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Totally Random

December 11, 2008 |  8:01 pm

Barry Melrose

Barry Melrose doesn’t officially return as an analyst to ESPN until Jan. 1, but in the interim, the Barry and Barrie Show continues to provide steady entertainment.

Melrose and Tampa Bay Lightning co-owner Len Barrie continue to take shots at one another in the wake of Melrose’s firing as Lightning coach.

Barrie told the St. Petersburg Times, “My thing is you’re paid to do a job, and he didn’t do it from day one. How he came in and prepared for this job was total negligence.”

Melrose has complained of interference from upper management. To that charge, Barrie told XM Radio, “I told Barry Melrose about five or six things in the whole eight weeks I was there and he didn't listen to one. Maybe Barry should have listened every once in a while because he lost the team fast. Go ask the players, don't sit here and ask me."

Melrose, to Toronto radio station The Fan 590: “I hope Tampa Bay doesn’t win a game in the next year.”

Trivia time

Who was the first head coach of the Lightning?

No-so-jolly Santa

Wearing a Cowboys-customized Santa cap and a blinking red nose at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility on Tuesday, Terrell Owens was in a holiday mood. He said he wanted to give former Cowboys and current ESPN commentators Emmitt Smith and Keyshawn Johnson a gift -- their own television program.

“Those two need their own show -- Dumb and Dumber,” Owens told reporters.

Owens described Smith as a hypocrite for calling the Cowboys a bunch of individuals, not a team, then leaving a message on Greg Ellis’ cell phone to pass onto the team. Owens also repeated an old charge-- that Johnson remains bitter about Owens taking his place on the Cowboys’ roster.

"Obviously, this guy is still really jealous of me," T.O. said, "because I'm here and this guy is in the booth talking about me and the Cowboys."

The Daly down under

Six years after melting down at the Australian PGA -- throwing his putter and golf ball into a pond, failing to sign his scorecard to disqualify himself in 2002 -- John Daly has returned to Australia with a smash.

En route to an opening round six-over-par 78 at the Australian Open in Sydney, Daly lost his temper again and after the completion of his round grabbed a spectator’s camera and smashed it against a tree. Then he reportedly told the fan, “You want it back, I’ll buy you a new one.”

Daly released a statement via tournament organizers saying the fan, Brad Clegg, got too close.

“I was looking to take a drop and a camera was 6 inches away from my face. If I was 10 under, I would have felt the same,” Daly said. “My eyes are still burning from the flash of the camera.

“I feel it was very rude to put a camera that close to somebody’s face in any situation. The guy that had the camera had already taken a dozen shots at close range.”

Asked if he would seek compensation, Clegg told the Australian Associated Press: “I don’t think I’ll be chasing him for the money. He’s a big bloke!”

Trivia answer

Terry Crisp coached the Lightning to a 23-54-7 record in the Lightning’s expansion season of 1992-93.

And finally

From Dan Daly of the Washington Times on Sean Avery: “In addition to serving a six-game suspension for being a lout, Avery agreed to see an anger management counselor. Good thing Gary Bettman doesn’t make every miscreant do that. The NHL would turn into ‘Holiday on Ice.’”

-- Mike Penner

Photo: Barry Melrose. Credit: Mike Carlson / Associated Press