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Rock On: Getting up to speed at BYU, Jazz's old house and more

Published: Monday, June 17 2013 3:50 p.m. MDT

Brigham Young University as it now appears. Plans are being made for reconstruction of the East Campus Drive area, including the addition of traffic circles and increased pedestrian walking space.  (Photos courtesy BYU photo, ) Brigham Young University as it now appears. Plans are being made for reconstruction of the East Campus Drive area, including the addition of traffic circles and increased pedestrian walking space. (Photos courtesy BYU photo, )

DISTANCE DRIVING

BYU students have built a car that won a national competition by getting 1,331 miles per gallon.

Drivers had to go at speeds as low as two miles per hour and average just 15 mph.

In other words, it went forever, but agonizingly slow.

Designers reportedly fashioned their plan after the football program’s search to find a suitable conference.

THIS OLD HOUSE

The Jazz on Monday announced plans to upgrade EnergySolutions Arena with a new video display system.

How badly was the facelift needed?

Rock On isn’t saying it was outdated, except to admit it had vaguely begun to remind him of John Stockton’s shorts.

The newly announced center-hung HD video boards will be 42 feet wide and 24 feet high on the sidelines and 26 feet by 17 feet on the baselines.  (Jody Genessy, Deseret News) The newly announced center-hung HD video boards will be 42 feet wide and 24 feet high on the sidelines and 26 feet by 17 feet on the baselines. (Jody Genessy, Deseret News)

PAIN AGAIN

Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the Jazz’s memorable Game 6 NBA Finals loss to Chicago.

Sources say Bryon Russell still can’t understand why Michael Jordan wouldn’t want to play a makeup game that would embarrass them both and make viewers scratch out their eyes.

OWNING IT

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the New York Post his Super Bowl ring was, well, appropriated by Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2005.

According to Kraft, he handed the ring to Putin, who surprisingly pocketed it. A Putin spokesman denied Kraft’s account, saying it was a gift. Now Kraft's people are saying it was only a humorous anecdote.

Still, it’s an unsettling possibility: Russian guy sees something he likes, so he claims it.

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2012, file photo, Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper smiles as he sits in the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Washington. Harper was named the National League Rookie of the Year Monday, Nov. 12. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP) FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2012, file photo, Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper smiles as he sits in the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Washington. Harper was named the National League Rookie of the Year Monday, Nov. 12. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)

Isn’t that what happened with the Nets?

FIGHT NIGHT

A beanball exchange led to a bench-clearing brawl last week in a game between Arizona and Los Angeles.

Included in the melee were ex-players Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly, Matt Williams and Kirk Gibson.

Sources say the incident would have ended earlier but they were waiting for Ty Cobb to arrive.

DATELINE

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper made recent news — but not entirely for baseball.

His girlfriend, coming off her sophomore season as a BYU soccer player, tweeted photos of flowers and a dress that Harper purchased for their date.

MLB star Bryce Harper surprised his girlfriend, Kayla Varner, with roses and a new dress prior to a date. (via Twitter) MLB star Bryce Harper surprised his girlfriend, Kayla Varner, with roses and a new dress prior to a date. (via Twitter)

Sources say he was about to buy the movie theater and restaurant, too, but couldn’t fit them in his car.

VINSANITY

At press time, the Los Angeles Clippers were still looking for a coach after firing Vinny Del Negro.

The former coach won a club-record 56 games and directed the Clippers’ first division championship.

Sources say the ownership liked his style, but felt he had violated a time-honored Clippers tradition of finishing last and losing 50-plus games a year.

Email: rock@desnews.com; Twitter: therockmonster; Facebook: therockmonster

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