Tim Mara, 50 percent owner of the New York Giants with his uncle, Wellington, hit it on the head when he gave credit for the team's success to ex-Baltimorean George Young, his general manager since 1979.
The Giants have now won two Super Bowls within the last five years with a team assembled by the onetime City College football coach. It was also Young who made Bill Parcells a head coach when Ray Perkins walked out on him to take the Alabama job.
* The Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation in the Giants' locker room Sunday reminded me of a scene at Turf Valley last June at agent Tony Agnone's wedding reception.
I asked Sean Landeta, the Giants' punter, how the team was going to be this year. "We always have a good team," said the ex-Towson Stater. Then he turned to Young and said: "Do you realize we've had outstanding seasons every year but the strike year?"
"And just who," I asked Landeta, "do you think was the architect of all that success?" Without batting an eye Sean snapped: "Ray Perkins." Young gave his brash punter a disgusted look.
It's a travesty, by the way, to consider anyone but Parcells as the NFL's Coach of the Year. Not only did he win it all, but he also won with lesser talent than his last two opponents had. He beat a team considered a dynasty -- the San Francisco 49ers -- without scoring a touchdown. He went through the playoffs and the Super Bowl with a QB who'd been in mothballs for seven years and a 33-year-old running back. And he pulled off an ingenious game plan, holding the ball for 40 minutes-plus, a record, against Buffalo. That's coaching, folks.
* Even if Jim Palmer does pull off the neat trick of playing after having entered the Hall of Fame, Jim Darcangelo is going to beat him to it. Darcangelo will be enshrined in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame Feb. 19. This spring he'll play for the Maryland Lacrosse Club.
Darcangelo, 38, (Palmer is 45) will go in at the annual Hall of Fame banquet at the Sheraton Towson. Entering with him will be his former Towson State teammate, Jim Griebe, plus Washington College's Ray Wood, Arly Marshall of Johns Hopkins and the M.L.C., Maryland's Alan Lowe and Neville Smith, a box lacrosse man from Western New York.
* Mount St. Mary's Jim Phelan, struggling this year with three key players out with injuries, is not the country's oldest active Division I college coach at the age of 61. That's Hofstra's Butch van Breda Kolff, who's 68. Next come St. John's Lou Carnesecca, 66; Michigan State's Jud Heathcote and Iowa's Johnny Orr, both 63, and Stetson's Glenn Wilkes, 62. Phelan is tops in longevity. This is his 37th season at the Mount.
* The University of Maryland picked a perfect time to entertain high school recruits, including Randallstown High football star Larry Washington, last Saturday. The Terp basketball team upset North Carolina State. Cole Field House was nearly full. It was the kind of day that could make a kid want to go to Maryland.
* Mike Whitfield, who helps the venerable Mack Lewis at his boxing gym in East Baltimore, is a dead ringer for George Foreman. When Whitfield was asked if he'd like to earn $12 million by standing in for George in April, he snapped: "What, and fight Evander Holyfield? I don't want that 12 million." Whitfield, 29, is a retired amateur heavyweight. Foreman, 42, will do the $12 million job.
* The name Hyman "Lefty" Stern probably doesn't mean anything to the younger generation, but the late Herb Armstrong once called him "without a doubt the best amateur athlete we've had in Maryland." Stern excelled in football, basketball, baseball, wrestling and boxing in the '20s and '30s. He goes in the State of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame Feb. 18 at a luncheon at Martin's West along with powerboat racer George Cusick, track's Tammy Davis Thompson and ex-Oriole pitcher Tom Phoebus. For tickets call D. Chester O'Sullivan at 333- 6315. The public is invited.