Just who is writing this script?

October 05, 1994|By PHIL JACKMAN

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

Check out this "news" release from the World Boxing Council: "The pure excitement and historical import of the moment [challenger Oliver McCall defeating Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title] was marred, at least for same of the television audience, by the inept and slanderous statements of HBO commentators Larry Merchant and Jim Lampley."

Is is possible Don ("It's Showtime") King had anything to do with the wording?

* Give you a good example why it's not always a good idea to take athletes at their word when it comes to retirement talk. After she had won yet another Wimbledon tennis title, Martina Navratilova admitted she was out to establish monumental milestones in the game, which would force her "to stay on for another three or four years." That was 1985. Her (alleged) final singles appearance comes at the Virginia Slims Championships Nov. 14-20 at Madison Square Garden.

* Run for the hills, gang, the New York Times computer is on the loose again. It says Florida State is numero uno, followed by Penn State, Colorado, North Carolina State (huh?), Texas A&M, Kansas State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Washington and Florida.

* "Hulloween Havoc," the pay-per-view wrassling show, advertises that the victor of the Hulk Hogan-Ric Flair match Oct. 23 wins the title while the vanquished slinks away into retirement. Hmmm, haven't we heard this before?

* Everybody in favor of a moratorium on Peter Angelos until at least the weekend, signify in the customary manner.

* With all due respect to Navy quarterback Jim Kubiak, who's a good passer, it's actually a negative statistic to report that he's within 26 yards of becoming the Mids' all-time passing yardage leader. The list is littered with guys who had to pass 75 percent of the time because there was no running attack to speak of.

* You can have all those guys with the fancy and inflated passing statistics. If asked to choose a Heisman Trophy winner this very moment, I'd go with Napoleon Kaufman, the tireless running back from Washington.

Add Trophy: Word that a freshman woman, Sue Mercer, failed in her attempt to make the Duke football team as a kicker reminds that it's going to happen sooner or later. And then what will they do with regard to the Heisman Trophy, give out two of them?

* One of the unexplored mysteries of Babe Ruth's alleged "called shot" during the 1932 World Series is how Chicago Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges could say, "he pointed right over my head to the center-field bleachers," while his keystone partner, Billy Herman, insists, "the only pointing Babe did was into our dugout while he was screaming at a bunch of guys on the bench."

* Let's hear it for the Maryland Stadium Authority leaving its lush offices in the World Trade Center after only just two extra years of tenancy to take up residence in The Warehouse at Camden Yards. Is this a way of getting on Ellen Sauerbrey's good side?

* The Caribbean Baseball Series finale should pit a couple of terrific teams come February. With the last six weeks of the season, the playoffs and the World Series wiped out, ballplayers from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico have flocked home to play.

* One of the rushing leaders in college football before last Saturday was Ryan Christopherson of Wyoming, 152 yards per game. Then the Cowboys took on Nebraska. Stripped of his interference, Ryan ran the ball 12 times for a net of 0.

* "Curuchu, Beast of the Amazon" was the worst movie I had ever seen going back a lot until a recent viewing of "The Program." This is one of those college football epics where cliches go to die.

* After the New England Patriots had nipped the Green Bay Packers the other day on a late drive and field goal, quarterback Drew Bledsoe said, "Give me the ball in those last two minutes. That's when I'm excited. That's when the game is most fun for me." Hey, he's only in his second year, bear with him.

* The Maryland Institute College of Art made it onto one of the top 10 lists of the new publication "The Princeton Review Student Access Guide to the Best 306 Colleges -- 1995 Edition:" It garnered the No. 8 spot in the no-one-plays-intramural-sports category.

* Richard Williams, father and coach of tennis phenom Venus Williams, who just announced she is turning pro at age 14, doesn't seem very consistent. He kept his daughter out of junior tournaments the last four years "because they're counter-productive," but goes along with her turning pro now although he'd rather she wait until she's 16.

* Earliest evidence of a reserve clause in baseball appeared in the mid-1880s when the game capped salaries at $2,000 and decreed that a player must sign with the same team the following season. Full salaries were not written into contracts, however, because some guys were paid more. The owners, to prove their goodness, gave a player 10 days pay if he was released during the season.

* Latest example of how tough it is to keep a good man down is 71-year-old Lou Saban signing on to coach the Alfred (N.Y.) State College gridders in their inaugural season next year. Saban coached three pro teams, about a half-dozen college teams, including Maryland (1966) and countless high school, junior college, service and semipro teams.

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