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Totally Random

January 14, 2009 |  8:05 pm

Sen. Tom Coburn, left, sings Elton John's "Rocket Man" while Sen. Bill Nelson watches.

Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma paid off his BCS title game bet by singing Elton John’s “Rocket Man” in the nation’s capital Wednesday.

Coburn made a wager with Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and lost it when the Gators beat the Sooners, 24-14. Nelson picked “Rocket Man” because he is a former astronaut. So Coburn, with a printout of the lyrics in hand, belted out the ’70s hit, although he strained on some high notes. “Elton John is a little tough,” he said.

Had Nelson lost, he would have sung the title song from the musical “Oklahoma!”

The Keystone Bowl?

Some sports books have the Philadelphia Eagles four-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, with the Pittsburgh Steelers favored by six over the Baltimore Ravens.
Gambling site pegs the Steelers as a 3-2 favorite to win the 2009 Super Bowl, followed by the Eagles at 2-1, the Ravens at 3-1, and the Cardinals at 5-1.

Trivia time

When was the last time two teams from the same state played in a Super Bowl?

Triple play in left field

Jim Rice’s election to the Hall of Fame set a precedent that will be tough for another team to match, because he became the third consecutive Red Sox left fielder to get into Cooperstown.

Ted Williams was a rookie in 1939 and retired in 1960. Carl Yastrzemski replaced him in 1961, then Rice became a regular left fielder in 1975 when Yaz played at first.

Yastrzemski, who won seven Gold Gloves, helped Rice by giving him his fielder’s glove. “Yes, I gave him a glove, but it was one of the ones I hadn’t broken in yet,” Yastrzemski told the Boston Globe. “I used the same outfielder’s glove my whole career and I’ve got it at home. You could say it’s pretty well broken in. It’s probably only half the size of the ones they use today.”

Trivia answer

It was Super Bowl XXIX in 1995 when the San Francisco 49ers battered the San Diego Chargers, 49-26. Steve Young was the most valuable player and passed for a record six touchdowns, eclipsing the record of five by his 49ers’ predecessor, Joe Montana.

And finally

Rice and Rickey Henderson celebrated their Hall of Fame selections by presenting the Top Ten list of their career highlights on David Letterman’s show. One of Rice’s lines: “Before every game, I ate the same meal: pancakes smothered in pine tar.”

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Sen. Tom Coburn, left, sings Elton John's "Rocket Man" while Sen. Bill Nelson watches. Credit: Lawrence Jackson / Associated Press