February 4, 1996 in Sports

Cheap Seats


A new breakthrough in bait

Here’s a whopper from Tass, the Russian news agency. It reported that a fisherman recently caught a 28-inch pike, a species famed for needle-like teeth. Tass said the man was so happy with his catch, he kissed the pike - and was promptly bitten on the nose.

The fish wouldn’t let go, not even after it died. And not even after the man’s pals cut its head off.

So the man was taken to a hospital, Tass reported, holding the fish head to his nose, where doctors surgically liberated the man’s nose.

It’s just a good thing the fisherman’s amorous reaction was limited to a kiss.

Who’s pulling whose leg?

If there was any doubt the Super Bowl is staged for fat cats, it was expunged after a ticket mixup involving - guess who? - Charles Barkley.

It seems the Arizona Cardinals sent eight tickets via UPS addressed to the Phoenix Suns’ post office box. When the deliveryman sought a street address, Barkley’s name showed up in the file and the package was labeled to him.

Barkley assumed they were freebies and gave the four luxury box seats to his wife and the four in the stands to team ball boys.

On Friday, the Suns told the Cardinals they hadn’t seen the tickets. The Cardinals asked the NFL to void them and issue replacements.

So the ball boys were booted out despite their insistence they got their tickets from Barkley. Maureen Barkley and her pals got to stay, and the holders of the replacements were seated elsewhere.

Let that be a lesson to you kids. If you get free tickets, scalp them.

A Magic potion

Apparently, having Magic Johnson back in the lineup made passing a contagious thing. In Magic’s comeback game, a 128-118 win over the Warriors, the Lakers had 44 assists, an NBA high this season.

“Even (Cedric) Ceballos made a good pass,” noted teammate Nick Van Exel.

B.J. Gump

If a historic event has occurred in the NBA over the past few years, B.J. Armstrong has been there.

Now with the Warriors, Armstrong played in Magic Johnson’s last game before his retirement, Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals. He was on the court for Michael Jordan’s last game before retiring and his first game back, and he was there last Monday for Magic’s return.

“I just want to be a footnote in history,” he said.

Guess we’ll have to start calling him “Ibid.”

Commitment to excessiveness

After losing in the second round of the Australian Open, defending women’s champion Mary Pierce was dumped by her coach, Nick Bollettieri.

Bollettieri ripped Pierce’s commitment to tennis, but Pierce had the last word: “Maybe Nick’s version of commitment is waking up at 5, running 10 miles, staying on the court 10 hours, eating celery sticks all day and going to bed at 8, but that’s not a life for anybody.”

The last word . . .

“Not Cleveland. God, no!” - Whalers owner Peter Karmanos, assessing the expansion possibilities in the NHL

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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