A high school Heisman is asking for run-it-up trouble DTC

December 22, 1993|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

At the top of any list of what amateur sports doesn't need right now is a "Heisman Trophy" for top high school athletes. Oh sure, the recognition, the scholarships and the money grants to schools on a regional basis, which commence next year, are worthwhile, but think of what some of those character-building creeps who call themselves coaches will have their kids do to gain this so-called honor: "It's only 87-3, throw another touchdown pass."

* It was after watching dribs and drabs (mostly drabs) of a field-goal-kicking contest between two clueless NFL clubs the other day that I recalled commissioner Paul Tagliabue's defense against the claim that a large percentage of pro games have been crashing bores.

"The games we've had have been great," said the Tag-a-long man passionately. "We continue to have very strong TV ratings. Right now, we have 185 million viewers watching every weekend."

Wait a minute, 185 million, are you sure?

* With England out of the World Cup competition here next summer, supposedly the infamous hooligans won't be around raising Hades. Security people in Orlando, Fla., aren't so sure, though. They requested tear gas, gas masks, riot shields, more personnel and, the piece de resistance, a $140,000 tank. Shades of former Philly mayor Frank Rizzo.

* Prior to playing before a relatively small Orange Bowl crowd last weekend, the least number of fans at a match of the defending World Cup champions from Germany this year was 65,000.

* People in boxing have to be the worst offenders to the advice that it's foolhardy to count one's chickens before they hatch. Tommy Morrison blew an $8 million payday against World Boxing Council champion Lennox Lewis by getting knocked out in a tuneup against an obviously dangerous opponent. Then, before climbing into the ring against Simon Brown in Mexico the other night, Terry Norris was negotiating a biggie against welterweight champ Pernell Whitaker. "Terrible Terry" got starched in five.

* Undoubtedly you're bored with stories about athletes' salaries and money winnings, but can you believe that the 50th guy on the PGA Tour money list, Craig Perry, was good for $325,000?

* Off-Track Betting in New York ran at a deficit of more than $1 million in the past year, the first time it has been a loser since the system started two decades ago. Figures Maryland is just now getting into the act, right?

* Riddick Bowe's manager, Rock Newman, can take any side in a debate and give you a winning argument with about 15 seconds notice. But his railing about Evander Holyfield's being given the decision and title over Bowe when they met last month, "because Riddick didn't dominate the way he did in the first fight, seriously influencing how people scored the fight," is ridiculous.

Yes, Bowe won the first fight, but he hardly dominated if you consider all 12 rounds, and that's generally how fights are scored. Although in Las Vegas it doesn't always seem to be that way.

* Is it conceivable that the great pastime of baseball, without a commissioner for lo these many months (15), is so bereft of good people that it has to go outside the game to find candidates for the job? And why on earth would a political wheeler-dealer like former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk look so appealing? Wasn't Bob ("Square Deal") Short, late owner of one of the Washington Senators, a former DNC chairman?

* What gives with Larry Mize and Nick Price winning big-time golf events by 10 and 12 strokes, respectively? Is this the Super Bowl Syndrome invading the links?

* I tend to agree with New York Jets coach Bruce Coslet, complaining that the Dallas Cowboys sent both safeties on a blitz while ahead by three touchdowns with six minutes remaining in the game. What does Jimmy Johnson think this is, a full-contact sport?

* Hey, the horrible season of the Washington Redskins cannot be blamed on the fact the team has gotten off to bad first-quarter starts. The Skins don't hold the scoring edge in any quarter.

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