Reading time, two minutes:
IT WAS JUST 42 years ago last night the Washington Capitols sneaked by the Baltimore Bullets, 83-82, to run their record to 15-0, best start ever in pro hoops annals. It was called the Basketball Association of American then, Bones McKinney was the Caps star (21 points) and Connie Simmons was the big pointman for the Bullets (32). Of course, Vince Bagli was at the game.
* No fewer than four ex-Orioles are first-time entries on the Hall of Fame ballot, including Al Bumbry, John Lowenstein, Rich Dauer and Bob Bailor. Combine the quartet's numbers and you have a heckuva candidate.
* Saturday's appearance in the 11th NutraSweet World Pro Figure Skating Championships at the Capital Centre marks the first time Torvill & Dean will compete head-to-head in professional dance team competition. I'll take a wild stab and guess they won't fold under the pressure. Debi Thomas and Brian Boitano are back to defend their singles titles. NBC will carry the show Jan. 26-27.
* Not surprisingly, Miami's game against San Diego State the other day ended in a brawl, which suggests the Hurricanes will be right at home when time comes to start playing basketball in the Big East next season.
* The promoters must not think Alex Stewart will last too long against Mike Tyson in Atlantic City Saturday night (HBO). Besides Julio Cesar Chavez and Kyung Duk-Ahn duking it out for a couple of super-lightweight titles, Razor Ruddock will beat up on someone named Mike Rouse on the undercard. Usually, Don King Production undercards are a tomato cans pageant.
* With the football teams at Houston (10-1), Florida (9-2) and Oklahoma (8-3) all on NCAA probation, wouldn't you think a sponsor would come up with the dough for the Bail Bonds Bowl?
* Despite roaring along as perhaps the best team in the NHL so far, the New York Rangers are playing before more than 2,000 empty seats these nights . . . and the top ticket goes from a very reasonable $45 to $70 next season.
* Speaking of empty pews, the Maryland-B.C., Virginia-Pitt doubleheader in Richmond Monday night is further substantiation the ACC-Big East Challenge belongs in the home digs of the teams.
* And while on the subject of good deals at the box office, to commemorate Super Bowl No. XXV, the NFL is valuing a ticket at $150.
* The Family-to-Family Christmas project conducted at the Capital Centre each holiday season is shooting for $50,000 to benefit needy families in the Baltimore-Washington area. During the last six years, the Centre Group employee-driven undertaking has raised more than $106,000 and spread good cheer among thousands.
* Seriously now, has justice truly been served in the NCAA-Jerry Tarkanian/UNLV debacle?
* With any luck, the touchdown passes record of 11 Houston's David Klingler established against Eastern Washington recently would have broken the old mark of 10 set by Mike Pagel in 1981. The ex-Baltimore Colt and current Cleveland Browns backup threw seven and had three other sure TDs dropped. This all happened in an Arizona State-Stanford shootout. Uh, John Elway was the opposing pitcher.
* Judging from some of the names the Orioles supposedly are interested in signing -- Franklin Stubbs, Dante Bichette, Wayne Edwards, etc. -- it's sort of surprising the name Robinson Peepers hasn't surfaced yet.
* With home dates reading Dec. 29, Jan. 19, Feb. 9, March 2 and March 23, isn't the Baltimore Thunder running the risk of fans thinking the Major Indoor Lacrosse League has dried up and blown away during the long absences?
* Raiders funnyman Bob Golic's thoughts on female reporters in the locker room: "I tell them it's fine if they come in and take notes, as long as they're not making sketches."
* No sooner did Houston get done running up 62 points against Arkansas and 56 against Texas Christian when coach Johnny Jenkins crowed, "We're excited about riding into Austin and shooting that sheriff down," the "Sheriff" being Longhorns defensive back Stan Richard. Uh, Texas won the ballgame, 45-24.
* They honored retired Johnny Most for serving up Celtics games on the radio for 37 seasons at the Boston Garden Monday night and it reminded of something that happened to the announcer, oh, decades ago. The Celts and their big rivals at the time, the St. Louis Hawks, were going at it elbow and jaw when, suddenly, there was a huge commotion among spectators under Most's broadcast position in the upper deck. John had lost a bridge out of his mouth during his rat-a-tat play-by-play and was screaming downstairs he needed his choppers back immediately.
* Shawn Bradley, the 7-foot-6 freshman center for Brigham Young who hails from a town of 541 in Utah, is off to a good start, averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots. No sooner does he get settled in as a collegian, though, when he's off after the season for his two-year mission, a practice among Mormon men. Imagine the kid as a 24-year-old senior.