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Sports Illustrated Writers Two-Faced about Jordan

By Mike Duffy and Andrew Heitner
Sports Columnists

A hearty gracias to all our loyal followers who launched the unsuccessful write-in campaign to try to get your humble scribes elected to UAP/UAVP. This potentially could have been a historic event, as we would have been the first grad students elected to the office. Oh well, we were just in it for the 4 grand anyhow.

We return this week after an exhausting Sunday afternoon covering the parade in honor of the Stoneham Biscuit. Since Troy Aikman was unable to attend to plant a big congratulatory smooch on Nancy, your humble scribes were there to fill in. The jury is in: Nancy's teeth definitely are too big.

A big Let's Argue two thumbs down to Sports Illustrated. On this week's cover of SI is a picture of Michael Jordan with the caption "Bag it, Michael" (we presume they are talking about baseball). A mere two weeks ago the baboons at the Time-Life building were praising His Airness for shunning the critics and giving the game a try. Now, in a true two-faced Harvard manner, SI is calling on him to quit. Why should he quit now? With cuts a couple of weeks away, why not play it out and see what happens?

Jordan is doing remarkably well, considering he hasn't played since high school. Hopefully, all the cheap-shot artist scribes knocking His Airness will give him a chance, and Jordan will make it to the majors sometime. Besides, if SI called for an end to the career of every hitter who went 010 in the grapefruit leagues, there never would have been a Biff Pocoroba or a Tom Paciorek to grace the annals of MLB.

If anyone should be leaving baseball it should be Marge Schott. Not only did she require all employees with company cars to drive to Plant City from Cincinnati (a mere 16-hour jaunt), but she also had the players present Schottzie II with a cake and made them sing "Happy Birthday" to her mutt before last Sunday's exhibition game.

The Buffalo Bills appear to be making a serious effort to avoid losing a fifth straight Superlative Bowl - not by winning it, but by not getting there at all. Last week, the Buffs allowed all-pro cornerback Nate Odomes to walk via free agency and sign with the Doves. On Tuesday, the Bills continued their effort by trading their other starting cornerback James Williams to the Cardinals for a draft pick.

It isn't difficult to believe that Marv Levy doesn't fear the less than vaunted passing juggernauts of the Jets and Colts, but he should be wary of the Fish (if Marino is fully recovered), the Patsies (if they sign a quality receiver), and whatever team (Denver, Raiders) he expects to face in the playoffs. Levy claims the Bills couldn't keep Williams because his salary hurt the team's chances of coming in under the new cap, but we know that Ralph Wilson actually needed the extra hundred grand or so to pay for part of MIT's projected 1995-96 tuition.

With all the focus in the NBA on the Danny Manning-Dominque Wilkins trade, not many people have paid attention to the heist the Utah Jazz pulled off. In landing Jeff Hornacek from the Sixers (for Jeff Malone), the Jazz landed a player who can shoot the J and take pressure off of the Mailman. With Hornacek in the 2 spot, defenses won't be able to double down on Karl like they did when Jeff was there, and Jerry Sloan will be able to run plays other than Stockton on the wing passing to Malone on the blocks.

This being the case, Karl will spend even more time at the charity stripe, as the only way most players will be able to stop him will be via the hack. In the meantime, the Jazz have not lost since Hornacek arrived and, more importantly, Mailman has stopped whining and is concentrating on playing ball.

No one has talked either about Charlotte's mugging of megastar-in-training Frank Brickowski from the Milwaukee Bucks. Seriously, the Brick (quite a nickname for a basketball player) has played well for the Hornets, despite the goatee, exploding for 15.2 points per game since the deal. Of course, the Hornets had not won a game since the trade until Alonzo Mourning came off the injured list, and Brick is likely to need tweezers to pluck the all the splinters from his rump once L.J. returns, but it is nice to see the journeyman get his 10 minutes of fame in this space.

It is sad to see a flabby, graying Larry Holmes still lacing up the gloves and getting into the ring. What is even more sad is that he is still a better boxer than all but the top three or four heavyweights in the world, and would likely beat anyone (including Lennox Lewis) but Bowe or Holyfield. Luckily, it is only a short 11 months until Iron Mike gets out.

