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Cheap Seats

Wed., Feb. 12, 1997, midnight

In the red

Is there anything worse than being shut out? If so, MacMurray College of Illinois found it. The Highlanders recently lost a wrestling dual to Simpson College of Iowa 55 to minus 1.

It seems Ryan McCrum, a 158-pounder, had harsh words for the referee’s work after being pinned.

“The referee went over to the scorer’s table and told the scorers to take away a team point” for unsportsmanlike conduct, Simpson coach Ron Peterson said. “The scorers informed him they didn’t have any team points to take away.”

No longer seeing Red?

He was the playoff MVP on an NBA championship team. But Cedric Maxwell also dissed the Big Guy and that’s why the Celtics haven’t retired his number.

“He deserves it,” said Larry Bird. “When there was a big game, he came to play. When we were playing bad teams, he could care less. But the good thing about him was that he had the order right. Most guys save their big games for the bad teams to pad their stats. I think it would be great if they retired his number.”

The reason they haven’t is Maxwell’s well-publicized tiff with Red Auerbach in 1985. That fall, Maxwell was a free agent and didn’t sign until the end of training camp. He was out of shape, then hurt his knee. The Celtics felt Maxwell was less than diligent with his rehab. The final blow came when he refused Auerbach’s request to attend rookie camp the next summer so the Celtics could see how his knee was.

“Was I a rookie? I don’t think so,” Max said.

Maxwell eventually was dealt to the Clippers, and it took him years to even make it back on the Celtics’ guest list for team functions. Years ago, Auerbach authored a book which had Maxwell listed among others who typified the unselfish player. Then when the book was in galleys, Auerbach ordered Maxwell’s name removed from the text.

Last year, general manager M.L. Carr brought Max back as the radio analyst, the first step in patching up the relationship.

“I don’t see anyone with wings up there,” said Carr, eying the retired numbers. “No angels.”

Lot of cigar smoke, though.

Gouda news

The Packers’ big cheese is getting a big cheese.

Kraft Foods Inc. is presenting Green Bay president Bob Harlan with a 640-pound replica of the Lombardi Trophy sculpted out of Wisconsin cheddar. The company said the cheese trophy was created even before the Super Bowl - so confident were Kraft executives of a Packers victory.

Over the top rope

Word has it that Chicago Bulls bad boy Dennis Rodman is mulling a $500,000 offer from the World Wrestling Federation for two appearances.

His first appearance would place him in the corner of Goldust at Wrestlemania XIII. This appearance will apparently lead to Rodman and Goldust teaming up to wrestle a tag-team match at SummerSlam in August.

Perfect. But can he learn how to fake a kick to the groin?

The last word . . .

“I saw in the paper today they just got a tractor (traffic) light in Dayton. And they’re going to vote next week on the colors.”

- Fox Sports basketball analyst George Raveling, on the tiny hometown of Washington State walk-on Will Hutchens

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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