest number of boxing medalists since 1948. Ladies and gentlemen, this is serious. Where is Don King supposed to find his future plaintiffs?

RICKY WILLIAMS CALLS DOLPHINS Don't get excited. He's not coming back, he just wanted to know if any linemen were holding.

Ricky was in Australia when he called the Dolphins. All I have is the punch line: "Oh, I thought you said Great Barrier Reefer!"

Paul Tagliabue issued a memo mandating that teams be more specific when reporting injuries. Which raises the question: Do you want to read anything more specific than "questionable (groin)"?

HOCKEY WORLD CUP BEGINS Everybody is getting ready for for the lockout. Starting Sept. 20, the Ice Capades will allow fighting.

FENWAY PARK BANS DEROGATORY T-SHIRTS Red Sox fans will be asked to turn the shirts inside out, or get a marker and write ALLEGEDLY in between YANKEES and SUCK.

JURY SELECTION BEGINS IN KOBE BRYANT TRIAL Prospective jurors have to fill out a questionnaire. The first question: "(Select one) William Kennedy Smith: Misunderstood or dreamy?"

My time is up. You've been great. Enjoy Shocking Blue.

Bill Scheft plans to promote five jokes from the PCL after Sept. 1.