‘Clown question’ doesn’t get an answer

Bryce Harper has endured plenty of questions during interviews since being called up to the Washington Nationals.

But one Toronto TV reporter apparently hit a nerve when he asked the former Las Vegas High and College of Southern Nevada standout which beer he was going to pick to celebrate the long home run he hit Tuesday at the Rogers Centre in the Nationals’ 4-2 win over the Blue Jays.

Harper, who is 19, a Mormon and doesn’t drink, looked at the reporter and said, “That’s a clown question, bro.”

He might not realize it, but Harper might have established a new standard for responses. If an athlete gets miffed by a question, instead of answering with a profanity-laced tirade, or worse, giving the questioner the silent treatment, he can pull a “Harper” and say, “That’s a clown question, bro.”

■ MEMORABLE FLAG MOMENTS – Today is Flag Day, and as we stop to remember what the stars and stripes represents, let’s also recall some of the American flag’s memorable moments in sports.

In 1976, Chicago Cubs outfielder Rick Monday snatched a flag away from two would-be pyromaniacs in the Dodger Stadium outfield. Monday always has maintained he wasn’t a hero by saving the flag and that any right-minded American would have done the same thing.

In 1980, moments after the U.S. hockey team had defeated Finland for the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., goalie Jim Craig was draped in Old Glory, searching for his father sitting in the stands. A fan had thrown the flag onto the ice, and Craig scooped it up and wore it like a shawl.

Those were two proud moments. But this one wasn’t so proud: In 1992, the U.S. men’s basketball team, aka “The Dream Team,” had captured the gold in Barcelona. As they stood on the podium to receive their medals, some players, including Michael Jordan, used the flag to cover up the logo of Reebok, the apparel company that provided the Team USA uniforms, that was on their warmup suits.

Why cover the logo? Because Jordan was aligned with Nike, and since Nike didn’t make the uniforms, he decided not to promote a rival company. Thus he used the flag in the name of crass commercialism.

■ PARTY ON – Imagine the celebration. Taking over a Hollywood nightclub, booze and women everywhere, partying until the wee hours.

Yep, it happened after Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Except it was the team that lost letting loose.

The New Jersey Devils were blowing off steam after losing 6-1 to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Instead of getting on its chartered plane and flying back to Newark, the entire team headed to AV, a Hollywood club, and drowned its sorrows.

By comparison, the wife of Kings captain Dustin Brown shot a video of their two young sons sipping chocolate milk out of the Stanley Cup in the backyard of their Manhattan Beach home Tuesday morning.

Now there’s an image the NHL will promote. It’ll leave the carousing video to TMZ.


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