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A Let's Argue Tribute to His Airness, Michael Jordan

By Mike Duffy
and Andrew Heitner

Sports Columnists

Before beginning our regularly scheduled column, we pay tribute to His Airness, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Michael Jordan announced on Wednesday that he would hang up his sneaks and play the roll of a "normal" Joe Citizen. We can't begin to list all of his records and accomplishments, but we can say that he will be missed. Of all the superstars throughout the history of the NBA, Michael is the only one who did not have any flaws to his game. The rumors that Spike Lee will now be named to the Bulls roster, though, are, at this time, premature. Good luck, Mike.

Now that the season's first "game of the century" is upon us (Florida St. - Miami), it's time to check and see how the most heralded kicker in the land, freshman Scott Bentley of FSU, is doing. Bentley had been recruited by Notre Dame since the sixth grade, but felt the wrath of Pope Lou Holtz when he spurned the Irish in favor of the Seminoles. Coach Bowden signed him as the answer to FSU's historic kicking woes, hoping Bentley would help to deliver his first national championship. But thus far, the man with the golden foot has missed more extra points (7) than FSU opponents have even attempted (2). Of course, all of this is academic when your team is winning 51-0 and you are able to boot a 35 yard field goal against Miami with 10 seconds left.

Someone up there must really want to see Joe Paterno in the Rose Bowl. A casual glance over Penn State's schedule this season reveals that the Nittany Lions have a big advantage over Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten race. Penn State has a day off tomorrow, then faces the maize and blue next week in Happy Valley . This is followed by another bye week, then a trip to Columbus. These two weeks off will aid Paterno immensely in his quest to round out his bowl resume, as he's been to all the majors except the Rose. Sorry, Joe, but we don't buy any of that gibberish coming out of State College about how these two off-weeks actually hurt you. Nor do we think you will be in Pasadena on the 1st. How does San Diego (Holiday Bowl) sound.

Outside of Sir Vix, no one felt luckier Friday night than Lennox "Webster" Lewis. Lewis dropped the first five rounds to Frank "Sheep are Divine" Bruno and was getting pummeled in the seventh when he landed a wild left hand that spelled the beginning of the end for Bruno. Lewis, the goofiest fighter in the heavyweight division, will need to learn better defense if he hopes to survive his March 5 encounter with Tommy "Moondance" Morrison. For his part, Bruno fought well enough to warrant a good money fight on USA's Tuesday Night Fights, lately the haven for old fighters hanging on to dignity by a piece of dental floss. Riddick Bowe may want to sign up for a fight with Lennox now before Lewis falls and they both lose out on a fat payday.

This year's National League West and American League East pennant races should show the Lords of the Diamond that having wild card teams in the playoffs is not the answer to baseball's woes. Baseball set an all time record for attendance this season, even if you don't include the totals from expansion teams Colorado and Florida, yet owners continually moan about TV contracts and not making enough profit because of escalating salaries. Yet how exciting would the NL West race have been knowing that both San Francisco and Atlanta already had clinched playoff spots; or how exciting would the AL East race have been knowing in August that five teams within one game of first were duking it out for two spots. In the NFL, with its 16 game schedule, it is one thing to have wild card teams, but in a sport with 162 regular season games, it should be winner take all.

Here's hoping for three four-game sweeps in baseball post-season play, thereby ensuring that CBS will again lose money on its baseball broadcasts. How stupid does CBS think we are when they say that games are starting at 8:07 p.m. so that kids can watch the games in their entirety, and not because of commitments to Dave Letterman's late night show. We know that the scheduling is driven by the fact that Beavis and Buthead come on at 11 p.m. and, no matter how exciting the baseball game is, kids will switch over to MTV at that time in order to watch the boys.

Menudo's Top 5

1. Florida State

3. Alabama

4. Miami

5. Notre Dame

One of these days maybe Alabama will play a real team, while the Irish face a horrible Pitt Panther squad.

Let's Argue Fan Top 5

This week's listing comes from Houston, Tex., home of Chris Sonne '91.

1. Florida State

2. Miami

3. Alabama

4. BYU

5. Baylor

Former members of the Big Red Machine. Gary Nolan, Pat Zachary, Mike Lum, Rawley "Witches of" Eastwick, Fred Norman, Dan "Ranch" Driessen, Jack Billingham, Clay "Christmas" Carrol, Doug Flynn, and Pat Darcy.

Globe Gem of the Week

Although this space is normally boxed off for Globe sportswriters, a quote that appeared in the sports section on Tuesday clearly outdistances any Dan the Man, Meatball Mike, or Onion Ring Ryan barbs: "On this day in 1850, flogging was abolished as a form of punishment in the U.S. Navy." And we thought flogging was a form of amusement.

Race for Futility

Pigeons: 0-5

Patsies: 0-4

Pussy Cats: 0-4

Glanville brings in 11 Elvis impersonators during Atlanta's bye week to scrimmage the Falcons in an attempt to bolster team's confidence. Falcon players a no-show, however, as they are too busy watching CBS and the Braves-Phillies series. New England and Cincinnati, each with talented young quarterbacks, hungrily eye San Diego State's Marshall Faulk.

