Let me ask you sports fans a really big "Q" to start off today's batch of those infamous "questions without answers," and then I will answer it for you.
* Can you believe that my 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, has gone international?
What, you say? Is this guy losing it, or what?
No, way. Last Saturday morning at 6:18, this call came into the Sportsline: "Good morning, Pat, this is Paul Verrillo reporting for International Radio from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"Last evening, Paul Verrillo, dressed nattily in coat and tie, as usual, was back on the sidelines coaching soccer. This time, coaching international indoor soccer played on a basketball court with four men and a goalie on each side, and no walls to bounce the balls off. It's American-style.
"I got my first victoryafter two defeats . . . and it was an upset which should lead the coach onto a tremendous season.
"Coach Verrillo also sends his regards to Mick Galuski at Annapolis Area Christian School, who recently got out of the hospital. We hope to see Coach Galuski back on the basketball sidelines this winter.
"This is Paul Verrillo reporting forJohn Brady (Annapolis boys basketball coach) on international radio in Sao Pauo, Brazil."
Verrillo is a former soccer and track coach at Annapolis High school who moved over to Annapolis Area Christian School a few years ago to coach soccer.
In July, he and his family left for a two-year stay in Brazil with the Bible Study Fellowship. Verrillo and Brady used to be good friends and often traded good-natured barbs with each other. He was always amused by the attention Bradygets as Annapolis basketball coach, knowing full well that a lot of what Brady says is tongue-in-cheek.
It was great to hear from Pauland catch his sense of humor again, and it also marked a historic day. Verrillo's report was the first international report ever called into the 24-hour Sportsline.
Also, the people at Annapolis Area Christian School said that Galuski is doing fine recuperating from a heart problem and hopes to be back to work soon.
* Meanwhile, out on the soccer field, did you know Verrillo's old team, Annapolis Area Christian School, coached by Bob Topp, is off to a 5-1 start overall and 2-0 in the Christian Athletic League after Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Montrose Christian School?
* Will the battle for South County bragging rights be settled next Tuesday, when Annapolis Area ChristianSchool plays host to Key School of Hillsmere at 3:30 p.m. at Bestgate Field in Annapolis?
* How's this for a great idea from Art St. Germain, Ron Smith and the Golden Triangle Officials Association?
The referees group, in conjunction with the county Recreation and Parks department, is conducting a basketball clinic at Corkran Middle School on Oct. 26 and 27, featuring renowned women's hoops referee June Courteau.
Courteau, a member of the zebra staffs in the Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Sun Belt, Colonial and Metro conferences, has worked more NCAA Final Fours in women's basketball (six) than any other official.
Winner of the prestigious Naismith Award in 1989 for her contributions to women's basketball, Courteau is supervisorof officials for the Southern Conference and the NCAA rules interpreters.
She will be joined by John Morningstar of Westminster, who has worked four Final Fours and is a member of the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big East and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference staffs.
Both Courteau and Morningstar are considered superb at running clinics, and certainly this is an excellent opportunity for local officials. The clinic is open to all high school, college and recreation officials.
Our local women's high school basketball officials have been maligned by the coaches the last couple years, and this clinic is a chance for the zebras to brush up.
The fee for the two-day clinic is only$30 for county residents and $35 for non-county residents, and must be paid by Oct. 15.
Just make your checks payable to the Golden Triangle Officials Association and mail it to 1207 Farmview Road, Pasadena 21122.
For further details, call St. Germain at 551-2633 or Smith at 360-9619.
* Isn't it a great idea from Magothy Middle School faculty members Diane Bragden, Larry Allen and Art Sabo to bring inlocal high school coaches and teachers to speak to their seventh- and eighth-graders on what a student-athlete's commitment to education should be?
* Wasn't it a great move by the Bucs Athletic Club of Pasadena to showcase its youth football program by moving its games tothe front of the Sunset Elementary School, where the kids can be seen from the road?
Kind of makes you want to stop and take a gander,doesn't it?
Should we credit the notorious innovator, Bummy Potter, coach of the Bucs' 115-pound team, for that ingenious move?
* Were you stunned, like a lot of other people, that the Tangerine Machine softball program, run by Jack Crandell and Tom Conley, folded because of increased expenses.
* Do you women's softball people know that the California team that came to Maryland this summer and won theWomen's 18-and-under Amateur Softball Association (ASA) national championship for the fifth time in eight years charges $500 just to try out? And if you make it, you have to put up another $1,500 to help toward what is believed a $100,000 budget.
* What was Meade's first offensive unit, with quarterback John Oxendine going over from the 1-yard line, doing in there in the last period running up the score to 48-0 over Queen Anne's (0-3) last Friday night?
Doesn't Meade coach Hayse Henderson remember just a year ago when other coaches around the county took it easy on him as his team went 1-9?
* What was Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas doing at theNaval Academy last Friday afternoon, watching Fork Union and the Navy Plebes play football?
Thomas has a son playing for Fork Union who is a teammate of former Annapolis star Ahmed Middleton.
* Did you know that the Anne Arundel Community College women's volleyball victory over Charles Community College by 15-5, 15-9, 15-4 last week wasthe first ever over their Southern foe?
* Hasn't first-year head coach Bee Manley turned that program around, taking the Pioneers to a7-3 record?
* With ejections and suspensions for fighting and unsportsmanlike conduct on the rise in the Anne Arundel Youth Football Association, is it really fair to automatically suspend a kid for two games if the incident was a minor one?
* Why was the referees' freedom of choice on whether a particular incident warrants reporting toleague officials taken away from them, with the zebras now bound to report any and all problems which could lead to a lot of unfair two-game suspensions (in a nine-game schedule) for normal, boys-will-be-boys pushing and shoving?
Shouldn't the referees who run the games and are right out there on the field with the kids have the final say on whether an incident merits a hearing, rather than a board not evenat the game? Is the AAYFA over-reacting and setting itself up for a backlog of trivial cases much like our judicial system?
"I think when it's a typical football incident of a couple kids pushing and shoving and losing their tempers for a minute, it's not that big of a deal and is to be expected," says GORC 135-pound assistant coach Mike Vladich.
* Isn't it great to hear that Glen Burnie's Charlie Eckman, the former broadcasting great and former NBA coach and referee, is doing better after being hospitalized at St. Joseph's in Baltimore and will be home soon?
* When is the Maryland Athletic Commission going to make Eckman the first coach ever inducted into the State Hall of Fame? When the man is gone?
* Shouldn't Baltimore businessman Dave Pivec, who does a lot of work in Anne Arundel, where his brother,Jerry, resides, be in the State Hall of Fame as well?
* Did you know that Pivec, who played at Notre Dame and in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams, is the only athlete from our area to be named a Parade All-American in two sports -- football and basketball -- when he played at Patterson High in East Baltimore?