One of many media discoveries about the USA of late 2009 is Lavar Arrington on the radio. (This is a good media discovery. A bad one: the McLaughlin Group is still on the air!!!! Jeesh.) When we left town in 2006, Arrington was a big talent just ending a troubled run with the Redskins. Now, he turns out to be a surprisingly charming and erudite sports-talk host. I find it easier to listen to him when running, in the gym, and otherwise sweating than to absorb the latest news from Afghanistan. (Lavar, left; Will, right.)

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Just now, on his show (with co-host Chad Dukes), Arrington was talking about Gregg Williams of the Saints, who was the former defensive guru for the Redskins. He said that even though Williams was gone from DC, his influence remained because he had left behind "his prodigy, Greg Blache," now the defensive coordinator.

That didn't sound right, and I realized after a second that the word he was looking for was "protege." But if Blache was good enough, "prodigy" could also make sense, which leads to the Will Shortz-like question Arrington could have been setting up: I can't at the moment think of another situation in which three words with different meanings that sound very much alike -- prodigy, protege, and (even) progeny - could all sort-of work in the same sentence.

Yes, it's cheating that they sound alike, since they all come from the same pro- root. And yes, progeny is a little different -- but you can imagine it working figuratively. Still it's interesting to me -- and is the kind of thing that occurs when trying to avoid thinking about the team itself, or the next lap on the track. Watch out, Will Shortz!

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