The battle between Baltimore, St. Louis and Charlotte for two spots in the National Football League expansion derby is turning dirty.
Walt Gutowski, the Maryland Stadium Authority's liaison with the NFL, says there's some anti-Baltimore propaganda coming out of St. Louis from Walter Payton, who is with the expansion effort in that city.
"Walter has told the media, as if it were fact," says Gutowski, "that St. Louis is preferable to Baltimore because a visiting team there could take home $700,000, while in Baltimore it's only $600,000. That's just not true.
"I've done the numbers and the two cities would be the same. Oh, well, they say the first thing to go in war is the truth."
* The bursting of spectators onto the Cole Field House floor Sunday before Maryland's 82-80 upset of North Carolina was over was understandable. The fans haven't had much to rejoice over at Maryland in recent years. There will be a lot more in the future with the NCAA sanctions against the Terps ending after this year.
Don't look for any miracles next year, though. Coach Gary Williams' recruits will be better, but they'll be mere freshmen, and Walt Williams will be in the pros.
* North Carolina's losing four straight basketball games for the first time since 1965 is hardly caused by a lack of talent. The Tar Heels are loaded with talent. They just don't have it in the right places and the result is a chemistry problem. They don't have a true point guard to distribute the ball, and 7-foot soph Eric Montross is too slow for the running game Carolina used so effectively in the second half at Maryland.
* The Baltimore Thunder can make the Major Indoor Lacrosse League playoffs by winning their two remaining games. One will be played March 13 in Buffalo; the other is back here the next night against Philadelphia. Thunder coach John Stewart, who was quite a lacrosse player himself when he played at Loyola College, says it takes "a week, really, to recover from one of these games."
* Sean Landeta, the New York Giant star who was voted NFL Punter of the Decade for the '80s, says he'd love to come back here to his home town and play for a new Baltimore team, if there is to be one. Says Landeta, a Loch Raven High and Towson State graduate who once played for the Baltimore Stars in the U.S. Football League:
"Right now the players in our league don't have any movement. I'm hoping that by the time Baltimore is playing in the NFL we'll have more opportunity to switch teams. I love playing in New York, but it would be great to come back home and spend my last few years here."
* Those who never have heard ex-Colt Joe Ehrmann speak are in for a treat, if they attend the 29th annual Scholar-Athlete awards dinner a week from tomorrow at Martin's West. Ehrmann, now an ordained minister, is an inspirational speaker.
The banquet is put on by the Baltimore chapter, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Ed Novak, former McDonogh athletic director, is the chairman. Tickets are still available from Merva Filler at 337-8086.
* Cal Ripken Jr. has played every day for 10 seasons (1,573 consecutive games) but that's nowhere near enough to satisfy him. Says the Orioles' shortstop and American League MVP:
"I guess when you look at your career, I'd like to think I'm at the halfway point, that I could play another 10 years. Twenty years in the big leagues is probably a goal of everyone. Twenty years seems like a magic number."
* When Harry Meyerhoff goes into something, he goes big. The Eastern Shore resident went into thoroughbred racing and came up with a Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Spectacular Bid, in 1979. Harry's thing now is sailing. He has a 65-foot boat, which he's now sailing in the Carribean. If you don't know sailboats, a 65-footer is a big job. For a boat that size you need a captain, which Harry has.
* One reason Virginia may have a little better lacrosse team this spring is Andy Dausch, former All-Metro midfielder from Gilman. In fact, Virginia -- again because of Dausch -- may be better in the NCAA playoffs than in the regular season.
Dausch, a sophomore, is an amazing athlete. Only 6-feet and 180 pounds, he walked on in football as a freshman wide receiver, made the team, and last fall started eight games and played in the Gator Bowl. He's playing lacrosse now, with spring football coming up next month. Well before NCAA playoff time he'll be all lacrosse. Virginia (1-0) plays at Navy Saturday.