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Sun., Sept. 28, 1997

Ego-tripping with a gutless sportscaster

Former NFL tight end Bob Trumpy, in rating pass receivers for Inside Sports magazine, called San Diego’s Eric Metcalf “a gutless wonder” and the league’s “most cowardly receiver.”

Wrote Trumpy, “Metcalf is in a league of his own on this front. I’ve never seen anyone else dive to the ground more often to avoid contact.”

Trumpy called the New York Jets’ Keyshawn Johnson “an ego tripper” and predicted coach Bill Parcells won’t show much patience with the former USC standout.

“Parcells won’t invest much time in this guy at the expense of his other players. The coach’s attitude is: ‘Shut up and play.’ If Johnson doesn’t do that, Parcells will get rid of him,” Trumpy wrote.

Mark of a true athlete is total concentration

In a Cleveland Indians game earlier this season, Manny Ramirez was thrown out trying to steal first base. The young Cleveland right fielder had stolen second base, then looked around and trotted back to first. The pitcher, blinking to make sure he was seeing correctly, tossed the ball to the second baseman, who tagged Ramirez out.

“Sometimes,” said Indians general manager John Hart, “Manny has concentration lapses.”

Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove did not immediately discuss the play with his erstwhile baserunner, but later was told by Ramirez that he thought there was a foul ball on the play.

Off the field, Ramirez has gotten himself into strange situations as well. Like his driving. He was recently stopped while driving his black Mercedes and given three tickets - one for windows tinted too dark, one for playing music too loud and one for an illegal driver’s license. When Ramirez got back into his car, he nodded goodbye to the police officer and proceeded to make a U-turn. Ticket No. 4.

We repeat: “Sometimes,” said Indians general manager John Hart, “Manny has concentration lapses.”

Hit hard and carry a big cup

Lennox Lewis, the WBC heavyweight champion, says he’s not worried about getting into the ring with low-blow specialist Andrew Golota.

The way he figures it, there won’t be time for Golota to go south of the border in their 12-round bout Oct. 4 at Atlantic City, N.J.

“Hopefully, I can go out there and knock him out before he loses his mind,” Lewis said Thursday.

Golota, a hard-hitting 6-foot-4, 240-pound heavyweight, was disqualified in his last two fights for repeatedly hitting Riddick Bowe below the belt. He was ahead on points in both fights.

Lewis’ strategy?

“You have to look at Golota and say, ‘What’s his best weapon?’ His best weapon is his jab, his left hook and his punch to the (groin),” Lewis said.

The last word …

“The Bears need to keep playing that Rockettes offense, 1-2-3 kick, and avoid tackling anyone on defense, covering anyone downfield and getting to the quarterback a half-step sooner.”

- Chicago columnist Bernie Lincicome on how the Bears should go about losing all their games in hopes of getting the No. 1 selection in the NFL draft.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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