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Wake-up call: Barack Obama, John McCain, Ryan Howard, hockey dads

October 8, 2008 | 10:52 am

Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard

Sorry to all you who have been up since 6 a.m., had three cups of coffee and watched a second rerun of last night's late "SportsCenter."

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCainI'm still bleary-eyed from watching the John McCain-Barack Obama debate analysis and commentary.

This is what I like about most sports. When the game is over, in most cases, you know who won.

You don't have someone like Mike Murphy telling you the score was one thing and someone like Rachel Maddow telling you it was another.

There are exceptions, like boxing. It reminds me of an Earl Gustkey story. Earl used to cover boxing for us before moving over to the USC beat. Earl was a fine boxing writer, but he scored like Stevie Wonder. He was always way off compared with the other boxing writers.

After his first game covering USC, the L.A. Times phone rang in the Coliseum press box. Ed Schuyler, the mischievous Associated Press boxing writer, was on the line, asking for the score of the game.

I can't remember who picked up the phone for us. Whoever it was gave Ed the answer, 30-10, or something like that.

There was a pause on the other end of the line.

Then Ed said, "How'd Earl score it?''

Two more little notes from outside the sports world. (Did you notice there are no games being played by any of our professional teams tonight?)

Kevin Baxter wrote an excellent profile in the LAT this morning about Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. It mentions Ryan's father, Ron, who was only 14 when Bull Connor turned the firehoses on the kids protesting discrimination in Alabama and spent a few days in the Birmingham jail, just preceding the stay behind bars there by Dr. Martin Luther King.

''We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that 'justice too long denied is justice delayed,''' Dr. King wrote from the Birmingham jail.

Over in Calendar, Rachel Abramowitz writes about "Breakfast With Scot.'' It's a hockey dads movie. She said she couldn't find a movie about hockey moms.

-- Randy Harvey

Top photo: Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard follows through on a two-run home run in a game in June.  Credit: Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Inset: Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain at the conclusion of the second presidential debate. Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images