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We stand in clumps outside a hotel ballroom, shifting from foot to foot, waiting for something, someone, to emerge. If Donald Fehr shows up, or Princess Di, we are ready. We sit in a room with a lectern and a microphone at one end, waiting for someone, anyone, to come in and say something. If Jerry McMorris appears, or President Clinton, we are ready to record their words.
The disheveled looks on the faces of the Seattle SuperSonics after their overtime loss in Phoenix Friday night told the real meaning of the FINE EFFORT. They are unbalanced, confused down the stretch of big games, and not at all secure with where they're headed this season. Is there an answer? Maybe not. Perhaps they don't have the mental or physical edge to get through the Western Conference this season.
There is no appropriate spot in the baby book for this particular milestone, and yet here it is. At the ripe age of 6 years and 3 months, our daughter for the first time expressed a desire to be thin. It happened the other night at dinner. My husband, observing the food left on her plate, remarked that she should eat more so she wouldn't be so skinny.
I'm confused by this Teamsters thing. Blue-collar guys throwing in with millionaires. Teamsters refusing to cross an alleged picket line, opting not to deliver products to Boston's Fenway Park, and in doing so threatening to cost secretaries, ushers, vendors, blue-collar types of people money that they need to pay the bills and try to make a decent living. What fools. What did any major-league baseball player ever do for a Teamster? Do any Teamsters really think a baseball player would do the same for them? Think again.
USC and Washington would jump at a chance to play in a tournament. File Photo by Associated Press
The nation's largest sports research consultancy is about to release a white paper that will surprise you. One of the report's conclusions is that baseball, remarkably, will not be hurt much by its prolonged strike.
The players know it, the fans know it, Dick Vitale knows it and by the time both polls have come out today everybody else is going to know it, too. They're No. 1.
This is what we have come to in Sports World: The single most anticipated event is not a game but rather the release from captivity of a convicted rapist. Twenty-seven days from now, the heavy metal security doors of the Indiana Youth Center will screech ajar and Mike Tyson will emerge a free man, having satisfied what the judicial system deemed to be his debt to society.
Some Seattle SuperSonics fans could argue Rich King has the ultimate gig. He plays a little three-on-three on the Tacoma Dome floor a few hours before tipoff, showers, changes into something comfortable, then takes a courtside chair to watch the best basketball players in the world.
"I have some news." Usually when you hear that line, you expect to hear about somebody's stuff. New cars, old flames, flames-to-be. Important to listen to, but nothing too earthshaking. I wasn't quite prepared for this bit of stuff. It was Dad's stuff. See, he got an interesting Christmas present this year: a new child. My stepmother is pregnant. Whoa! It's strange, my father phoning to tell me he's going to have another me, or another daughter, crawling the earth.
In the last three years, we've heard Mike Tyson would get out of prison, dump Don King, say "Free at last, free at last," and then attach his chains to Murad Muhammad, Butch Lewis or Madonna. But if you can read the writing on the undercards, you can tell Tyson is returning to his father figure: Julio Cesar Chavez is a prelim fighter again.
If there is honor in the lone defense of an unpopular cause, this is my proudest season. Every year this month I am reminded that I am an oddity, a misfit swimming against an overwhelming tide. I am the last person in America to pronounce the first "r" in "February." Or so it seems about this time, when the conversational air fills with what to my ears is the ugly sound of the linguistic easy way out.
A single gunshot started the American Civil War, and a simple act of refusing to go to the back of the bus spawned the Civil Rights movement. So is it possible that Sparky Anderson, by taking his pipe and walking away from the Detroit Tigers, has just ended the baseball strike?
Large salary checks may make it tougher for Frank Thomas to sit out the baseball season than it would to play. Photo by Associated Press
It began with a guy named Steve James, then a graduate student at Southern Illinois. He was playing ball, the only white guy in the gym, when he experienced a flash, a moment of light, the genesis of an idea. "I felt that as much ball as I had played in my life, this game was different for them, the black guys, than it was for me. It was more complicated. It was a culture."
Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz of "NYPD Blue."
It was twilight in Pittsburgh, where baseball's brightest stars and most hallowed household names had converged upon Three Rivers Stadium for the 65th All-Star Game. A sense of electricity gripped the young night. The newly dedicated monument to Roberto Clemente glistened as tourists used the bronze statue for photo opportunities. Prop planes and choppers and a blimp hovered above the field; in the parking lot outside the ballpark, a dixieland band cooked alongside the tailgaters filling the hot and muggy air with the aroma of grilled sausage.
Every time there is some firestorm involving words, particularly words that suggest prejudice and bigotry, or at the least insensitivity, I try to put things into perspective by recalling what our parents used to tell us when we were kids: Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Not true. Words can hurt like hell. Sometimes they wound, even paralyze. Especially when spoken by people we believe ought to be more responsible, when spoken by someone such as a university president.
Only eight days ago, Rod Thorn was saying that peace was at hand in the NBA. "Not one player has thrown a punch so far," said Thorn. "That is unprecedented at this stage of the season."
The best thing that can be said about this one is that it didn't require replacement players. Those were real NBA players playing that bad. "You can't please everybody," Charles Barkley said after the West All-Stars steamrolled their Eastern counterparts 139-112 Sunday.