All's (un)fair

Ex-Ute quarterback Alex Smith has had his ups and downs since being picked No. 1 in the 2005 NFL Draft.

OK, mostly downs.

So this year, the 49ers demoted him to backup, calling on J.T. O'Sullivan to start instead.

Asked by media last week whether Smith got a fair chance to be the starter, offensive coordinator Mike Martz shot back, "First of all, let me tell you this ... and let's get this straight: There's nothing fair about this league. All right? There's nothing fair about this game. Understand that first of all, OK?"

Got it. It's not fair.

Which explains why Miami still gets to call itself an NFL team in spite of last season.

Cashing in

Of course, it's probably not fair Smith has been paid roughly $1.3 million for every touchdown he's thrown in the NFL, either. But that's another story.

Lost in translation

Reports say the LPGA wants members to pass an English proficiency test or risk losing eligibility.

The issue is that with so many foreign golfers — particularly Korean-speaking — they need to be able to speak fluently with the American media.

Makes sense, except for one thing.

If speaking English really matters in sports, how come Jerry Sloan is still around?

The NBA should probably make him him pass a test, explaining what "jackpotting around," "getting their dobbers down," "getting sideways" with someone, or "getting your ears pinned back" means.

Rolling away

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in St. Louis is closing permanently, a move that reportedly caught employees by surprise.

"In fact," wrote the Seattle Times' Dwight Perry, "it was so quiet, eyewitnesses said, that you could hear ... nah, too easy."

Singular style

Major League Baseball has devised a $65 million ad campaign for the playoffs that says, "There's Only One October."

Yes, but the really good news is there's only one Bud Selig, too.

Big screen

San Antonio Express-News columnist Richard Oliver, on the fact Oregon has added a digital screen that is bigger than the one-year-old screen at Oregon State: "It's all about leaving your rival in the pixel dust."

Rear admiral

ESPN commentator Charles Barkley plans to have his colonoscopy televised to promote cancer awareness.

Sorry to bring this up, but haven't we seen that side of him before?

Foreign object

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel: "According to the Associated Press, scientists have discovered a new Jupiter-sized planet orbiting around a distant sun-like star. Or maybe it was just (Tennessee coach) Phil Fulmer looking for a parking spot at Cracker Barrel."


E-mail: rock@desnews.com