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Posted at 1:44 PM ET, 05/27/2008

Yaz and Coach K Have Their Revenge

By Fritz Hahn

Can you spell the name of this former University of Maryland guard? Hint: His first name is Sarunas. (Getty Images)

The Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee returns to Washington this week, and the streets around Penn Quarter are full of precocious young people who wouldn't blink at having to spell never-gonna-use-them-again words like "caoutchouc" (a native South American language) or "poikilotherm" (an organism, such as a fish or reptile, having a body temperature that varies with the temperature of its surroundings).

Some of us, though, prefer our spelling brainbusters to be more topical. We may stumble over "lieutenant" or "recommend" but don't bother to spell check before writing the names of former Redskin Laveranues Coles or Detroit Red Wings dynamo Pavel Datsyuk.

ESPN, which is broadcasting the later rounds of National Spelling Bee on Thursday and Friday, seems to have found a happy medium with its Sports Spelling Bee Contest tomorrow at the ESPN Zone. Contestants will be asked to spell the first and last names of players and coaches from the past and present, given only the pronunciation of the name, the sport the person played and the team(s) the person is affiliated with. Expect Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Krzyzewski and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to make an appearance at some point.

There are three rounds, including one focusing on local and regional names, so maybe you'll find yourself having to spell Dino Ciccarelli or, if you draw the short straw, former Maryland Terrapin Sarunas Jasikevicius.

The winner takes home a prize pack of gift certificates, video games, a trophy and other swag.

Sound like an event you could dominate? By midnight tonight, send the following information to

Your full name
Mailing address
E-mail address
Phone number
Year of birth
The ESPN Zone Location: Washington D.C.

Fifty participants will be selected. The contest begins at 6 p.m.; contestants must arrive 30 minutes earlier.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | May 27, 2008; 1:44 PM ET
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Spell R.P.I.

Posted by: Oh yeah? | May 27, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

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