How many launch pads for Rocket?Bruce McNall, owner of the...

Off the beat

April 26, 1991

How many launch pads for Rocket?

Bruce McNall, owner of the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, said receiver Raghib "Rocket" Ismail is free to work out a Bo Jackson-type deal in which he could play for both his team and the National Football League's Los Angeles Raiders next season.

"I don't even know if the Rocket knows about this," McNall said. "But if Al [Davis, Raiders owner] wanted to do it, I wouldn't stand in his way."

Standing in the way, however, is an NFL rule that prohibits a player under contract with a CFL team from playing in the NFL in the same season.

A possible loophole: To play for the Raiders in 1991, Ismail would have to terminate his contract with the Argonauts before the end of the regular season in mid-November. If, for example, McNall and Davis worked out a deal in which Ismail's contract was ended a week before the final game, he would be eligible to join the Raiders.

It's not cricket

John Major, Britain's prime minister, has jumped the line to join the world's most famous cricket club.

Major joined the Marylebone Cricket Club waiting list in 1989 and would normally not have expected to be able to wear the famous red-and-yellow club tie until the year 2009.

But the MCC committee has decided the cricket-loving premier can move ahead of about 9,000 other applicants provided he pays his annual membership fee of $170.

Major is only the fourth person in 10 years to jump the line. The last was millionaire and philanthropist Paul Getty.

The quote

Time Warner Sports president Seth Abraham, discussing the so-called "Battle of the Ages" between Evander Holyfield and George Foreman, a bout that grossed nearly $75 million: "They should have called it the 'Battle of the Wages.' "

Quite a catch

Perhaps the name that got the most attention on the second day of the NFL draft was Joaquim Weinberg, a wide receiver from Johnson C. Smith University chosen in the 11th round by the San Diego Chargers.

In other words, a guy with a Spanish first name and a Jewish surname who attends a predominantly black college.

What do the Chargers know about him?

That he's tall and lanky with good speed and a nose for the end zone. And that he prefers to be known as Joe.

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