Irsay, Jacobs would fit on Glazer team

Phil Jackman

January 21, 1992|By Phil Jackman

Reading time, two minutes: Wooo-eeeee, our potential pro football benefactor Malcolm Glazer sounds like a prince among men, doesn't he? While reading the Sunday Sun story on the trailer park and nursing home mogul, visions of Bob Irsay and Eli Jacobs were jitterbugging in my head.

A man given to "dealing in bad faith and non-compliance," according to judges working an ugly and endless intra-family suit, "The Glaze" has distanced himself from the people who have worked for years preparing for the return of an NFL team.

He seems to relish the idea of coming across as a work-obsessed lone wolf while leaving no doubt he regards sports as a business opportunity first, second and, perhaps, always.

Locally, some favor Glazer, arguing that his apparent financial clout ("I can come up with $150 million cash to buy the team") will get the job done. Others caution that a parallel might be drawn between this approval and the one made years ago in Italy when the Fascist Mussolini waltzed into power "because he made the trains run on time."

* One would think that the city and state, paranoid about its image after the departure of a couple of pro franchises, would send someone hippity-hoping over to the Baltimore Arena to do something about the scoreboard clocks, which have been a constant source of embarrassment for at least two decades.

* If, as Senate President Mike Miller suggests, the off-track betting bill has an excellent chance of passage, here's hoping OTB here is run better than its New York forebearer. The Empire State's system did well for a while, but poor management, constantly rising costs and political intervention have it on the verge of losing money and up for sale.

* Almost lost in the rush of all that John McEnroe hysteria at the Australian Open is the big win Pam Shriver posted over the Russian, Natalia Zvereva. Pam hadn't had a singles victory in quite some time, particularly over a player of Zvereva's caliber (top 10 in late 1990).

* Florence Griffith Joyner is in no immediate danger of being a force in women's distance running judging from her effort in a 5,000-meter road race the other day. The double Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter (1988) trudged along at a 6:40 pace, which suggests she has no slow-twitch fibre in her muscles.

* A sure-fire way to keep your Super Bowl reading in check during the week is to start all stories, but stop as soon as you arrive at the names "Joe Gibbs" and "Marv Levy." And allow yourself only one Jack Kent Cooke note, like the Redskins owner's personal party of 420 people will fly into Minneapolis Friday afternoon.

* It was just 38 years ago today that Bob Cousy went berserk in overtime with 10 points, giving the East All-Stars a 98-93 victory over the West in the fourth NBA All-Star Game in New York. It was sort of an afterthought affair then, far from the extravaganza to be staged in Orlando Feb. 8-9.

* With expansion coming to the NFL (allegedly) and two spring leagues about to get started, more football wouldn't appear to be a priority right now, right? According to bubblegum card, hockey and football team collector Bruce McNall, however, the Canadian Football League is looking to expand south, Memphis, Albany and Portland, Ore., being mentioned. Drat, Baltimore lost out again.

* If the American League had any shame, it would be embarrassed to point out that there is just one scheduled doubleheader on its 1,134-game slate this season. Ah, for the good old days of Tex Hughson and Boo Ferriss opposing Dizzy Trout and Hal Newhouser in a Sunday double dip at the Fens in Beantown. A bleacher seat cost 50 cents.

* Randy Cross, center for the four-time Super Bowl champ San Francisco 49ers, says the main memory he has of the game being staged in a cold-weather city is "the elevator door opening and the hotel lobby being a sea of people. It was too cold to do anything outside. I immediately closed the door, went back to my room and locked myself in."

* Dominique Dawes, the state's big hope for a strong showing at the Olympic Trials for gymnastics here next June, obviously is completely recovered from a foot injury suffered last summer. The 15-year-old from Gaitherburg scored consecutive perfect 10s during a meet drawing more than 200 gymnasts representing 38 clubs over the weekend.

* It's a long shot, to be sure, the Maryland Bays-less American Professional Soccer League carrying on with only five teams, spread over three time zones, with the league's headquarters a thousand miles away from the nearest franchise. Still, it might be worth it if, after the World Cup in 1994, soccer finally becomes a big deal here.

* If the Willie Gaults and Herschel Walkers of the world are such big sportsmen, not just publicity-seeking egomaniacs, why don't they take a shot at the rugged Iditarod 1,100-mile dogsled mush across Alaska instead of knocking lifetime bobsledders off the U.S. Olympic team?

* Maybe it's best this week that cable systems in the city and Baltimore County don't carry the network affiliates in Washington. It seems everyone but the doormen at Channels 4, 7 and 9 are at the Super Bowl sending back dispatches hourly, all the while working on endless specials that will glut the weekend. It's almost senseless for Johnny Holliday to have a room since he's working for Home Team Sports, WRC in D.C. and the ABC radio network.

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