click the "headlines" for full story . _____________________ . About "Still In Progress..."


“Culling the thoughts that occur when you’re standing around waiting for something to happen”

In February, we received the disheartening news that Frisbee inventor Walter Frederick Morrison had flung his final disc, passing away at the age of 90.

Now more bad news has rattled the world of novelty outdoor fun.

George P. Nissen took a figurative jump toward the heavens on April 7 and never returned to Earth. The creator of the modern-day trampoline was 93. Nissen's invention transformed sports as we know it, from flying mascots at halftime shows to the Olympics - where it's a summer event. That's more than baseball can boast.

In death, Nissen and Morrison join what's got to be a rocking outdoor barbeque in the sky.

Preceding them in the afterlife was George Hansburg. The inventor of the pogo stick was 87 when he died in 1975.

Also up there is David N. Mullany, who was 81 when he passed away in 1990, but not before introducing the Wiffleball to backyards across the world.

One thing these men had in common - besides keeping generations of kids flustered when these inventions got stuck in trees - was their advanced age. That can't be a coincidence, rather a testament to staying active, regardless of the ridiculousness of how you do it.

If that theory is true, then Reyn Guyer, 75, has some time left to play outside before God calls him in for supper.

Guyer, a Hasbro toy hall of fame inductee, invented the Nerf football and the awkward living room-classic 'Twister. Here's hoping he can still contort his body.


When you hear the names Kerri Strug and Robert Fischer mentioned in the same breath with the word 'wedding' and 'nuptials,' the first thought is: 'wow, their kids will be some kind of super cerebral athletes.

And while that certainly might be the case one day, it won't be due to the marriage of gymnastics' and chess' most recognizable icons respectively - especially considering that bishop-brainiac Bobby Fischer died two years ago.

The Tuscon-born Strug, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist, married Robert Fischer III on Sunday at Skyline Country Club.

Fischer is a lawyer for Lamar Smith - the Republican Texas congressman and not the former Carolina Panters' running back, whom once held the record for most carries (40 for 209 yards) in an NFL postseason game. The football playing Smith could have also used Fischer's services, having wracked up two costly DUI arrests during his career.


It's been a bad month for those with long and cumbersome names.

A week after the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull snarled international travel, several other big names (literally) made dubious headlines stateside.

Chris Jakubauskus' debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates was a painful and forgettable one. The right-hander took a Lance Berkman line drive to the forehead in the first inning of Saturday's game against the Houston Astros and landed on the disabled list with a concussion and a face contusion.

The bad news continued to pile up this week for those whose names have consonants where vowels should be and vice-versa.

On Sunday, a swollen leg forced Kentucky Derby favorite Eskendereya from racing in the 136th installment of the fastest two-minutes in all of sports. So much for being healthy as a horse.

April was a tough month for those with elongated names - unlike March, which saw former Wildcat tight-end Brandon Manumaleuna sign a five-year contract with the Chicago Bears.


Speaking of Texas politicos and wounded animals (insert you own pun here), Eskendereya should consider himself lucky that he's only got a swollen leg.

Texas Governor Rick Perry admitted this week to shooting and killing a devious coyote that was eyeing him and his dog up on a morning jog.

According to the Associated Press: the governor was not required to file a report for discharging a weapon, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange.

There's no word, yet, but we have to assume that Mange got the approval to talk to the press from her boss Sally Scabies.


And then, of course, in the Sunshine State...a Punta Gorda, Fla., man has published a book about his torrid, nine-month love affair with a dolphin.

The most shocking revelation to come from this tragically named book "Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover" is that bestiality is legal in Florida.

I could make this stuff up, but it wouldn't be as me, I've tried.


Back to expired desert dogs, "Still In Progress At Press Time..." would like to extend an apology to the fans of the Phoenix Coyotes.

On Monday, we published a story about hockey superstitions with the focus on diehard Coyotes' fan Kyle Canfield. The Tucsonan was growing his playoff beard in the name of the charity A day later, the Detroit Red Wings ended the Coyotes' season and surely sent Canfield scrambling for a Schick.

Canfield raised $10 since we published his plight, upping his total earned toward various youth charities to $170. Way to go, Kyle. Sorry if we jinxed your boys.

The same first-round jinx befell Steve Penny and the New Jersey Devils, whom "Still In Progress..." also endorsed.

It's not too late to donate to their causes. Visit Beard-A-Thon.

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Breast In Peace: Pamela Anderson passes away at the age of 72. Her lifeless body was found floating face-up in a Los Angeles pool. The buxom actress flourished in her second career as a Senior Olympic gold-medal swimmer, excelling in, of course, the breast stroke.


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"Great article! I'll never forget as a teenager, seeing Carl Yastrzemski at a show. I waited in line, not realizing he was charging for his signature (I didn't pay). It's sad. You grow up idolizing these guys and want to honor them by asking for their autograph, all they want is the money."

- Abdulhadi Ahmedi, via Facebook

SIPAPT: It really is a bummer. Among some of the nicer athletes I've met, I'd have to include Tommy John and Martin Brodeur. Oh, and nice work on correctly spelling 'Yastrzemski.' !!

"I'm still waiting for Jerome Walton's $8 autographs to live up to its price tag. I think I bought like 8 of them and waited an hour on line in a mall. And I don't think he said a word to me."

- Gary Housman, via Facebook

SIPAPT: You can get an autographed Jerome Walton bat on eBay for $72. If you hadn't bought all those autographs back when Walton was considered a young phenom and not-a-future bust, you'd have enough to buy that bat today...and still have enough left over to buy a Bob Feller signature.

"Since my uncle, Jesse Hill was head football coach at USC in the mid 1950's and later A.D., I've got every Trojan Heisman winner on a correct period football program.

"But my prized Heisman winner autograph is Glen Davis of Army, who won it in 1945. Back in the '70's, I was working at the L.A. Herald-Examiner and went to the Times Grand Prix on a press pass, and Davis was the PR guy for the Times in charge of the press. I had to have him sign my press pass so I could get into the Press Patio for the free lunch and beer.

"I kept the signature because I had heard that when he was married to his 1st wife, Terri Moore, Davis had caught her and Howard Hughes making love on the couch in his living room one evening and he knocked Howard out, over the couch, and threw him out on the front lawn, naked before throwing the clothes in the trash. I shook his hand, too.

"I got this story from Jim Bacon, who was Howard's PR guy, and was my co-worker at the Her-Ex later.

"Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba"

- Ferrari Bubba, via



"When I was 15, I worked as a caddie at the really nice local golf course in my hometown. It was the middle of summer and I had other things to do than sweat it out for some rich bozo on a Saturday morning.

"Anyhow, I get to work at 7 a.m. and I get the 'privilege' of being assigned to carry the bag of former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Bob Forsch. For a guy who slammed 12 home runs and threw two 'no-no's,' he couldn't hit the green to save his life. I know, because I was carrying that 1/4-ton bag of his. Mind you, I've played enough golf to give tips to the guy if he's struggling (He did listen, too).

"So, 18 holes, four hours and what seemed like 15,000 yards later, it finally comes time to pay out. After he signs my pay-card, I look at it, and there it is in all it's glory.

"Right next to this 168-win, 1,100+ strikeout, 3.75 ERA Cardinal great's John Hancock: $2.

"I guess Major Leaguers didn't get paid that much in the '70s and '80s."

- Scott Salisbury, via e-mail

SIPAPT: You gotta remember, back then $2 could get you and a date into a movie, popcorn, Sno-Caps, one milkshake (two straws) and still have enough left over to tip the soda jerk (insert your Bob Forsch joke here).


In Progress At Press Time