Washington-based columnist Robert Novak has described his health situation following the diagnosis of a brain tumor as “dire.” He’s immediately retiring in order to submit to treatment. Novak is now the second legendary Washington player who’s been around for decades looking at a very tough deal, the other being Sen. Ted Kennedy. One gathers there’s some kind of linkage between Novak’s diminished condition and his claiming not to have seen or noticed a pedestrian that he hit with his car a couple of weeks ago.