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Look sharp, ta-da da da da …

The father of an Albuquerque high school football player admitted he sharpened a buckle on his son’s helmet before a game in which several opponents were cut, one badly enough to need 12 stitches.

Stephen Cito said he did it because referees had failed to penalize players for roughing up his son in an earlier game.

Officials stopped a game between St. Pius and Albuquerque Academy and found the buckle on the helmet worn by St. Pius junior Mike Cito had an edge sharp enough to shred a magazine cover. The younger Cito has been expelled from school despite his father’s confession.

“This isn’t something you need to be doing at a Catholic school,” said St. Pius activities director Jeff Turcotte.

At a public school, fine.

Most likely to be remaindered

The 12-line classified ad in the Wall Street Journal, flanked by others hawking businesses of various types, offered an unusual sales pitch: Hall of Fame NBA center seeks publisher for memoir.

Wilt, Kareem and Bill Russell have already done their literary thing. Now George Mikan wants to do his.

Humbly billing himself as “the first megastar in the NBA,” the 72-year-old Mikan said, “We’ve already gotten four or five responses. We’ll be published somehow.”

It is rare to advertise in such a manner; most books are sold by agents. But a combination of publisher rejections and the loss of an agent led Bill Erickson, a representative of Mikan’s, to consider the ad.

“He hadn’t found any interest from publishers,” Erickson said. “It may be a lousy book, but we don’t think so.”

Sounds like a dust jacket blurb to us.

Behind every good team is a good cathouse

Call it a moral victory. When the Sydney Swans ordered players not to have sex with their wives or girlfriends on the eve of the Australian Rules Football championship, a local brothel stepped in and made a special offer.

A spokesman for The Top of the Town bordello offered the players “freebies to help them keep their routine.

“If the players are used to having sex, they will feel neglected,” the spokesman said. “It might affect their performance.”

Alas, the Swans declined the offer and lost 131-88 to the North Melbourne Kangaroos.

You don’t suppose the Kangaroos took up The Top of the Town on its offer, do you?

He’s what you’d call a gunner

Willie Burton, an NBA journeyman, told this story of his playground days in Detroit:

“Sometimes it got real violent. I remember one day we’re playing and this guy’s bringing the ball up court, dribbling with one hand, got a pistol in the other hand and he says: ‘OK, who is going to foul me now? I want somebody to foul me.”’

The last word …

“It’s embarrassing and I’m sorry I didn’t do a better job. This is not one of those situations where an injustice was done.”

- Kentucky football coach Bill Curry, who has been fired effective at the end of the season

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

Top stories in Sports

Lynn Hickey named athletic director at Eastern Washington University

UPDATED: 5:24 a.m.

updated  Her first choice was the right one, Eastern Washington President Mary Cullinan has decided. Lynn Hickey, whom Cullinan hired as interim athletic director 10 weeks ago, is now the school’s permanent Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics, university officials confirmed Tuesday night.