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We feel his pain

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, rejuvenated after off-season rehab for addiction to painkillers, doesn’t expect a sympathetic audience each time he ventures away from the frozen tundra. “I’ve never really gotten a great response from opposing fans, and I don’t expect it to be any better this year,” Favre said.

“I kind of expect pill bottles to be thrown at me. You know, whiskey bottles and beer cans.”

Someone could get hurt when Michael Irvin visits, with bongs, mirrors and hookers raining onto the field.

Nixing the Knicks

There’s title fever in New York now that the Knicks have, in the words of Garden boss Dave Checketts, “reloaded.” But many are questioning the ammo.

Forward Larry Johnson, one of the new charges, is eager to prove himself. “You’re either good or you’re not,” LJ said. “And New York will tell you.”

So will Peter May. “Larry Johnson can score, but all he does now is shoot face-up jumpers,” the Boston Globe columnist wrote. “Rebound? He hasn’t been a board crasher since his back woes cropped up. Defend? Forget it.”

As for the other newcomers - guards Allan Houston and Chris Childs - May isn’t sold. “The Knicks are investing a lot of hope and money in two players who, between them, have two decent seasons under their belt. Houston had a fine 1-1/2 seasons with the Pistons. And since when is Childs, who got to play in Jersey only because Kenny Anderson was dealt, a $4 million player? He looks a lot like David Wesley (who, by the way, must be salivating).”

In a league of his own

Steve Patterson jokes easily about his playing career. Filling the spot between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton at UCLA can do that to one’s ego.

But the owners of Continental Basketball Association teams are confident Patterson, who averaged 4.4 points per game in five NBA seasons, will give the league greater visibility and stability.

Patterson, 48, was introduced last week as the CBA’s first commish with NBA playing experience. The league’s ninth commissioner in 10 years, Patterson promised to honor his four-year contract and said he plans to visit each of the 12 CBA cities within 60 days.

Patterson was an easy choice once Stuart Gray and Mark Eaton dropped out of the running.

Must be warming up for Ruben Sierra’s role

It’s been a rough week for Ruben Rivera, the New York Yankees’ top outfield prospect.

Rivera, of Triple-A Columbus, was caught stealing in Friday night’s 6-4 loss to Norfolk, and flung his helmet toward the dugout, mistakenly thinking he had made the last out. Rivera was ejected, cleaned out his locker and left the team, returning Saturday - only to find he had been suspended seven days and fined.

The last word …

“She stands 4-foot-6 and weighs 72 pounds. I know people who have gained 72 pounds in the last couple of years. Of course, they never scored 9.725 on the uneven bars.”

- Sacramento Bee columnist Mark Kreidler, on Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo



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