If Baltimore weren't on its map, CFL might be more nameless

October 12, 1994|By JOHN EISENBERG

Fact: Five of the 12 teams in the CFL are having financial problems or contemplating moving (Ottawa, Hamilton, Las Vegas, Shreveport, Sacramento).

Opinion: Baltimore and the NFL: a league without a team. Baltimore and the CFL: a team without a league.

Fact: The past five Heisman Trophy winners -- Andre Ware, Ty Detmer, Desmond Howard, Gino Torretta and Charlie Ward -- have barely registered a blip in the NFL.

Opinion: Upset special on Saturday: Auburn 23, Florida 20. (And Michigan 21, Penn State 16.)

Fact: Among major-leaguers with 300 or more at-bats in 1994Mike Devereaux had the lowest (.203) batting average.

Opinion: If I had a Heisman Trophy vote (and come to think of it, I do), I'd be leaning toward Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier right now.

Fact: The Tampa Bay Bucs have lost at least 10 games in every season since the strike-interrupted 1982 season. (Are you absolutely, positively sure you want them?)

Opinion: The world would be a better place if NFL officials just walked off the stupid penalty after throwing a flag instead of standing there and talking about it for five minutes.

Fact: The highest-paid player in Chicago Bulls history is (drum roll, please) Toni Kukoc. Makes perfect sense.

Opinion: If NFL teams wear the terrific "throwback" jerseys every week, you won't hear me squawk. But if the Colts throw back to before 1984, they should have to play here.

Fact: NBA owners open their financial books to the players union.

Opinion: The best college football is being played in the Southeastern Conference.

Fact: The Indianapolis Colts are playing to about 85 percent capacity for NFL football. The Baltimore UnColts are playing to about 70 percent capacity for CFL football.

Opinion: The Philly Iggles might be undefeated if owner Jeffrey Lurie hadn't asked a half-dozen players to take a pay cut right before their season opener against the Giants, which they lost.

Fact: "It's a 360-degree turnaround from last season," says forward Jamal Mashburn of the improved Dallas Mavericks.

Opinion: The Redskins need to start using their top draft picks on offensive linemen.

Fact: It's only been 19 months since Joe Gibbs retired. (And the Redskins have lost 17 of 22 games.)

Opinion: Tabasco Cat's fourth-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup pretty much guarantees Holy Bull the Horse of the Year award.

Fact: "I don't know if I get to throw candy or not," says Charles Barkley, who will be the grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl parade.

Opinion: Boy, the Cowboys sure do miss Jimmy Johnson.

Fact: Says NHL broadcaster Don Cherry: "I know it's hard for people in the States to visualize, but hockey means more to us [Canadians] than baseball does to them."

Opinion: To reiterate: When Jim Speros finally gives up his legal fight for the Colts name, he should just leave his team nameless.

Fact: Dave Stockton has earned more this year on the Senior PGA Tour ($1,311,453) than he did in 27 years on the regular PGA tour.

Opinion: Let's say it for the 100th time: A Navy-Maryland football game, played at Memorial Stadium, makes a lot of sense.

Fact: Oakland GM Sandy Alderson says he is "hopeful, bordering on optimistic," that Tony La Russa will choose to return to the A's.

Opinion: The baseball owners' cry of poverty is somewhat undermined by the fact that a half-dozen groups are fighting to buy the "poor" Pirates.

Fact: (from "The World is Truly Falling Apart, Vol. I") TNT clichemeister Gary Bender has written a how-to book on sports announcing. And you can take that to the bank.

Opinion: It's amazing that Buddy Ryan can still talk with his shoes stuffed into his mouth.

Fact: (Amaze your friends!) The career home run leader among pitchers? Wes Farrell, with 38.

Opinion: Florida State would have beaten Miami if it still had Charlie Ward.

Fact: There was a great pennant race this year, after all. Yomiuri beat Chunichi in the last game of the season to win the Central League title.

Opinion: Senior tennis will never come close to matching senior golf in popularity. You have to be able to run to make tennis interesting, and senior tennis players just can't run anymore.

Fact: Spike Lee has contracted to make a film biography of Jackie Robinson. He is thinking of casting Denzel Washington in the lead role.

Opinion: October just doesn't seem the same without the quarterfinal round of the baseball playoffs.

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