In my conversation with Charlie Pierce last week, he mentioned one of the golfers looking to supplant Tiger Woods as number one in the world. His mispronunciation of said golfer’s name inspired Charlie Bell, who hears “Only A Game” on WAMC in Albany, New York, to wax poetic:

“Do you know,” our host asked, “after Tiger’s long run,
Who’ll inherit the title of World’s Number One?”
Charlie paused and said, “Maybe that Westwood guy, Lee
Or some dude I don’t know, Martin KAY-mer, tee-hee.
Hey, it’s only a name, and I’m just a lame rimer,
But the German’s got game, and his name’s Martin KY-mer.”

As old friend Ned Martin, late the voice of the Red Sox, used to say, “Not too shabby.”

My conversation last week with Sports Illustrated Group editor Terry McDonell, the guy who’s responsible for picking the cover of the magazine each week, provoked several responses. Mr. McDonell maintained that the so-called Sports Illustrated cover jinx began when Oklahoma, proclaimed unbeatable on the cover in 1957, lost. Nancy Kriplen was an editorial trainee at Time, Inc., the magazine’s parent company, during the mid-fifties. She wrote to say “I would date the jinx to something darker. I remember we began talking about it shortly after Jill Kinmont appeared on the cover in January, 1955, and that same week had a horrendous crash which left her paralyzed.”

Linda Mitchell was also responding to that interview when she wrote, “Bill, I hold you in the highest esteem for trying ever so gently to lead Mr. McDonnell into an admission of institutional sexism, but I’m sorry you didn’t nail his arse to the wall with more vigor. Give me Annika over Tiger any day of the week. She is in great company with all the other amazing women whose athletic accomplishments and honorable lives have been ignored by S.I.”

Of last week’s Halloween tale about the allegedly-haunted hotel in Milwaukee which is home to teams visiting the Brewers, Bill Wright wrote, “the only question I had following the wonderful story about the Pfister Hotel concerns Charles Pfister himself. Was he a baseball fan? Maybe he is still trying to help out the hometown club.”