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Associated Press Poll Demonstrates Incompetence in Action

Column By Mike Duffy
and Andrew Heitner

Sports Columnists

As a fan of professional and collegiate sports, don't you get fed up when the media blasts you for your all-star voting habits? Yet when any kind of voting is placed in their hands, the selections are worse than those of the electorate in Palm Springs (see Sonny Bono) and Minnesota (see Fred Grandy, a.k.a. "Gopher" from The Love Boat).

This week the Associated Press scribes have displayed their "expertise" by putting Colorado 13th and Stanford 17th in the AP college football poll, even though the Cardinals beat the Buffs on Saturday. Not to be outdone, however, were the coaches, as they actually dropped Stanford from 19 to 20. Also, they have Fresno State ranked ahead of Baylor University and Boston College ahead of Northwestern University, even though the latter in each pair beat the former last weekend. These selections lend credibility to the argument that the Let's Argue Menudo's Top 5 should serve as the barometer for deciding the national championship.

To continue our lambasting of the Lords of the Diamond, your humble scribes note that the current playoff structure disregards the past 162 regular season games which led up to the playoffs. This year, the National League West champion (either the Braves or Giants) will most likely own the best record in the majors, yet will definitely not have home field advantage during either the NL playoffs or the World Series. Unlike the NFL and NBA, the playoff structure is determined at the beginning of the season. The NL East and American League West host this year's league championship series, with the AL serving as host to the World Series. This format alternates every year, thereby eliminating the prospect of a race between division champions for home field advantage during an otherwise meaningless final 7 games of the season (see season finale games such as Knicks-Bulls '93 and Oilers-Steelers '90 for examples). Presumably, this ridiculous tradition started when the owners alternated villas on the sands of Key Biscane while colluding on free agents.

In other baseball news, 15-year-old Aaron "Chariots of Fire" Lemcke turned into a modern day Bill Buckner for the Sox last Saturday. Lemke thought for a split second that he was Morganna the Kissing Bandit and darted onto the field, causing a do-over of Mike Stanley's apparent final out of the game. This led to 3 runs and a Yankee victory. If George can't control the crowd inside The Stadium (14 people ran onto the field during the series) to ensure the safety of the umpires and opposing players, how can he expect New York's finest to protect the fans outside The Stadium. In a classic New York understatement of criminal activity in the big city as compared to rural areas, Aaron's mom, Jeanne, explained, "He was just having fun."

For all those NFL owners worrying about next year's salary cap (see the Cowboys and Bengals), they should take a lesson in creative accounting from their brethren in the NBA and in the Seattle Seahawk organization. In the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers must have taken Professor Uri Ronnen's Introductory Financial Accounting (15.501) class as they successfully landed free agent Chris "Free Throw" Dudley. With a contract that allows Dudley to become a restricted free agent after one year, he will be able to re-sign with the Blazers for an unlimited amount. This new salary would not be counted against the "cap" as the Blazers are merely trying to retain his services.

Up the coast in Seattle, the Doves were able to circumvent the swiss cheese rookie cap by signing Mirer to a low-salary-based contract loaded with lucrative incentive clauses for things like winning a game, wearing a Seahawk T-shirt in public, and dating Coach Tom Flores' daughter (a Los Angeles Raiderette). These situations are very similar to the fat contracts signed by your humble scribes last spring when The Thistle came knocking on our door.

Where Are They Now?

Original Toronto Blue Jays Pete Vukovich, Alan Ashby, Doug Rader, Manager Roy Hartsfield, Doug Ault, Steve Staggs, Otto Velez, Hector Torres, and Dave Lemanczyk.

Menudo's Top 5

1. Florida State

3. 'Bama

4. Miami

5. Notre Dame

To illustrate the dominance of the Seminoles so far this year we point out the fact that linebacker Derrick Brooks has scored 18 points (three touchdowns) while the four opponents of Florida State have combined for a total of 14.

Let's Argue Fan Top 5

This week's list is sent to us from Berkeley, California, the home of Alex Virgilio '92:

1. California

2. Syracuse

3. Delaware

4. FSU

5. Notre Dame

Race for Futility

Barry Bonds: 3 RBI's in September

Tampa Bay: 5 ppg

Bonds' once firm grip on the MVP award has loosened, while the Bucs score as often as an Harvard undergrad.

You Heard it Here First

Salt Lake City will be awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics despite objections from monogamists and the protesting of the Osmonds television show by human rights advocates.

Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana

To the Montreal Expos' Moises Alou for copying Bobby Bonilla. Last Thursday, Alou broke his lower leg while rounding first base. Although not quite the feat of Bonilla (who tripped over second base), Alou will be hurt a lot longer.

Trivia Question of the Week

Who is the President of the American League? Send answers, comments, and votes for or against the participation of your humble scribes in the Miss America swimsuit contest to sports@the-tech.

Answer to last week's question: the Chicago White Sox. Kudos to Wes Williams '96 who wins a free tour of the Back Bay. Just show up at 77 Massachusetts Ave. between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m. on the day of your choice. A white van sporting red letters and the number 2 will be there to whisk you and 11 of your friends away on a 20-minute ride known for its comfort and hospitality.

MIT TWIB Notes

Come support the men's lacrosse team as they play host to Boston University in a scrimmage today at 4 p.m. on the turf. Likewise, the men's soccer team hosts Trinity tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Coach Taylor's cross country team is currently ranked third in New England behind Williams and Wesleyan Colleges.

The women's volleyball team is also ranked third in the latest New England polls, behind Bates and Eastern Connecticut Colleges.

The women's field hockey team improved to 3-1 with a 5-0 drubbing of Gordon College on Tuesday.

Led by Chantal Wright '95, the women's soccer team is in first place with a 2-0 record (4-0 overall), including a 5-3 win over the Simmons Tunas this week.

Lastly, the women's tennis team is off to a scorching start, as their 2-0 record indicates.

Sir Vix Picks

MIT 5 - Western New England College 4: Score is the same as the court ruling on MIT's appeal over the anti-trust suit. Boston College 34, Temple University 0: Instead of tailgating, Eagles' faithful hold a political rally for write-in mayoral candidate Doug "Skin" Flutie. Jets 22, Patriots 21: Tickets for this game are as hard to come by as a Mets-Padres series. Fan runs onto field to nullify apparent game-winning field goal by Sisson. Bills 34, Fish 28: Bills munch Fish as Miami players, unaccustomed to a serene downtown, have difficulty sleeping on Saturday night. `Boys 132, Skins 105: Teams get together during bye week for friendly game of Parchesi. Lions 20, Bishops 10: Bishops up all night watching citymate Sir Charles on Saturday Night Live. Phoenix could use Charles' scoring ability (no, we don't mean with Madonna) and personality. Norwegian-Americans 13, Packers 12: While Minnesota spent bye week preparing for game, Green Bay players spent week trying to figure out where in the world Carmen San Diego is. Doves 14, Pussy Cats 10: Boris Yeltsin prepares for possible ouster by sending resume and game plan to Doves, who utilize the Russians' unorthodox tactics to register back-to-back victories for the first time since Beavis and Butthead went on the air.

Last week 6-3. Season to date 11-8.