Cleveland to Modell: Forget it

March 26, 1998|By John Eisenberg

Opinion: Just a hunch, but Cleveland's football fans probably aren't feeling that grateful to Art Modell for his lobbying on behalf of Cleveland getting a new NFL team.

Fact: "What does [Modell] think, you have the memory of moth?" wrote one Cleveland-area columnist after Modell said he wanted to repay Cleveland's fans for all those years of support.

Opinion: The baseball owners voted to let Rupert Murdoch join their little club, but they still don't trust the guy.

Fact: The Atlantic Coast Conference has sent a team to the Final Four in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

Opinion: Latrell Sprewell says he choked P. J. Carlesimo but didn't try to kill him? That's like President Clinton saying he smoked but didn't inhale.

Fact: Since the NCAA tournament went to 64 teams in 1985, the ACC leads with 13 Final Four teams, followed by the SEC (10), Big East and Big Ten (seven apiece) and Pac-10 (five).

Opinion: If you miss listening to Jon Miller on the radio, you can do the next-best thing and buy his new book, "Confessions of a Baseball Purist."

Fact: Larry Bird's reaction to his Indiana Pacers losing to the Pistons by 30 points? "I wanted to throw up!" Bird said.

Opinion: The ATP computer may soon say Pete Sampras is no longer the world's best tennis player, but it's a joke to suggest Petr Korda, Marcelo Rios or anyone else is better.

Fact: "We're still chasing the Orioles," says Yankees GM Brian Cashman, even though many baseball people feel otherwise.

Opinion: Joe Smith was a No. 1 overall draft pick and he'll make a lot of money as a free agent this summer, but he isn't an All-Star as he would have been had he stayed at Maryland for four years before going pro.

Fact: The Orioles will make four West Coast trips in 1998.

Opinion: Sorry, but I don't understand the fuss over the U.S. Olympic hockey players tearing up a little furniture. Put 30 hockey players together on a two-week road trip and you have to give them a little broken furniture, you know, like a deductible.

Fact: Horse racing isn't in trouble in Hong Kong, where the local track took in a stunning handle of $11.9 billion on just 75 racing dates in 1997. That was more intake than Nike or Microsoft had last year.

Opinion: Denver Nuggets guard Bobby Jackson skipped a practice earlier this month and still started the next game, which explains a lot about their season.

Fact: The winners of baseball's two Triple-A minor leagues will play a championship series at a warm-weather, neutral site (Las Vegas) in September.

Opinion: Tiger Woods hasn't won on the PGA Tour since July, but he is playing better now than he did when he made such a splash last year. His putting is a little shaky, but the rest of his game is much more solid.

Fact: The Red Sox haven't changed owners in 64 years.

Opinion: Boy, it was really good for college basketball that Jerry Tarkanian and his merry band of Fresno State student-athletes prolonged their season in the NIT.

Fact: "Nice game, Henry," said a security guard to Arizona guard Mike Bibby after the Wildcats' victory over Maryland in the NCAA tournament last week.

Opinion: It just doesn't get any more dramatic than the Bullets/Wizards' annual push for that last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Fact: Roberto Alomar's batting average as an Oriole (.330) is a whopping 26 points higher than his overall career average.

Opinion: Signing convicted wife-beater Wil Cordero only reaffirms the notion that the White Sox actually try to discourage fan support.

Fact: Jack Nicklaus has played 2,646 holes at the Masters -- 83 percent of them at par or better.

Opinion: The true test of Ray Miller's mettle is how he'll hold up when things don't go well.

Fact: Cal Ripken's consecutive-games streak since 2,131 would be baseball's third-longest active streak.

Opinion: The Ravens should use their top draft pick on another cornerback, which they need a lot more than another wide receiver.

Fact: Favorite Trick is now listed as the Kentucky Derby favorite (at 9-2 odds) by the Las Vegas Sports Consultants, despite racing only once so far as a 3-year-old.

Opinion: It's just that I'm not sure I want to watch a ballgame from a Jacuzzi in the right-field stands, as you can at the Diamondbacks' new park.

Pub Date: 3/26/98

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