Chief Wahoo, Your Time To Go Is Here

Ohio's own Terry Pluto has joined the cry to bury that goofy-looking Chief Wahoo logo used for decades by the Cleveland Indians.

"I grew up with Chief Wahoo. I love Chief Wahoo. But I also know it's time for Chief Wahoo to go," writes Pluto, a sports columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal for the past 15 years.

"Some of you will mumble about bleeding hearts, about Native Americans having better things to do than to worry about what logo is used by a baseball team. Others will say you're Irish and you don't care that Notre Dame uses a silly leprechaun for a logo, so why should Native Americans care about Chief Wahoo?

"None of that changes the fact that many Native Americans do care, and most of them consider it insulting.

"I've . . . traveled across several reservations in the West. I've talked to people who live there. It comes down to this: Most don't like it. . . . It bothers a lot of people, and it's something the Cleveland Indians can fix."

Catching a ride

Rodgers Freyvogel, Pittsburgh Steeler equipment manager, had some unusual luggage on his two-hour trip from the Pittsburgh airport to the team's training camp.

Kicker Norm Johnson and punter Josh Miller missed the team bus after the Steelers' 21-17 exhibition loss to Philadelphia, and they didn't want to pay the $200 taxi bill, so they joined the dirty uniforms and sweaty shoulder pads in Freyvogel's truck.

"It wasn't very comfortable lying on helmets and shoulder pads," Miller said. "And it smelled terrible."

It got worse when the driver hit a bump, showering a sleeping Johnson with equipment.

"I saw a foot, so I dug some stuff out of the way and there was Norm at the bottom of the pile," Miller said. "Norm, 17 years in the league, and he rides in the back of an equipment truck."

Ants stop cricket

Thousands of flying ants forced abandonment of a recent amateur league cricket match in Worcestershire, England.

Entomologist Bob Ellis said the hot weather caused a mating swarm.

"If you are a flying ant, this is the big day of your life," he said.

Suppose Longhorns will remember?

At first glance, UCLA's football home opener against Texas doesn't look so tough - Texas went 4-7 last season. Not so fast.

"I think they're going to be mad as hell, OK?" UCLA Coach Bob Toledo said.

Last year's UCLA-Texas score: Bruins 66, Longhorns 3.

It's a fact

-- Every major-league baseball team with a winning record this season has a payroll of at least $37.5 million (an average of $1.5 million per player).

-- Fiji, home of PGA champion Vijay Singh, has 10 golf courses, with only three of an international standard. Registered golfers total about 2,000, including 19 professionals.

-- San Diego's Tony Gwynn would have to go hitless for more than 1,000 consecutive at-bats for his career average to drop below .300.

-- Two years ago, Tom Lehman collected $310,000 for winning the British Open - 72 holes over the testing Royal Lytham and St. Annes course. On Nov. 29, he can earn $200,000 for playing one hole in California. That's the prize for winning the 18th hole of the annual Skins Game at Rancho La Quinta, where Lehman will be defending champion.

They wrote it

-- Dan Le Batard, Miami Herald: "Good to see Bud Selig's daughter has taken over the Brewers. Now commissioner Bud can devote himself full time to acting in the best interest of Wayne Huizenga."

-- Le Batard, again: "This NBA lockout makes perfect sense. How can a legend like Greg Ostertag be expected to settle for just twice as much guaranteed money ($40 million) as the NFL's most dominant defensive player, John Randle ($32 million contract, $21 million guaranteed)?"

-- Bob Matthews, Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle: "The bad news is that the already talent-diluted National Hockey League is expanding to Nashville and Columbus. The good news is that the NHL is running out of prospective cities."

He said it

-- Stock-car driver Kyle Petty, on the new NASCAR Barbie doll: "I really hoped she'd have the same earrings I do. Obviously, I'm disappointed."

Compiled by Chuck Ashmun, The Seattle Times