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Cheap Seats

Wed., Dec. 3, 1997

Canine experts

Art Spander in the Oakland Tribune on the San Francisco 49ers’ weak schedule in the NFC West:

” … They have faced so many dogs their players should be chosen honorary judges for the Westminster Kennel Club’s best of show competition.”

Perhaps that explains why the 49ers were blown out 44-9 Sunday by the Kansas City Chiefs, a real team.

Unitas Award wasteland

There are NFL teams that rate Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf, a junior who is a good bet to enter the draft, ahead of Tennessee’s Peyton Manning.

Not to jinx Manning, but as winner of the Unitas Award, given to the top senior quarterback in the nation, he joins Charlie Ward, Don McPherson, Rodney Peete, Tony Rice, Craig Erickson, Casey Weldon, Gino Torretta, Jay Barker, Tommie Frazier and Danny Wuerffel.

Of that crew, only Peete and Erickson have been regular NFL starters. Ward is an occasional NBA starter at point guard for the New York Knicks.

Drink beer, watch us play

An inflatable rubberized can designed to promote Coors beer is being removed from Fresno State’s basketball court in the wake of guard Chris Herren’s leaving the team to deal with substance abuse.

After Herren began a rehabilitation program last week, Fresno Bee sports columnist Bill McEwen and others criticized the university for its commercial ties with beer companies.

Coors sponsors Fresno State’s tournament, and players run onto the court through an inflatable silver tunnel that bears no brand name but resembles a can of Coors Silver Bullet beer. In addition, the game the night after Herren left the team was sponsored by Miller Light, and coach Jerry Tarkanian does ads for Budweiser.

Lou Amendola, who owns Fresno’s Coors distributorship, announced Monday he is permanently removing the tunnel from the arena.

A spokesman for Adolph Coors Co. in Golden, Colo., said he didn’t think the tunnel would cause anyone to abuse alcohol.

“Is there a direct correlation between a tunnel athletes run through and alcohol abuse?” asked Derrick Johnson. “To make that connection is a huge leap.”

This guy may be using a little too much of his own product.

We’ve gone soft

Reed Glenn of the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo., compiled a list of actual questions and comments the Forest Service received from backpackers last year after wilderness camping trips. Some way out examples:

“Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.”

“A McDonald’s would be nice at trail head.”

“The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.”

The last word …

“Guys blow calls, but these two guys scored this fight like this and did it almost the same. You’ve heard of shows about America’s dumbest criminals? This falls right in that category.”- Jeff Wald, promoter for George Foreman, talking about the judges after his fighter lost a 12-round decision to Shannon Briggs.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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