Reading time, two minutes THERE ARE numerous examples of television making the careers of boxers and every other kind of athlete. In the case of Vincent Pettway, though, the opposite may be true. Once again, in a big TV (USA Network) shot at Painters Mill last night, the welterweight was flattened, his bout with Stephan Johnson being stopped after 2:14 of the sixth round. In his last trip to the national limelight, Vincent was pole-axed by Victor Davis, and the fact is it only takes a good punch or two to get him out of there.
* Baseball apparently isn't the only sport George Steinbrenner doesn't know. The Boss had a filly by Affirmed running short races as a claimer when her bloodlines fairly screamed distance. Buy The Firm was claimed, switched to distance and has won $327,000 so far this year.
* Remember the big Eddie Murray needs glasses flap? Maybe it's time for a sequel involving Mickey Tettleton. Everyone knows the catcher had problems last year, fanning 160 times, but when you break it down to strikeouts per at-bat (1/2.78), Mick makes Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson look like contact hitters.
* Word is Andre the Giant is looking for a day job after being fined $100 and ordered to pay $233 in damages by an Iowa court after the 7-foot-4, 540-pound Frenchman head-locked a TV cameraman following a losing effort in the ring. Sore loser.
* Poor Parity Pete Rozelle. The former NFL commissioner's dream for all 28 teams finishing with .500 records is blown to smithereens. The fabulous five of the 49ers, Giants, Bears, Dolphins and Bills are 42-3 and two of the three losses were inflicted by one of the other top guns. Meanwhile, more than a third of the league, nine teams, are plugging along at 24-58, a snappy .294 pace.
* Sasson Khakshouri, the gent who founded the first Kremlin Cup tennis tournament, which saw homegrown Andrei Chersakov whip Tim Mayotte in the final, is an Iranian-born Swiss Jew who splits his time between Moscow and Germany.
* You tend to think this sports collectibles business is getting out of hand upon learning that some guy turned over a month's rent for a packet of Champ prophylactics with Ted Williams (circa 1950) pictured on the cover. Teddy Ballgame says he was paid no royalty.
* They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, obviously, some of the amateurs have been watching the collegians too closely. While four Pop Warner League coaches are banned for life for falsifying birth certificates so a bunch of peanuts could make like the Montana Niners, a coach of a high school team in Washington apparently looked the other way as a 20-year-old weighing 280 pounds leads his unbeaten squad.
* Something seems slightly amiss when the NBA starts its season Nov. 1 and just five days later All-Star voting begins. What the heck, you can't get a good line on the kind of season a guy is going to have after two games?
* They often talk about how much deeper the talent is in women's tennis these days. You have to wonder, though, when Jennifer Capriati starts her pro career at 14 years old in March and, despite tourney restrictions due to age, she makes the top 10 by the end of October. After appearing in the Virginia Slims Championships in New York this week, Jenny will be in town Nov. 27 for the First National Bank Classic at the Arena.
* No one will ever be able to accuse Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim of not knowing who is providing the butter for his bread. Of his 6-9 All-American Billy Owens, Boeheim says, "He's our best man in every category. He can play any position on the floor and do just about everything. And the best part is he's willing to do anything I want him to do . . . which is usually anything he wants to do."
* As great a lineup of skaters as the NutraSweet World Pro Figure Skating Championships at the Capital Centre Dec. 8 has -- Brian Boitano, Debi Thomas, Robin Cousins, Rosalyn Sumners, Brian Orser, Elizabeth Manley, etc. -- it will be the return of Torvill and Dean to the competition that will have the crowd panting.
* The Washington Capitals game in Toronto tonight is No. 1,300 and the club enters with 509 wins, 616 losses and 174 ties. And they said it would never last after an 8-67-5 start back in 1973.
* The Cleveland Browns, a team that easily qualifies as a poorly run franchise the last few years, had an insurance policy Bud Carson wouldn't bad-mouth them after being scuttled as coach. The club owes Carson $575,000 and it is honoring the debt only if he refrains from saying anything "detrimental" about it. Find a cave, Bud.
* Someone builds a ballpark and they want it to be the best, one of a kind, a joy forever, right? Suggestion: Every park, arena and stadium in the country has a name. We can be unique by stating without equivocation right now that the new place will be known as "Park with No Name."
* About 20 years ago, the folks at the University of Oregon told coach Jerry Frei he could keep his job but his assistants would have to go. He did the only noble thing and resigned and his staffers scattered to the four winds. They included John Robinson (Southern Cal and Rams), George Seifert (49ers), pro assistants Gunther Cunningham and John Marshall.
* It's no big deal (much), but in these deficit-running times with state government attempting to tax everything but the foul air we breathe, what's the latest on the "Saunas for Senators" deal? That's the ridiculous perk the pols arranged for themselves in the new Senate office building in Annapolis.