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Better late than never

If Pete and Bonnie Kincaid hadn’t checked the date on the Sports Illustrated they recently received in the mail, the Columbus, Ohio, couple might have thought Mean Joe Greene was still lining up for the Steelers.

Greene was featured on the cover of the Oct. 11, 1971, issue, which the Kincaids received more than two decades late, in time for Saturday’s AFC playoff game between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

The Kincaids bought an SI subscription for their son, Dan, while he was in college in the early 1970s. “We’ve lived here 27 years, but Danny hasn’t lived here for 22 years,” Mrs. Kincaid said. “Where this magazine has been all those years in between is anybody’s guess.”

Wait ‘til they get that Playboy Danny ordered.

Rick Mahorn, ambassador to Italy

Celtics forward Dino Radja, an international star before he caught on in Boston, told how he became friends with notorious NBA enforcer Rick Mahorn when the two were playing in Italy: “One time, I am playing and he throw me to the ground. The referee say, ‘Foul.’ Ricky yells, ‘That’s not foul! This is foul!’ And he rip off my jersey.

“He was having a bad day, I guess. But after, he walked up to me and said, ‘Sorry, Dino. I get carried away.’ Ever since, we are good friends.”

Can’t beat Niners in a shootout

From our Ridiculous Sports Analogies Department comes this classic, courtesy of 49ers linebacker Rickey Jackson, who should know better. The baseball cap Jackson wore to Saturday’s playoff game against Chicago was a cheap black model sporting white lettering that read “Al Capone.”

“Al Capone always came to battle,” Jackson said, respectful of the ruthless gangster. “I figure when you go to battle, you want a hat that has Al Capone’s name on it. That’s why I decided to wear this.”

Fans who appreciate Jackson’s logic can purchase similar caps at many tourist shops in San Francisco.

They’re between the Charles Manson T-shirts and Rudolph Hess coffee mugs.

Could be time for a name change

See where Tanya Harding was nominated for the Los Angeles Amateur Athletic Foundation’s World Trophy award representing the best athlete from Oceania, Calif.? Fortunately, it’s not the infamous figure skating Tonya Harding. This Harding is a top softball pitcher from Australia with a similar first name.

She can pitch, sure, but let’s see her swing the bat.

The last word …

“Did you hear about the jail-break attempt today? I guess at the L.A. County Jail four inmates tried to tunnel into O.J.’s cell. They wanted to watch the playoffs on his big-screen TV.” Tonight Show host Jay Leno

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