* Jim Valvano: In the midst of point-shaving and payoff allegations, North Carolina State ended its 10-year association with basketball coach Jim Valvano by buying out his contract for $212,000 April 7. On June 4, ABC-TV, whose news reports led to Valvano's ouster, hired the coach as a broadcast analyst for $900,000.
* John McEnroe: The tortured artist of men's tennis became the first player in the 85-year history of the Australian Open to get tossed from the tournament for a tirade that led to $6,500 in fines. After a horrid summer, McEnroe returned to his roots in New York, played his best tennis in five years and reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open. In December, McEnroe was back in the news after an alleged outburst with ground personnel at an airport.
* Brent Musburger: The sportscaster was on top of the world, awaiting his big assignment of lead play-by-play man for major-league baseball, but CBS pulled the plug on Musburger April 1. In August, he showed up on ABC, announcing the Little League World Series.
* Jackie Sherrill: Run off the Texas A&M campus after an NCAA investigation in 1988, Sherrill floundered in the car business in Houston, and resurfaced Dec. 11 as the head football coach at Mississippi State.
* Dallas Cowboys: Amazing what a fifth-place schedule can do for a professional football team. A 1-15 joke during the first season of owner Jerry Jones and coach Jimmy Johnson, the Cowboys rebounded to playoff contention in 1990.
* Mark Davis: After saving 44 games for the San Diego Padres and winning the Cy Young Award in 1989, Davis signed a $13 million contract with the Kansas City Royals, but had only six saves during the 1990 season.
* Super Bowl XXVII: After awarding the 1993 Super Bowl to Tempe, Ariz., the National Football League appeared to reverse field when Arizona voters failed to pass a resolution declaring Martin Luther King's birthday a state holiday.
* Calgary Flames: Stanley Cup champions in 1989. Smythe Division champions during the 1989-90 regular season. First-round playoff losers to the Los Angeles Kings in spring 1990.
* The Alomar family: It was a nice family story between the Alomars and the San Diego Padres. Sandy Alomar Sr. was a coach, and his sons, Sandy Jr. and Roberto, were Padres players. Within 11 months, Sandy Jr. was traded to the Cleveland Indians, Roberto was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays and Sandy Sr. was forced out in a managerial change, landing with the Chicago Cubs.
* King's comeback: Down 11 strokes with 36 holes to play, Betsy King erased the deficit, overtook Patty Sheehan and became the fifth golfer in history to win the U.S. Women's Open in consecutive years.