This Dean isn't happy
There isn't much left for basketball coach Dean Smith to accomplish at the University of North Carolina, but apparently there's plenty to gripe about. John Feinstein of The National portrays Smith in a recent story as an incessant whiner who can't enjoy his success. Former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell is quoted as saying, "Dean Smith's the only man in history to win 700 games and be the underdog in every one of them."
Feinstein, a Duke graduate, says Smith is suspicious of anyone who doesn't side with North Carolina. Recently, Smith refused an interview with an Atlantic Coast Conference television syndicate because the crew didn't include a North Carolina graduate.
A tough life
Newsday columnist Steve Jacobson spent some time on the pro bowlers' tour and found it a difficult life. He reports it costs the average bowler about $800 a week in expenses on the road, if he shares a room and enjoys fast food. There are 33 tournaments a year, but no home stands. Last year, only 11 bowlers earned $100,000, the minimum salary for major league baseball players.
Football season at hand
Kickoff for the World League of American Football is fast approaching, yet Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse reported shortly after February's draft that some players didn't know the names of their head coaches:
* Linebacker Ron Goetz, Barcelona Dragons: "Dave Bicknell, the former coach at Boston College." (Close: The first name is Jack).
* Running back Harry Jackson, Frankfurt Galaxy: "We were introduced to a million people. It was very confusing. To be honest, I can't tell you the name of the coach." (Answer: Jack Elway).
* Running back Rick Bayless, San Antonio Riders: I'm not sure of the name of the coach. Tom Landry is one of the owners. That's all I know." (Answer: Mike Riley).
Nobody is noticing
Now if the Minnesota North Stars could only attract some--
interest. They're the only National Hockey League team this season that hasn't sold out at least one home game -- even though they're unbeaten at the Met Center since a 5-1 loss to Montreal on Jan. 15.
Valuable at the point
How valuable is point guard Rod Strickland to San Antonio? The Spurs, projected to drive deep into the playoffs, are just 12-10 in games in which he has not played, despite the work of current starting backcourt Paul Pressey and Willie Anderson.
Strickland has been recovering from a broken bone in his right thumb, suffered in a late-night incident at a nightclub. The pins have been removed, and he is taking therapy, but isn't yet ready to come back.
Houston Astros pitcher Mark Portugal, commenting before his team's annual sliding drill for pitchers: "Thank God for guaranteed contracts."