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Good news, Woody Paige: Les Paul isn't dead yet

It's always dangerous when sportswriters include music references in their columns. Such citations are typically moldy -- as, for instance, Rocky Mountain News staffer Bernie Lincicome's dopey mention of Loggins and Messina, who hailed from an era "when music was fun," he claimed in a December 7 piece. And all too often, they're misleading or wrong, too.

Take Woody Paige's "Nuggets in Position to Stretch Win," from Sunday's Denver Post, which appeared following a Nugs victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Paige declared that brilliant Hornets guard Chris Paul "plays basketball like Les Paul played electric guitar."

A nice sentiment, but one that implies Les Paul is dead, which he most certainly is not. Although he's mighty old -- 93, to be precise -- the ax pioneer remains very active. In November, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland featured a week-long Paul tribute capped by a performance at which the grand master was saluted by acolytes such as Guns N' Roses alum Slash and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Moreover, he still takes center stage during a regular Monday gig at New York City's Iridium Jazz Club, and a friend who attended one such session not so long ago was thoroughly charmed by the performance.

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If Chris Paul runs the fast break at 93 as well as Paul continues to play, he'll be a very lucky man. -- Michael Roberts

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