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Harding and Baiul Are Top Skating Crybabies

By Mike Duffy
and Andrew Heitner
Sports columnists

Greetings to our loyal readers from The Big Apple, where your humble scribes were on hand at the Espys to receive the award for sportswriters of the year. Although we had to go mano-a-mano with Chris Berman for the last chicken wings at the post-awards buffet, it was overall an enjoyable evening.

Best lines from the Espy's:

"I'm going to Euro Disney." -- Jim Kelly.

"I bet you won't be doing the Heisman pose tonight." -- Host Dennis Miller to Charlie Ward's girlfriend after Ward won the award for college football player of the year.

"I could kick your ass on the thruway." -- Dave Letterman to Indy driver Nigel Mansell.

Ohhh, yeah. It's PTT (pre-tournament time) for all you college hoops junkies. Starting tomorrow, ESPN will be broadcasting 34 games, including 26 conference championships, over the next week. It will start with the Carolina-Duke game Saturday night and conclude with a NCAA bracket special on the 13th. These games provide some exciting finishes (Rider-Wagner of last year) and let fans catch a glimpse of some sleeper teams and players for the tourney (like Ohio U. and Gary Trent). So prepare your favorite easy chair, pack the cooler full of some cold ones, warm up the barbee, and enjoy. ...

All of the recent publicity that the sport of figure skating has received has been negated by the public antics of the major participants, showing that figure skating is a sport of crybabies. First, in one of the funniest moments of the Games, Tonya "Thighmaster" Harding hoisted her meaty leg onto the railing of the ice rink, and started crying because she couldn't tie her shoelace. Then gold medalist Oksana "Taco" Baiul burst into tears following her performance, making it difficult to understand whether she thought she had won a gold medal or been invited to be a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Finally, Nancy "Box" Kerrigan showed little class by acting impatient while waiting to receive her medal and by blasting the Olympic judging after skipping the closing ceremonies to appear in a parade at Disney World. Despite admitting that she had not seen Oksana's performance, Nancy proclaimed herself the victor saying she was flawless while Oksana wasn't. We hope Nancy is not calling herself the victor based on her legally blind mother's assessment of the programs. Mrs. Kerrigan had to watch the programs with a television set two inches from her face and is probably in no way biased.

The fact is that, although Oksana did two-foot one jump, her program was much more difficult than Nancy's. Nancy should just suck it up and be proud to have won a silver. She should have let the media complain about the unfairness of the scoring while complimenting Oksana for a great performance. Instead, she further damages her image by skipping the final ceremonies and saying that riding in a float with Mickey Mouse is corny and the dumbest thing she has ever done. Do you think the folks at Disney are pleased at being dissed by their five million dollar muffin? Dan Jansen and his daughter would have been more appropriate in Orlando anyway. ...

Two thumbs down to the Atlanta Hawks for trading Dominique Wilkins to the LA Clippers for Danny Manning. The Human Highlight Film (no, not Dionne "Prime Time" Chapman) had played for Atlanta his entire NBA career, and came to represent the Hawks franchise, enduring the Mike Fratello, Bob Weiss, and Kevin Loughery years. Despite his age and having sustained injuries in recent years to his foot and ankle, Wilkins is still good for over 24 points per game, and can still throw them down with authority. Now that Atlanta has Lenny Wilkins as coach and is in danger of possibly making the NBA finals, the Hawks deal Wilkins to the lowly Clips. Maybe too much Coke and pecan pie have clouded the minds of the Hawks front office, but Dominique deserves greater loyalty than that (even if the Hawks have a better shot at the crown now that Manning is aboard). ...

Look out for the Patsies, yes the Patsies, next season. Coach Bill Parcells has been raiding his former team, the NY Giants, for help at important positions. The additions of guard Bob "Scratch My" Kratch and safety Myron Guyton via free agency will fill the gaps at two of the weakest spots on the team, and if the P-men can land the Falcons' Michael Haynes, they will have sured up their weakest position, wide receiver. These three additions, combined with a high first round draft pick (Marshall Faulk?) and a more mature Drew Bledsoe could bring a playoff game to Slopborough. By the way, if Haynes does leave for New England, June Jones will probably wish that Jerry Glanville was still around to leave tickets for Elvis. The Falcons have already lost Chris Hinton to the Norewgian-Americans and will likely loose Chris Miller to free agency (although Bobby Hebert played well last year). Just another indication of what a great sports town Atlanta is, and how CNN City is fully deserving of the '96 Olympics.

Where Are They Now

1980 KC Royals: Amos Otis, Paul Splitorff, U.L. "Listed" Washington, Lary Gura, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry, Willie Mays Aikens, Darrell Porter, John Wathan, Freddie Patek, and Willie Wilson. ...

You Heard It Here First

Warren Moon will be released by the Houston Oilers. Moon makes over $3 million per year, far too much for the Oilers to shell out with the new salary cap coming into effect. He also had a mediocre year, being benched in the middle of the season in favor of the Commander, Cody Carlson, and taking a beating last season, most notably in the Oilers' final game against KC. Houston will look to the Commander to lead them to the promised land, although without Buddy Ryan (and possibly Sean Jones and Wilbur Marshall), it won't happen.

Race For Futility

Celtics: 0-12 in February

It took 3 years for APO to design and build a new "Rideboard;" it may take the C's longer than that to get back into the playoffs.

Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana

We have a tie this week. First, to the organizers at the Olympic figure skating finals for losing the Ukranian national anthem just before Oksana Baiul was to receive the gold medal. One of the Norwegian officials must have mistook the anthem for a song by Snoop Doggy Dog and thrown the tape in the trash. Second, to the EMTs at Reunion Arena in Dallas. After center Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars suffered a concussion in a game versus the Rangers, Modano was being carted off to the hospital when the paramedics dropped the left side stretcher before placing it in the back of the ambulance. We understand that the city of Dallas has sent tapes of the incident to the Fox network, so that its paramedics could audition for a part on the Simpsons.

Trivia Question of the Week

Who holds the NCAA basketball scoring record for points per game in a career? Send answers, comments, and Lorena Bobbitt sightings to sports@the-tech.mit.edu.

Answer to last week's question: Bob McAdoo. Kudos to Phillip Redrick and Brad Elder '97 who got it right. They each win an Aldrich Ames spy decoder ring. Just send three Fruit Loops box tops to the Russian embassy to claim your prizes.