Cabdriver for day fuels Twitter chat


Minutes after news that NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was going to be a cabdriver for a day, there was Twitter chatter that suggested local cabbies had their feathers ruffled.

"If Tony Stewart crosses my path out there I'm gonna put him in the wall," tweeted a cabby who operates the Twitter site @LVCabChronicles.

Is Stewart risking the wrath of Las Vegas cabbies already feeling squeezed in a city broadsided by the economic downturn.

"He's not competing with the cabbies for their business, not at all," said an organizer involved in Stewart's cab event.

Stewart will be driving a street-legal version of his No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala stock car -- but with a "taxi" light on the roof.

He's teaming up with Lucky Cab, David Copperfield and Elvis, who will be riding shotgun when Stewart picks up rides at MGM Grand all afternoon.

The man behind the Twitter site said he meant the tweet in jest and that he welcomes the publicity Stewart is bringing to the taxi drivers and Las Vegas.

"I was referring to a line in 'Days of Thunder.' When I read about it I was excited that he was going to hack for a day. I thought it was a great idea," said Andrew, who prefers that his last name not be mentioned.

"I don't think anybody could view it as a threat. We could use some good publicity after the long-haul controversy," he said.

Just the same, the 2,000-plus cabbies who spot Stewart on the road today might want to steer clear. He doesn't have a much experience at right turns.

A DAY WITH DUKE

The offer came out of left field: KOA Radio in Denver wanted to know if I would like to interview baseball Hall of Famer Duke Snider.

This was the summer of 1988, and most of you know by now that I was a baseball writer at the Rocky Mountain News for a dozen years.

The offer got even better. I would have all the time I wanted for the interview because I would be riding with Snider (my first baseball god during his days with the Brooklyn Dodgers) on a round-trip limo ride from Denver to Greeley, Colo., site of the NFL Broncos training camp.

Following a 90-minute limo ride/interview, we were greeted by an antsy radio producer who needed Snider immediately for a sitdown with Broncos quarterback John Elway, who had been given the nickname "The Duke of Denver."

Snider, then 61, called an audible: He wasn't going anywhere until he hit the men's room.

A minute or two later, we were standing at a hand towel dispenser that was empty.

Me: "Looks like we're out of luck, Duke."

Snider, wiping his hands on his on his pants, said, "Not a problem. It's the cleanest part of my body. Haven't used it in years."

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Even in retirement, tennis great Andre Agassi still brings in a crowd. More than 1,000 students, faculty, alumni and the business community turned out at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School over the weekend. Agassi shared details of about his vision/commitment to build 100 new charter schools in the next five years.

SIGHTINGS

Don Larsen, who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, having drinks sent over to his table by fans at Salvatore's (Suncoast) on Sunday. Larsen, 81, tossed the perfect game for the Yankees in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against Brooklyn. Snider appeared to have a home run in the fourth, but it was foul.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Charlie Sheen has officially gone crazy. And not just a little crazy. Gary Busey thinks he's nuts ... Can we please make him next year's Oscar host?" -- Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

 

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