-- NBC's latest idea to spice up its Winter Olympics ratings: start a rumor that all the bobsleds were made by Toyota ... U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn tried everything on a sore shin, even an Austrian cheese, in an effort to compete. Trainers wrapped it so tight she tested positive for Cheez-It.
-- The Nets (4-48) no longer allow gambling on team flights. They probably shouldn't allow players on team flights. How would they do against the Washington Generals (Harlem Globetrotters patsy)? ... Lakers' Kobe Bryant hosted an all-star party in Dallas thrown by Show magazine featuring scantily-clad women. Wife Vanessa issued a warning to Kobe by hosting a party thrown by boxing's Ring magazine ... L.A. center Andrew Bynum needed root canal after getting elbowed by Shaq O'Neal. Apparently Shaq was going for his 4th Laker crown.
-- According to Tommy Duff, paper can be made from asparagus.
-- Future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson recently announced his retirement. He received many texts, phone calls and e-mails, including one from Brett Favre, which simply said, "The first time is the hardest" ...Yankee great Phil Rizzuto: "I'm glad I don't play anymore. I could never learn all those handshakes" ... Last year, even N.Y. bench players received a World Series winning check of $365,000, which is almost five times Babe Ruth's highest salary for an entire season ... The Brewers plan to unveil a 7-foot statue of unpopular comish Bud Selig outside Miller Park on August 24. Pigeons and catchers report August 25.
-- President Obama invited some Republicans to his Super Bowl party. They needed a two-thirds vote before they could pass the Doritos ... The Saints are the Toyota of pro-football--no one has been able to stop them ... Kyle Boller, Rams (1-15) quarterback, is about to marry Miss USA runnerup Carrie Prejean. If a bridesmaid grabs the bouquet, she will have a higher passing rating then her husband.
-- USC has received a commitment from a 13-year-old quarterback, closing the deal at Chuck E. Cheese. Next day, he was seen riding a new bike.
-- Does the Daytona Speedway hire dentists to methodically fill those potholes?
-- Brooklyn Decker, tennis star Andy Roddick's wife, is on the cover of the new SI swimsuit edition. Second and third choices were Mary Decker and Black & Decker.
-- In closing, Rich Baker says you know you're getting old when you look forward to calls from telemarketers.
(Some of the information in this column was obtained from other news organizations)