Civil rights tribute set at Fiesta Bowl
Spurred by controversy over a holiday honoring Martin LutheKing Jr., the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl plans a tribute to civil rights during halftime of the New Year's Day game between Louisville and Alabama.
More than 800 singers, dancers and musicians will participate in a show that Fiesta Bowl organizers describe as "the most ambitious and spirited halftime production in the history" of the game.
"We had planned as far back as this spring to do a tribute to the Bill of Rights," bowl spokesman Brent DeRaad said Friday. "Civil rights would have been part of that. After the King holiday vote [defeated by Arizona voters Nov. 6], we sat down and discussed it, and decided to expand the show and to make a statement to the rest of the country."
National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the day after the election that the lack of a King holiday could cost Arizona the 1993 Super Bowl that's set to be played at Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium in suburban Tempe, also the site of the Fiesta Bowl. There also were reports that some top college teams turned down Fiesta Bowl bids because of the controversy.
* Five teen-agers were arrested and charged with the robbery of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's son and a female friend in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Shari Critchley, 27, of Harrisburg, Pa., and Joseph "Jay" Paterno Jr., 22, were robbed about 2:15 a.m. Monday while sitting on a beach, police said. One youth pointed a gun -- police later found a pellet gun -- at Paterno and forced him to lie face down in the sand, police said.
The youths took Paterno's wallet, Critchley's purse and a necklace she was wearing. The Paternos and Penn State are in Florida for the Blockbuster Bowl this week.
NFL sources and others close to new general manager Sam Jankovich say University of Illinois coach John Mackovic is Jankovich's first choice to succeed Rod Rust as coach of the New England Patriots.
Mackovic, 47, who is preparing Illinois for the Hall of Fame Bowl Jan. 1, has been a coach the past 25 years. He has been an assistant for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and took the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs in 1986, only to be fired as head coach shortly after the season.
"John is still bitter about his experience in Kansas City," said a friend who holds a top job in the NFL. "He did not get treated fairly there, and that left him with a bad taste about our league."
The New York Yankees are negotiating with pitcher ScotSanderson in an effort to acquire him from the Oakland Athletics, but their chances of success appear slim. An executive of another club said yesterday that the Athletics want to trade Sanderson, a 17-game winner last season, because they don't want to pay him the kind of salary -- $2 million or more -- he most likely could gain in salary arbitration.
The Athletics have offered the right-handed pitcher to any interested club and have given him permission to negotiate a contract ahead of completion of any deal.
Yankees general manager Gene Michael said he had spoken with Richard Moss, Sanderson's lawyer. Michael said he didn't know whether they would be able to reach agreement on a contract. He declined to say what the Yankees had offered or what Sanderson had asked for.
Eat your heart out