Cheap Seats

THURSDAY, NOV. 20, 1997

Lou-lou of a risk

Bryon Russell asked Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan to take him out of the starting lineup until he comes out of his shooting slump. Sloan agreed: “If (coming off the bench) helps him, then that’s fine. I didn’t tell him that Wally Pipp story, though.”

On your mark …

Detroit’s Darren McCarty and Colorado’s Claude Lemieux were fined $1,000 each for their fight 3 seconds after the opening faceoff Tuesday.

“Any time two guys fight at the drop of the puck, they’re fined,” said Brian Burke, NHL executive vice president.

But that wasn’t the case the same night in Phoenix, when Jim McKenzie of the Coyotes and Mick Vukota of the Lightning squared off just 8 seconds into the game.

“I’m aware of the rule, but that action took a little longer to develop than the Lemieux-McCarty fight,” Coyotes general manager Bobby Smith said.

“The only reason that one took 3 seconds is because that’s how long it took the scorer to get his hand on the button.”

No below-par stogies, please

The people at Sabol Sports who make The Puffer, a putter that doubles as a humidor holding up to four 6-1/2-inch cigars in the shaft, have some tips for smoking cigars on the golf course.

They suggest waiting until at least the second tee to light up, so as not to bother the group behind you, and they recommend using two wooden matches as the best way to light up.

It’s good etiquette to offer a cigar to your playing partner, though you may want to keep the pre-Castro Cubans for yourself.

Never place your cigar on the green, because it will absorb chemicals quickly. Don’t get sunblock on your hands, and if you do, wipe them off before touching your cigar. And don’t throw your cigar on the tee box or green. Use the garbage can.

And if someone says your game stinks, take it personally.

Doesn’t have the same fight in him

Buffalo Sabres’ Matthews Barnaby just hasn’t been himself.

“I don’t know what’s wrong lately. I’ve had to psyche myself up just to go out there and punch somebody in the face. That’s not me.”

Not a Marvy response

Spike Manton of Chicago radio station WCKG-FM claims he got roughed up a little when he was thrown out of a news conference with Dave Wannstedt, coach of the woeful Chicago Bears. Seems as though Manton wanted to get to the heart of the matter when he asked the coach:

“Does being 1-9 bite worse than Marv Albert?”

The PR staff didn’t take to his candor, and Manton claims his cell phone and headset were broken as he was hustled out. Manton has filed a complaint with the police.

Guess he should have bitten his tongue.

Last word

“No. That would be like watching Dolph Schayes play basketball.”

- Phoenix Coach Danny Ainge when asked he if would attend the Rolling Stones concert in nearby Tempe.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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