NFL soon will rush by baseball

August 29, 1994|By JOHN EISENBERG

Fact: "I just wanted to get off that Mendoza Line before they renamed it," said Michael Jordan after raising his batting average to .202 the other day.

Opinion: Baseball may be missed here in Bawlmer, but it is getting ready to disappear without a trace in cities with football teams and other sporting diversions.

Fact: (A real, live updated baseball statistic, fans!) If you hadn't noticed, Glenn Davis has 26 homers and 90-plus RBIs playing for Triple-A Omaha.

Opinion: If I was Kevin Smellie, a young man who happens to play football for the Toronto Argonauts, I would tell everyone it was pronounced smell-eye.

Fact: The seniors on this year's Florida State football team have a 34-4 record. No word on their lawyers' records.

Opinion: College football's top five (not in order, please, it's still August): Nebraska, Miami, Penn State, Florida, Notre Dame.

Fact: (Big 'Uns, Part I) Says one scout about the San Diego Chargers' 6-foot-3, 360-pound Alphonso Taylor, "He's a one-dimensional player, and that's round."

Opinion: It doesn't much matter if John Friesz or Heath Shuler starts in the Redskins' near future. Shuler is their far future, and a pretty bright one at that.

Fact: (Big 'Uns, Part II) The Cleveland Browns have a 6-3, 340-pound rookie lineman named Carlson Leomiti, who weighed 410 as a college senior. The "l" in his first name is silent. The joke is that he ate it.

Opinion: The salary cap will hurt the quality of play in the NFL. Teams aren't keeping their best players.

Fact: The NFL exhibition season has lasted 22 weeks. (Correction, that's an opinion, not a fact.)

Opinion: The Patriots will be the next AFC team to win the Super Bowl.

Fact: Mr. Baseball Salary Cap himself, Jerry Reinsdorf, is in trouble with the NBA for trying to circumvent that league's cap with the signing of Toni Kukoc. Pick a side, pal.

Opinion: Rollie Massimino's "deal" with UNLV (a potential $3 million paid under the table during the length of his five-year contract, arranged by the former school president) pretty much says it all about college basketball.

Fact: Jennifer Capriati and family are moving from Florida to Palm Desert, Calif. "It's just a change of environment and we felt our family needed that," mom said. Any arguments?

Opinion: The Cowboys are still the best team in the NFL, despite the constant hullabaloo surrounding them.

Fact: Buddy Ryan returns to Philly when the Cardinals play the Eagles on Nov. 6.

Opinion: It's very interesting that Georgia Frontiere is talking about moving her Rams and the Bucs reportedly are going to be up for sale to the highest bidder, but I will believe there is an NFL team in Baltimore at the kickoff of the first game.

Fact: With his 27-4 record on the Flushing Meadow hard courts, Pete Sampras has the best U.S. Open won-lost ratio in tournament history.

Opinion: If only the federal mediator would insist that Max Patkin and Morganna the Kissing Bandit join the 12 management reps and 21 players in the war room, the baseball labor talks might actually get interesting.

Fact: "Nobody wants to die wealthy," says multimillionaire John Moores on why he's interested in buying the San Diego Padres.

Opinion: If Vinny Testaverde and Mark Rypien isn't the worst quarterback controversy in NFL history. . .

Fact: The Olympic rumor mill says that triathlon and tae kwon do are the sports most likely to be added to the Summer Games calendar.

Opinion: The National Best Seven bet, racing's idea of a national marketing campaign, is a total bore.

Fact: Joe Montana missed 26 of 64 quarters because of injuries last season.

Opinion: Kudos to Tracy Ham for playing hurt and winning Saturday night in Hamilton.

Fact: "Owners Stiff Delivery Boy" was the headline over a New York Post story detailing how Richard Ravitch and the owners' 12-person negotiating team sent out for sandwiches during a working lunch last week and tipped $9 on a $241 tab.

Opinion: Deion Sanders, a fabulous football player, is worth the fight.

Fact: The judge who lowered Barry Bonds' payments to his estranged wife in return for an autograph has apologized to Bonds' wife. "In retrospect," said Judge George Taylor, "it was the wrong thing to do and I simply won't make excuses."

Opinion: If the strike lasts much longer, the poor Rotisserie Leaguers might need their own telethon.

rTC

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