Opinion: It's all well and good that a new basketball arena at Maryland would increase revenue and eat into the athletic department debt and all that, but there's really no need to replace Cole Field House, a terrific setting for a game.
Fact: Five of the Ravens' 16 games next season will be against teams that made the playoffs this season -- one with the Eagles and two apiece with the Steelers and Jaguars.
Opinion: What Dennis Rodman could have said, but didn't, after kicking a courtside cameraman Wednesday night: "My fault."
Fact: The metro area's five Division I college basketball teams were a combined 13-48 going into last night.
Opinion: The broken hand suffered by David Wells in a fight illustrates just one of the reasons Jimmy Key was a wiser investment for the Orioles. Key is a more dependable personality.
Fact: Yours truly's Super Bowl pick, made before the season in this space, was Patriots vs. Cowboys. Yep, got the hard one right.
Opinion: Super Bowl prediction: Cheddarheads 34, Chowderheads 13.
Fact: The pre-game show on WTMJ, the Packers' flagship station, began at 6 a.m. before the NFC championship game.
Opinion: Part of Juwan Howard, or maybe more, has to wish he'd ended up with the Miami Heat, in town tonight to play the `D Bullets. The Heat would have been formidable.
Fact: In a new book, "Keeping Score: The Economics of Big Time Sports," it is estimated that the University of Michigan athletic program would be worth $252 million, more than all but 16 pro teams.
Opinion: You don't have a PGA tournament anymore unless Tiger Woods is playing.
Fact: The Patriots were ranked 28th in the league in pass defense this season.
Opinion: Wake Forest's Tim Duncan is an advertisement for staying in school for four years instead of turning pro early. He is a sound and complete player, one terrific center.
Fact: Filling out its football schedule, Valdosta State, a Division II school in Georgia, is offering prospective opponents "one night's lodging and attractive guarantee." Yikes.
Opinion: Ravens fans should root for Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning to turn pro. As a top pick, he would push the best defensive players closer to the Ravens at No. 4 in the first round of the draft.
Fact: Out of the 20 schools in Division I that changed head football coaches in the past year, only New Mexico State hired an African-American coach.
Opinion: He insists that financial reasons are behind his decision to sell the Dodgers, but Peter O'Malley is mostly just tired of living the joke that baseball has become.
Fact: The AFC won the season series with the NFC, 32-28.
Opinion: That list of the NBA's 10 greatest teams, released by the league last week, was invalidated by the absence of the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks, who went 66-16 during the season and 12-2 in the playoffs. (Five teams on the list won fewer games.)
Fact: According to a story in Monday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a Packers fan suffered a minor stroke last Saturday evening but didn't check into the hospital until after she had attended the NFC title game on Sunday.
Opinion: With their record and reputation, the 49ers could have lured a far more proven coach than Steve Mariucci, who has only one year of head coaching experience at any level. They'll regret pushing George Seifert out the door, which they surely did.
Fact: Carolina's Dom Capers now has the longest tenure of any head coach in the NFC West. The other four teams are changing coaches.
Opinion: The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets, who will play Sunday (and also probably in this season's NBA Finals), have a combined six sure Hall of Famers in uniform (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Robert Parish) and maybe a seventh in Dennis Rodman.
Fact: Coppin State went 1,498 days without losing at home before North Carolina A&T won at the Coppin Center on Wednesday night.
Opinion: The biggest winner in all these NFL coaching changes? The Lions, who should make the playoffs with a smart coach like Bobby Ross now in charge of Barry Sanders, Herman Moore and company.
Fact: Phoenix Suns coach Danny Ainge, on what he expects from his players: "Intensity, confidence, energy whining."
Pub Date: 1/17/97