They fought the law . . .

Headlines of Allen Iverson’s recent run-in with the law is just another reminder of the sick fascination the general public has with athletes that make the rap sheet.
Count me in.
Despite the obvious big altercations in sports history out there—the 1918 White Sox scandal, the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial, and well, pretty much the career of Darryl Strawberry—I prefer to take pleasure in the smaller occurrences.
Here are my top favourite pro athlete meltdowns in recent years:
#5. 1997—Charles Barkley of the Houston Rockets throws a fan through a bar window in Houston. Lesson: try to cop as many free beers as you can from
a sports celebrity, just don’t knock his mama.
#4. 1996—Police respond to complaints and find football’s Michael Irvin in his hotel room buried in cocaine and strippers—and he tries to fight back!
#3. 1997—From the “2-for-1 bonus archives,” Latrell Sprewell displays his general unhappiness with his Golden State Warriors team by choking head coach P.J. Carlesimo during practice. Shortly after being pulled apart, Sprewell showered, came out to the gym lobby, and attacked him again.
#2. 1992—Mike Tyson’s rape conviction. I know, I said I’d yield from the big ones but the ripple effect (throwing televisions in jail, biting ears,
instigating press conference brawls, sexually-harassing reporters, threatening cannibalism) has made “Tin” Mike a memorable sports character for years to come.
And the granddaddy of ’em all:
#1. 2000—Former Dallas Stars goalie Ed Belfour, while in a drunken rage in his hotel room, offers police “one billion dollars” if they let him go. While not the most severe of the top five, certainly the most amusing because of its simplicity.
• • •
Far be it for me to put a damper on the festive atmosphere of the upcoming Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.
But I must say to any anglers participating in Sunday’s Kid-Pro tournament: winning this particular mini-derby may not be the best omen for you.
Last year, Cos and Cory Costa took their young angler to the Kid-Pro title and then finished in 102nd place when it counted. The year before wasn’t so bad but Tom Pearson and Mike Gertsner’s 45th placing after winning the Kid-Pro in 2000 left them out of the money.
Don Cumming and Harry Bell were tops in the Kid-Pro in 1999 only to finish 50th in the FFCBC.
I’m not saying there’s an absolute hex on winning the Kid-Pro. But it is difficult to argue with the past.
So to participating anglers I say, have fun, show the kids a thing or two, but whatever you do, at all costs, do not win!
Take a dive, go down in the fifth.
• • •
Quinn McCarthy was tops at the six-boat field that competed in the Mermaid Rock Race last Saturday. He piloted his “Sedna” to a corrected time of 135.2 decimal minutes, slightly ahead of Warren Wagness (“Slug”) at 135.9.
Tedd Williams’ “Lady Di” was third, followed by Colin Hewitt (“Ariba”), Todd Hamilton (“Thr-ough”), Jack Bartlett (“Mad Hatter”), and Eric Rude (“Salty Dog”).
The race began at Fraser and American Islands and went through American Narrows, Barb Rock, past the Mermaid Rock, and through Pine Narrows.
• • •
The Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association unveiled its new Web site (www.fortfranceshockey.com) on Monday. Co-organizer Chr-istine Brown said the site, a year in the making, will provide an adequate tool for coaches.
• • •
Matt Basaraba’s Lakehead Express under-18 boys’ soccer team had a rocky time at an Ontario Cup qualifier in Vaughn last weekend. The Thunder Bay-based club went 1-3, with their only win a 3-0 triumph over Oakville, eliminating them from further Cup play.
Basaraba, who played on the Muskies’ soccer team that qualified for OFSAA this past spring, is the only local player on the team and will continue to play with the team in ‘D’ league of the local senior men’s division.
If you are organizing a sporting event or have sports-related information, call me at 274-5373, visit the Times office, or e-mail rvillagracia@fortfrances.com

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