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"Of the dead," according to the Latin proverb, "nothing but good should be said." Not that we want to say anything bad about Payne Stewart, who died on Monday, Oct. 25, but we did have to wonder why his last public act, an embarrassing one, went unreported in the wall-to-wall newspaper coverage of his death in Tuesday's papers. On the Saturday before Stewart died, the Golf Channel asked him about one commentator's assertion that American fans "might as well be Chinese" for all the courtesy they showed the European Ryder Cup team. Stewart responded by squinting his eyes and doing an extended Charlie Chan imitation for the camera. That performance, and his apology for it, were replayed prominently that night on ESPN's SportsCenter. None of the articles in Tuesday's Times, News, or Post carried any mention of Stewart's attempt at ethnic humor. There was a strange twist in Canada, however, in Monday's National Post, where columnist Cam Cole criticized Stewart's outburst. "This is hardly the first evidence that the U.S. Open champ is a twit," wrote Cole—who then had to explain in Tuesday's paper that he'd written the item before Stewart's ill-fated plane had taken off. Either way, wish we'd seen a bit more honest account of Payne's life in all the sanitized TV and newspaper coverage over the last week....Over 200 wheeled hopefuls gave it their New York best at Chelsea Piers last Friday where an open call to audition talent for WSL RollerJam was held. Male and female in-line skaters of various stripes (including a priest, a strip-club bouncer, and a barely vertical young woman dressed in a two-piece blue sequin number) were videotaped jamming, blocking, and engaging in mock trash talk with RollerJam stars Denise Loden and Sean Atkinson. California Quake captain and inquisitor Atkinson, whose parents skated with Roller Derby's New York Chiefs in the '50s, said that New York City was turning out to be pretty fertile as far as potential RollerJam material went. "The skaters here are agile from dodging cars," he said. "They're also good at giving you the jaw. They have the right attitude."


Contributors: Peter Ephross, Jon Cooper, Paul Lukas, Mark Winopol, Paula Hunt
Sports Editor: Miles D. Seligman

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