In the "Only in America" category, this Friday night in Denver, through the magic of pay-per-view television, promoters will put on "The Ultimate Fighting Championship II." The event pits eight fighters (read: morons) in a single elimination martial arts tournament in which the winner receives $60,000.

In each bout, two fighters enter a pit for a no-rules, anything-goes (including choking) duel. There is no need for a double-elimination format because the loser is the person who is either unconscious or dead after the bout.

Dream bouts for UCF II (favorites listed first): Chaney-Calipari; Barkley-Pippen; Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura; Bobby Knight-any sportswriter; Kevin Gilbride-Buddy Ryan; Karl Malone-Bill Laimbeer; Shane Stant-Jim Pierce; Tonya-Nancy; Gillooly-Tonya; TEP-Chops (an easy W for the Tepsters); Beavis-Butthead; Carla-Dianne; Jim Tewhey-Kathy Nolan (a toss-up); and Frank Sinatra-Sinead O'Connor.

Speaking of Old Blue Eyes, we want to wish The Chairman a speedy recovery. Although he lost his singing voice about 5 years ago, Sinatra is still The Man.

With the end of the NCAA season upon us, Simson presents his post season awards. Your humble scribes are putting off our tourney preview/predictions for publication until next Friday (instead of Tuesday, like many of you have requested) because we will be in some of the same office pools, and don't want the answer key published until after the tourney begins:

Players of the Year

1. Glenn Robinson, Purdue

2. Jason Kidd, Cal

3. Grant Hill, Duke

4. Donyell Marshall, UConn

5.Corliss Williamson, Arkansas

As if there was any doubt to the Big Dog winning this award. Special mention is also given to the following: Jalen Rose (Michigan), Melvin Booker (Mizzou), Khalid Reeves (Arizona), Gary Trent (Ohio), Eddie Jones (Temple), Clifford Rozier (Louisville), and Randy "Trigger" Hyun (MIT).

Freshman of the Year

1. Joe Smith, Maryland

2. Dontonio Wingfield, Cincinnati

3. Rasheed Wallace, UNC

4. Marcus Camby, UMass

5. Tunji Awojobi, Boston U. and Kiwane Garris, Illinois (tie)

Coach of the Year

1. Norm Stewart, Missouri

2. Lon Kruger,Florida

3. Jim Calhoun, UConn

4. Ricky Byrdsong, Northwestern

5. Charlie Spoonhour, St. Louis

Just a side thought: Do you think Bobby Knight would have lost a single game if he was in charge of the Carolina team?

Best Conferences

1. Big Ten

2. ACC

3. PAC 10

4. SEC

5. NEW-8

Although the ACC may be stronger at the top (with Carolina and Duke), the Big Ten has the edge in overall strength. The Pac 10, with Arizona, Cal, and UCLA, just barely eclipses the SEC.

You Heard it Here First

Facing mounting criticism and pressure from an ongoing NCAA investigation, Ohio State basketball coach Randy Ayers will resign at the end of the season, the Buckeye's first losing season since 1976-77.

Where Are They Now?

Former NCAA Giant Killers: Iona, Gonzaga, Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary's (CA), Illinois State, Loyola (Chicago), Dayton, and Arkansas-Little Rock.

Simson's Final Top 4

1. Arkansas

2. Missouri

3. North Carolina

4. Purdue

Let's Argue Fan Final Top 5

This week's list comes from Daniel Stine:

1. Temple

2. Villanova

3. Pennsylvania

4. St. Joseph's

5. Drexel

Daniel notes: "Watch for Temple to make a good run in the NCAAs. As always, they have played a tough schedule, a requisite for tournament success. Chaney's team has one of the toughest defenses in the country. Two of the last three years, Temple has reached the final 8 in the tourney, losing to Michigan last year in a thriller, and to North Carolina three years ago. This year's team is better than either."

Race For Futility

Oregon State: 10 points scored in the first half versus UCLA

George Washington: 10 points scored in the second half versus Temple

Donnie Boyce of Colorado scored as many points in a row for the Buffs against Oklahoma State last Saturday (20) as those two teams combined. For the game, Boyce had 46. OSU and GWU each barely scored more points than the number of people who have left the Clinton cabinet.

Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana

Mondongo presents his coveted award to the Atlanta Hawks. In their game Tuesday night against the Bulls, the Hawks twice fouled Chicago players (Snottie Pipsqueak and Pete Meyers) shooting from beyond the three-point line. Both times the fouls were weak enough to allow Chicago to hit both the shot and the free throw for two 4-point plays in the same game.

Trivia Question of the Week

Coach Lefty Driessell has now taken three different teams to the Big Dance-Maryland, Davidson, and James Madison. What is Lefty's real first name? Send answers, comments, and Final Four predictions (must be received by Wednesday at noon) to sports@the-tech.mit.edu.

Answer to last week's question: Pistol Pete Maravich, who averaged 44.2 ppg in three seasons with the Bayou Bengals. Kudos to Tim Hazen, Daniel Stine, Timothy Dawson, Jim Kluka, Jim Clemons, and A. Martignetti in the Property Office who all got it right. They each win a free "toy" featured in the inside back page of this week's Thistle. Please call Contact Line for explicit instructions on proper use.

Rumblings From Around the 'Tute

This just in from Tim Hazen:

"If I remember correctly, Pistol' Pete Maravich from LSU has the highest career scoring average for NCAA competition. Scoring over 40 points per game during his career, LSU fans should remember him as the greatest basketball player in LSU history and not that other guy what's his name?

"I might also argue with your answer to last week's question. Calling Bob McAdoo a center is equivalent to calling Chris Webber a center. While they may be forced to match up against true centers on any given night, it is only because there is/was no other true center on the team to fill that role. Thus, I would say Bob McAdoo was really a power forward and Kareem was the last true' center to win the scoring title.

"P.S. I love your column."

Is Tim talking about Stanley Roberts or Jamie Gladden?

From Jim Clemons '95: "I noticed in last Friday's column Willie Wilson was listed under the Where are They Now? section of 1980 Royals. I am proud to say the Willie is now living in Warren, NJ and is the proud new owner of the King George Inn in the same town. Just thought you would like to know."

This gem from Dan Moriarty G: "Dear humble sports scribes, I'm writing to you because you are probable the only people I can say this to - of the media at least - Nancy Kerrigan sucks! Somebody in the Kerrigan family is obviously paying off those in charge of the media. She gave a mediocre showing in the '92 Olympics yet still receives all the attention.

"Whatever happened to Kristi Yamaguchi? Coming into this Olympics did anyone with any intelligence really think she could stand a chance against the obviously-lifetime-trained-ballet-dancers-on-skates that come out of Russia? Maybe she didn't watch Oksana taco' Baiul but it's clear from the performance that Nancy is just another mediocre Boston towny competing against the truly gifted and polished. (Kind of like a Purdue EE hanging around in Course six land.)

"Who really cares about Nancy anyway? According to the Governor, we love all the Olympians.' Yah, but you still didn't answer the question, Why does Nancy get a parade when there are two other gold medalists arriving nearly the same day? And they didn't sell out the very same day they received their medals. I agree with you, Dan Jansen would have been much more appropriate for Disney. I followed the whole saga and if there is anyone who should receive the full support of the nation its Dan. He exemplified the determination and dedication necessary in a gold medal winner and in a role model. Nancy is nothing but a mediocre Bart-Simpson-Nosed-Big-Toothed-ungrateful-low-class-towny who scates like a duck.

"I'm continually insulted by the media.

"P.S. Scates is spelled Skates. Sorry.

"P.P.S. From where are they now: Frank White, the greatest second baseman to walk the face of the earth, retired recently and is now waiting induction into the Hall of Fame.

"Amos Otis, and Willie Wilson retired I think.

"Dan Quisenberry went down the tubes when the novelty of his side-under-arm style of pitching wore off. Fortunately KC had the guts to boot him even though he was still well liked, before he got a chance to do some real damage.

"Darrell Porter went to St. Louis and has not been heard from since."

"John Wathan, last I heard, was managing the Royals."