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I heard today from a staffer at School Without Walls. She’d read the Cheap Seats column that I wrote for the ridiculously retro print platform of Washington City Paper about the sorry state of high school swimming in the District and got mad.
Not at me! At the city.
(AFTER THE JUMP: Wizards’ no-names beat Bulls no-names? Is that Zydrunas Ilgauskas trade a mockery of a sham or what? Is “Zydrunas Ilgauskas” a name or what? And Juan Dixon’s excuse is a sham of a mockery of a sham?)
My story focused on Roy Fagin‘s admirable but unsuccessful attempt to get a swimming program started at his alma mater, Coolidge Senior High. Fagin, a 1972 grad, was the only swimmer in the school during his days as a student. The school hasn’t had a competitive swim team since he left.
Fagin, now a nationally ranked swimmer in the 55-59 age group, offered to coach the school’s squad this year. But only five kids showed up for the first meeting, and soon enough the new Coolidge swim team’s roster dwindled to none.
The story didn’t tell the School Without Walls staffer anything she didn’t know. She says that her school has a very different problem than Coolidge: “We have kids who want to swim here,” she says. “But we can’t get anybody to coach.”
Because the School Without Walls administration did not find a coach, she said, seven students there are now swimming for the Wilson Senior High team.
“Don’ t blame the kids,” she told me. “You can’t get girls to play basketball at Roosevelt? You can’t get anybody to swim at Coolidge? You can’t get anybody to coach [at School Without Walls]? Connect the dots. This isn’t the kids’ fault.”
You reading, Mr. Fagin? Your services are coveted over at the School Without Walls.
The Wizards continued their divine run to the top of the Eastern Conference with a 101-95 home win over Michael Jordan Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls.
The Wiz’s now 3-1 since ridding the roster of anybody the season ticket holders had bought their season tickets to watch. And the one game the team has lost lately, a few days ago to Toronto, only came about because the post-trades no-names blew a double-digit lead in the last few minutes.
Somebody doesn’t sound so stupid this week.
But only this week.
Talk about making a mockery of the salary cap. From the AP notes on last night’s game:
The Wizards have yet to buy out the contract of C Zydrunas Ilgauskas. If he’s bought out, the NBA will not stop a potential reunion between Ilgauskas and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Is a scam involving only 2 teams enough to qualify as collusion?
Speaking of mockery: John Keim of the Washington Examiner, perhaps the best Redskins beat reporter going, works the hardcourt in the offseason. Today he lets Juan Dixon tell his side of the steroid story. And then mocks that side!
Here’s a portion of Keim’s piece:
Juan Dixon laughed at the notion that he was taking steroids. Instead, the former Maryland star claimed it was an honest mistake — as does, frankly, every other person who tests positive for steroids.
Dixon, who was playing professionally in Spain, was suspended indefinitely by FIBA after testing positive for nandrolone and he was scheduled to take a B sample test Monday. The results should be known within a week.
“If it’s OK, I should be good to go,” he told ESPN.com while attending Pitt’s win over Villanova. His brother, Jermaine, plays for the Panthers.
And his reasoning for the positive test?
“I’m a supplement junkie,” Dixon told ESPN.com. “I like to try different things and I made the mistake of not doing the research and making sure it was legal.”
He’s not the first athlete to claim that mistake — it’s also what Redskins end Jeremy Jarmon said after he tested positive last year. It resulted in a suspension by the NCAA and subsequent entry into the supplemental draft (no pun intended, of course).
Mockery is the entertainingest form of flattery.
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