The line in John Mellencamp's "Cherry Bomb" that sounds like "that's when a smoke was a smoke" is actually "that's when a sport was a sport," according to the published lyric. In that sense, "sport" is an endearment for someone of good nature.
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.
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