You Heard It Here First

Tampa Bay will be awarded Super Bowl XXXI in 1997, edging out San Diego. This will not only allow Bay area fans a chance to see how football is supposed to be played, but also allow your humble scribes to revisit Space Odyssey 2001, a quaint bar down the street from the Big Sombrero.

Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana

We have two winners this week in our Bonehead Play of the Week competition. First, to the unidentified San Diego State player who `fell' out of bounds at the half-yard line after receiving a kick-off during last Thursday's SDSU-UCLA game. And second, to Gary Sheffield "of Dreams" who muffed two grounders en route to a three error game, the day after signing a new mega contract (of course, it pales in comparison to the one signed by Grandmama).

Trivia Question of the Week

Who is the only (collegiate) player to win both the Heisman Trophy and the national championship in the same season? Send answers, comments, and the number of rollerbladers you have personally tripped to sports<\ Dr. Bobby Brown. Kudos to Jonathan Sigman '95 and Alex Tapia '96 who got it right. They win the right to dot the "i" in script MIT, performed by the MIT marching band during halftime of the Oct. 23 homecoming football game, a game that will be broadcast live by your humble scribes on WMBR (88.1 FM) starting at 1 p.m.

MIT TWIB NOTES

The men's water polo team is off this weekend as they prepare for the New England Regionals at UMass next weekend.

The football team is ranked 13th in New England, while the cross country team is third.

Two thumbs up to women's soccer player Becky "You can't stop her, but can only hope to contain her" Hill who is first in scoring in the New England Women's 8 with 9 points (4 goals, 1 assist). The team ranks second behind Brandeis, sporting a 2-0-1 (conference), 8-0-1 (overall) record. This week, led by Neon Dionne Chapman '94 and Chantal Wright '94, the lady Beavers spanked a weaker Wellesley squad by the score of 2-0.

Meanwhile, Attila Lengyd (fifth in the CAC in scoring) and Dave Lockwood (first in buffoonery) lead the men's soccer team (0-3, 3-3) into battle.

Hats off to the women's volleyball team, ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III Eastern Region with a 7-0 record. Led by Coleen Kaiser '94 and Jill Keidel '94, the team is participating in the Eastern Connecticut State University tournament this weekend. Good luck to the Lady Spikers.

Finally, the women's tennis team continues to make fools out of the critics as they are in first place with a 2-0 (4-0 overall) record and are currently ranked sixth in New England.

Vix Picks

MIT 14, Westfield State 12: First three-game winning streak for the Engineers for as long as The Pretzel Man can remember. Boston College 20, Rutgers 16: All day marathon of Fox's television show "The Heights" causes Eagle players to long for home. Boston University 15, Northeastern 14: Big-haired crowd, spurned on by the antics of MIT escapee Mike Nuckles '96 and Katrina Bang (BU '94), inspire the Terriers to victory. Patsies 17, Bishops 6: A Patsie win means a sweep for the hometown teams this week. Steelers 13, Lightning Bolts 7: Coach Ross decides from now on to levy fines against any player mentioning the word "touchdown" as San Diego has lost every game they have scored a "6 pointer" in. Norwegian-Americans 20, Bucs 14: Tampa players are too hung over from shaking it down at the Baker Add/Drop Date party. Chiefs 30, Pussy Cats 13: Cincinnati nominated for Ig Noble prize in the category of impersonating a Pop Warner football team. Browns 20, Fish 16: When trying to salute the crowd in a manner similar to his greetings to the fans of Buffalo, Cox gets fingers shot off by a marksman nestled comfortably in the Pound. Dawgs go wild, as Fish get munched. Jets 16, Raiders 3: Score is obvious, the age of Amy Fisher when Joey Buttafouco was courting her and the number of rendezvous Joey finally admitted to having with her. Last week: 5-2. Season to date: 22-11. Sorry to the MIT betting public who relies on Vix Picks before calling their bookies for last weekends football games, but The Tech was unable to receive our fax transmission from the limo.

Rumbling's From Round the 'Tute

From David G. Steel '93, our man in the Windy City: "Chicago today is a city in shock. In a single night Michael Jordan's retirement leaked out to the media and the White Sox were trampled by the Toronto Blue Jays. But Chicago fans stay optimistic, and last night as they choked back the tears over MJ's departure there was already talk of Will "Frank" Perdue starting for the Bulls. Across town, at the new Comiskey Park, the Jays showed they didn't care about the white sox being waved in their faces and hit the ball all over the park. Ellis Burks captured the spirit of the Sox performance during an interview when he kept talking about still playing for the Red Sox, apparently forgetting that he had changed the color of his footwear. If they don't improve, the White Sox will come about as close to the World Series as Ellis did with Boston. Prediction of the week: Unless Bo Jackson has several good hits in the AL series, look for him to spend some time next season with the newest White Sox minor league team, the Hickory Crawdads."