The word ‘cheating’ has what point value in Scrabble?

I am not one for sweeping generalities, but it has been brought to my attention that everyone is cheating. Aren’t you cheating? I’m cheating. In fact, I have reason to believe the entire column that follows has been blatantly plagiarized.

Lance Armstrong cheated for years, apparently. So said the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency this week in stripping away all seven of his Tour de France victories. That would make Lance one of the all-time prolific cheaters (although ultimately not one of the all-time successful cheaters).

A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon cheats, suspended 50 games this week for a positive test — can we say MLB performed a Colonoscopy? — a week after Giants MVP candidate Melky Cabrera also was suspended.

As football begins, we know the New Orleans Saints cheat, in a manner of speaking, with the Bountygate scandal that got their coach suspended for the year.

Various tabloid-y reports indicate former Dolphin Chad Johnson cheated, in a marital sense, with affairs allegedly including one with a stripper with a cosmetically enhanced derriere named Amber Priddy. (In Chad’s defense, he is nowhere near Tiger Woods’ former league in the infidelity standings.)

Just Friday, I read a BBC report on how some Paralympians cheat by artificially enhancing their performance with a practice called “boosting.” (So, yes, even the guy in the wheelchair is cheating.)

There also is a current news report that seven women in a fishing tournament in South Padre Island, Texas, were found to have cheated by putting on the weight-scale fish they didn’t catch.

But here is my favorite:

The 2012 National Scrabble Championship going on in Orlando was beset by scandal when a competitor was caught palming blank tiles and ejected.

C’mon, people. Shoot steroids, smuggle in fish, do what you believe you must. But have some pride, a little common decency. Prove to the world that, yes, some things still are sacred.

Please. Draw the line at palming blank tiles!

• Little League World Series championship is Sunday. This is the annual event that makes us marvel at all those adorable little 12-year-olds except for what seems to be the one kid on each team who is 6-feet tall, weighs 235 pounds and was late for his first at-bat because he was in the dugout bathroom shaving.

Only Giancarlo Stanton — on a recent home run tear including a 494-foot shot — makes the Marlins still worth watching. I don’t wanna say Stanton has ridiculous power, but the other day in the batting cage I saw him drop a bunt into the gap in left-center.

• Tennis’ U.S. Open commences Monday in New York, with

Serena Williams

the favored woman but no American man seeded higher than ninth.

Pete Sampras

is probably the best U.S. male player. I don’t mean ever. I mean right now, at age 41.

• Rankings-obsessed ESPN rates all 122 uniforms in the Big Four leagues (Montreal Canadiens are No. 1) and our teams’ unis are ranked 35th (Dolphins), 40th (Heat), 64th (Panthers) and 82nd (Marlins). So who says the Dolphins would never regain control of this market!?

• And in meteorological news, tropical storm Isaac continues to threaten the Republican National Convention in Tampa, on orders from the White House.

• An ESPN “summer forecast” projects that the Heat will finish 60-22 next season, best in the NBA, and that

LeBron James

again will be league MVP. Geez, why bother to play the season now!

• Nike’s new LeBron X sneakers due out in the fall will retail for around $300. If I’m spending 300 bucks for a LeBron sneaker, LeBron better be in it.

• Showtime ended

The Franchise

series with the Marlins one week early, and nobody cared.


Roger Clemens

, 50, was scheduled to pitch Saturday night for the minor-league Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters. Is he planning a comeback? “Anything’s possible,” Clemens said. Well, maybe anything except people ever believing he didn’t use steroids.

• Astros owner

Jim Crane

said he was “open” to signing Clemens. Baseball analysts speculated that Crane might have been drunk at the time.

• Hey, isn’t it about time somebody started a thoroughly unsubstantiated PED rumor about Angels rookie phenom

Mike Trout


• projected every college football bowl game and has LSU-USC for the championship in Miami, FSU-Boise State in the Orange Bowl, FIU and Ohio in the Bowl, and nada for the Hurricanes. Oops. Guess I should have had a Spoiler Alert on this item. Sorry.

• Car drove by fast so I can’t be sure, but I was near the UM campus the other day and swear I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Honk If You’ve Missed Fewer Practices This Fall Than

Seantrel Henderson


• Two football players from Ball State were caught trying to shoplift male enhancement pills. How would I know if they’ll get a stiff sentence?

• NHL and its players union at odds and hurtling toward what could be a canceled season. It’s why the phrase “thin ice” was invented.

• If UFC 151 fell into cancellation and I didn’t care, would it still make a sound?

NASCAR, nearing its Chase for the Cup playoffs, announced a deal with Fox Deportes to carry races in Spanish next year. Currently, NASCAR is broadcast in only two languages: English and Redneck.

• A 12-year-old Dallas boy who weighs 290 pounds was ruled too big to play Pee Wee football. His mother is angry. Wild guess: The other mothers in that league are happy.

• The Red Sox’s Wally the Green Monster mascot costume briefly disappeared before being recovered. Thank God. I imagined Wally found dead in the Bronx.


Parting thought:

The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons starting in 2013 after the NFL denied London’s request to send either a good or popular team.

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