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Soviet inducted into U.S. Hall of Fame

By Andrew Heitner and Mike Duffy
Sports Columnists

To get respect on the Cal Berkeley campus, you must either strut around in your birthday suit or walk your pet pig to class. You certainly cannot get it coaching basketball, as Coach Campanelli found out this week.

This year, Campanelli has guided the Bears to a 10-7 overall record and an appearance in the Top 25. He has also assembled the best freshman class in school history. His reward for all this was a pink slip. School officials, upset with the team's performance, said that it would be in the school's best interest to get a new coach. Our sources, however, tell us that he was canned because he balked at the idea of changing the team's nickname to Bare's and refused to serve tofu and bee pollen at team dinners...

It was great to see Dr. J and Bill Walton elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Before His Airness, the Doctor was the NBA's Mr. Entertainment (and more graceful and classy than Mike), while Walton revolutionized the role of the passing center. Their contributions are well known, and there can be no doubt that they deserved this great honor. The same cannot be said for the Siberian Amazon who was elected with them. To our knowledge, Ulyona "Built like a Truck" Semyonova, a 7-foot, 2-inch center who led the Soviet Union women's team to an Olympic gold medal in 1976, never played professionally in the States nor did she ever grace the cover of Wheaties. This is similar to saying that Jim Craig will be enshrined in the Soviet Union's Hockey Hall of Fame because he was on the US team that won the gold in 1980. This is about as likely as the MIT basketball team receiving an NCAA tourney bid this year...

The Lords of the NHL are trying, without much success, to improve the marketability of the "sport of goons" and shed the image given to them by the Hanson brothers. To begin with, they awarded franchises to such hotbeds of hockey as Miami, Tampa Bay, and Anaheim, thus allowing the Disney-on-Ice Orange County team to be known as the Mighty Ducks (silliest nickname since the University of California Santa Cruz Banana Slugs). They then let Scott Norwood kick, and miss, an extra point for each team in last weekend's All-Star "Game," won by the Wales Conference 16-6. Now, Commish Garry "you're no John Ziegler" Bettman and the boys are toying with the idea of giving the boxers on ice a month off in 1994 to participate in the Olympics. In a sport where the gringos would finish second to the canucks, the U.S. might as well save face and just send the Beanpot champions. Besides being a sham for a "major" sport to disrupt its season for a month, the Olympics are supposed to be an amateur sport (attention: NBA).

Speaking of the frozen pond sport, Wayne Gretzky's NHL record 212 points for a single season is truly amazing. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux has missed 13 of the Penguins' games this year but still leads the NHL points race (with 104) by a comfortable 9-point margin over Boston's Adam Oats, showing how impressive his start really was. Lemieux's 2.6 points per game pace, however, extrapolated over a full season (see Tim McCarver's "At That Rate" bit) would still leave him four shy of The Great One's mark. Scribes place Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points in a game, 50.4 points per game in one season, and 20,000 "scores" in a career at the top of the list of sporting records that won't be broken. Maybe so, but this certainly shows that Gretzky's record deserves Top 5 status...

There has been much talk about who should be the next opponent for Riddick Bowe after his first round knockout of Michael "Rhymes with Jokes" Dokes in his first title defense (predicted here). From Bowe's perspective, he should follow the first axiom of boxing -- most money for the least risk -- and fight Tommy "I punch like Van" Morrison next, as a warmup for a rematch with Evander Holyfield, who could fight on the undercard. This makes sense for two reasons. First, a fight with Lennox Lewis would draw the most money sometime around next January, after the Americans get to watch Lewis, whom they haven't seen since the 1988 Olympics. Second, it may finally put a merciful end to the career of The Great White Dope, who should have hung them up after he out-acted Sly Stallone in Rocky V...

You Heard It Here First

NFL Hall of Famer Alan Paige, a former Purple People Eater, and current Minnesota State Superior Court judge, will be Bill Clinton's next nominee for Attorney General...

Race For Futility

Maverics: 4-41

San Jose: 6-46-2

The Maverics' magic number (combination of Mav's losses and Laker wins) to be officially eliminated from the playoffs is 17. The Mudsharks, after a torrid start, have a 1-31-1 record since Thanksgiving, and have displaced the Senators as the NHL's worst team...

Flub of the Week

To Merciful Ray Mercer for blowing a $2 million paycheck and a heavyweight title fight with Riddick Bowe by losing his fight to journeyman Jessey "The Flabby Body" Fergusen Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Kudos to the officials at New York's Millrose Games (also at the Garden), who mis-measured the distance to the finish line of the 60-yard dash, thus making the course five feet too long...

Globe Gem of the Week

To our dismay, Madden, Ryan, and Shaughnessy did not perform up to par this week. Ryan was a no-show, while Dan the Man barely nosed out Be Like Mike with this one on the Bowe fight, New York, and Elton John: "The sweet science was practiced in the naked city, and Saturday night was alright for fighting."

Where Are They Now?

MLB Catchers

Dan Bilardello, Butch Wyneger, Dom Scala, Jerry Grote, Steve Lake, Darrell Porter, John Wathan, Ted Simmons, Barry Foote, and Johnny Wockenfuss...

Trivia Question of the Week

Since the last two weeks were so easy, try this one on for size: Can you name the five starters and head coach of the 1984 men's Olympic gold medal basketball team? Send answers to sports@the-tech.

Last week's answer: Matt Millen. Here's a partial list of winners: Eugenio Torres '93, Paul O'Brien '95, Thi Nguyen (2-time winner), and the tag team of Mike Aponte '92 and Jeff Ma '94. They all win leftover Lecture Series Committee calendars, color of your choice while supplies last. Pick up awards at LSC's office in the Student Center...

MIT TWIB Notes

At the track, an undefeated MIT team will clash with an undefeated and favored Williams squad, a feisty 7-2 Coast Guard team, and cannon fodder Worcester Polytech for the inaugural Quad Cup Championship Saturday at the luxurious Howard Johnson Athletic Complex and Commencement Facility. Go see The Big Meet, as Hurdler Bo Light '96 is expected to run for approximately nine seconds. Kudos also to Colin M. Page '95, who was awarded a Bertucci's gift certificate by the track team coach for most accurately predicting the score of MIT's victory over the Tufts Pachyderms...

Come cheer on the women's basketball team Tuesday night at 6:00...

Good luck to the rifle team as they participate in the Collegiate Sectionals this weekend against Norwich, the Coast Guard Academy, Yale, and Wentworth...

Not even the heroics of spiking sensation Danny "Escape from" Alvarez '94 could prevent the men's volleyball team from going down in defeat to Springfield College last Wednesday night in a four-game nail biter.

Rumblings Around The 'Tute

Darren Castro G writes in with a good observation in answer to the trivia question: "LB Matt Millen, although his contribution to the Redskin's efforts was minimal in that he did not dress for any of their three playoff wins against run-and-shoot teams (Falcons, Lions and Bills). His replacement, a more mobile Kurt Gouvia, had key interceptions in each of those games."

Not to be outdone by Jonathan Sigman, who complained about the relative ease of the question: "CBS' analyst (very) ordinaire Matt Millen. Why even bother with the hint? Bud Bowl deserves to be killed anyway."

Elliot Schwartz G sent us: "Mike and Andrew, Linebacker Matt Millen is the only player to win Super Bowl rings with three different teams. Notice that I sent this in after Brian D'Amato '96, who rushed to Athena after the LSC movie to send the answer to you after hearing it from me."

Send comments, questions, or tapes of the Oprah-Michael Jackson interview to sports@the-tech.mit.edu.