Revolving names would please fans, T-shirt crowd, too

Phil Jackman

August 18, 1993|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

How 'bout this: a proposed football team here having a revolving set of nicknames (which would certainly help in the sale of paraphernalia)? Or, how 'bout different names at home and on the road since the uniforms are dissimilar?

Meanwhile, the surname should be Maryland, not Baltimore, out of respect to the one picking up most of the tab for a stadium.

* You want a few smiles, Bunky, rush out and gobble up the video "Bad Golf Made Easy." It's a hilarious and irreverent tribute to the weekend hacker starring Leslie Nielsen of "Airplane," and "Naked Gun" fame.

* As great as the PGA Championship was, Paul Azinger beating Greg Norman in a playoff with a dozen name players in contention the last day, long John Daly is right when he complains Inverness was not a proper setting for a "major." Guys whacking irons off most tees -- Daly didn't even bother having a wood in his bag until the last day -- isn't a proper test of golf as it's practiced today on the PGA Tour.

* It says something for the quarterback rating system when, after just one good year followed by a Grade A stinker, Mark Rypien stands fifth on the all-time list of NFL flingers. John Unitas, Sid Luckman, Sammy Baugh, Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin and the great oldies, forget 'em.

* Just another week before Joe DiMaggio sits down with pen in hand to undertake an assignment reminiscent of his 56-game hitting streak back in 1941. The Yankee Clipper will sign 1,941 bats over the course of a couple of days, reportedly drawing a fee approaching $4 million (or $2,000 per autograph). What will collectors be expected to pay?

* Also on the collecting front, 27 of the last 32 baseballs Dave Winfield strikes for base hits as he closes in on hit No. 3,000 will be signed and auctioned off (silently) by the player's foundation benefiting needy kids. Winfield will retain the last five, 2,996 through 3,000.

* Probably the best news to date regarding the Maryland football team is that graduation, injuries and academic deficiencies have played havoc with the Terps' defensive platoon. Remember, last season, these guys were consistently blown away by a stiff breeze, so it can only be beneficial going with mostly new hands.

* Dave Meggett, the former Towson State mighty mite who ripped off 1,807 yards as an all-purpose back as a rookie five years ago, only to see that total diminish by nearly 45 percent last season with the New York Giants, is confident of a resurgence under new coach Dan Reeves.

"I think we have a definite offensive plan now," he says, which gives indication of what he thinks of former coach Ray Handley.

* His fellow tennis players must hate it when they check out the draw of a tournament and see Michael Chang's name in their quarter. Chang, down a set against favored Andre Agassi and Stefan Edberg in oppressive heat in Cincinnati last weekend, prevailed in three long sets in each for the ATP championship and is a virtual lock in five-set matches.

* There's still a gang of tickets left for the Italian Super-Cup showdown between AC Milan, the regular-season champ, and Torino, tournament victor, Sunday at RFK Stadium (2:30 p.m.). Paolo Tavegga, promoter of the match and a former AC Milan official now living in this country, says, "Soccer in the U.S. is presently standing on the threshold of greatness, and games like this will play a major role in its growth and development." Trouble is, they've been saying this for years.

* The description World Championships pales a bit when the United States is represented in the women's marathon this weekend by a second alternate and another runner coming off an injury. Worse, there was a third spot available, but we didn't have anyone who had turned in a qualifying time.

* With eight of the first 10 numbers in retirement, if I was a much-sought-after bonus baby with the Yankees I think I'd ask for a letter or a Greek symbol. And when, pray tell, is a player going to have a $ on his uniform? Maybe the guy who makes the most (Barry Bonds) should be awarded the dollar sign, similar to the leader of the Tour de France getting the yellow jersey.

* If heavyweight contender Ray Mercer finally decides to get serious and get in shape with a bribery rap hanging over his head, as was apparent with his first-round knockout of Tony Willis last week, what does it tell you about his previous motivation?

* A gent named Saoul Mamby took part in the 10-round main event at a boxing show at Prince George's Community College the other night. What's newsworthy about this is Mamby, who was counted out in 2:51 of the first round, is 46 years old.

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