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Jordan Spotted in Michigan Burger King with Elvis

Column by Bo Light and Brian Petersen
Sports Columnists

With the NCAA basketball tournament in full swing (hopefully, our Final Four picks haven't lost yet), most of America might forget that other sports still make news. Don't worry, we at EA Sports are keeping on top of the sports world, so you don't have to.

O.J. Simpson Trial Update

This week on "E!," defense attorney F. Lee Bailey began cross-examination of Detective Mark Fuhrman. Bailey attempted to discredit Fuhrman's testimony by establishing, among other things, that Fuhrman made racially insensitive remarks at some point in the mid-80's, that he had motive to frame Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, that Fuhrman's tie did not match his socks, and that he may have been responsible for a condiment-throwing incident recently.

We will bring you more updates as the trial progresses.

NFL Report

The Big News in the NFL this week is, of course, the report of six potential draftees, including Miami defensive tackle Warren Sapp, testing positive for marijuana and/or cocaine use at a scouting combine in Indianapolis. The league has since stated that reports of Sapp's testing positive for cocaine were "erroneous," although they made no mention of the more widely-reported marijuana charge. You know, if they'd just legalize it, they wouldn't have these problems.

At the owners' meetings in Phoenix, the Rams' move to St. Louis has been put on hold while the owners discussed supposedly important issues relating to the move. At the heart of the arguments: money (as if we couldn't guess).

Apparently, Rupert Murdoch and the Fox network, which broadcasts NFC games, are not happy about having a team move from the second-largest market in the nation to the 18th-largest market.

Our advice to Fox: don't worry. Los Angeles, St. Louis, nobody watches the Rams anyway.

On the Ice

Pittsburgh and Quebec continue to be the best teams in the NHL, as their battle for supremacy in the Northeast division has left the rest of the Eastern Conference far behind.

However, in the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings are surging into contention for the league's best record, with 34 points, four behind the Penguins. The Wings, long known for their potent offense, also sport a much-improved defense, including the best goaltending in the league (2.17 goals-against average).

Right behind Detroit in the Central are Chicago and St. Louis, also with tip-top defenses and excellent goaltending. With defense and goaltending becoming more and more a factor in the playoffs, the ex-Norris division looks like the hot division this season.

With the focus on goaltending this season, there is no better time to mention the latest rookie phenom in the net, Washington's Jim Carey. The rookie from Wisconsin University and local Catholic Memorial High School has run his NHL record to 6񩔑 with an amazing 1.26 goals-against average since being called up from the AHL Portland Pirates two weeks ago.

Carey, who left Wisconsin as a sophomore and will turn 21 on May 31 (making him younger than either member of this column), has led Portland to the best start in professional hockey history at 14񩔓 (he was in the net for all but one of those games), has helped the Caps more than double their point total in just two weeks, and starred in the megahit movies Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask. Okay, he wasn't really in the movies, but we just wanted to illustrate what great star material this boy is.

NBA Insights

This just in: Michael Jordan was reportedly seen leaving the Bulls practice facility with Elvis, leading to Middle East peace.

Unless you have been locked away in a lab for the past week, you know by now that His Airness has officially retired from baseball and is contemplating resuming his basketball career. To get an idea of how important this is to our media colleagues, USA Today had an article on Tuesday's front page about Jordan's impact on the stock market. Good grief!

As usual, the media has blown this thing way out of proportion. Although Jordan is the second greatest hoopster of all-time (we think Magic is the greatest), the world does not revolve around him. On the other hand, the NBA does.

Jordan's return will have a significant impact on the NBA. As Wayne Embry, the Cavs GM, stated last week, "He is exactly what this league needs." The league desparately needs a statesman, somebody who is not only a tremendous player on the hardcourt, but is also a class act off the court.

When we were kids, Dr. J and Magic were the league's great statesmen. These were guys who were highly respected by their NBA colleagues. Rookies would take after their examples. Jordan naturally assumed that position after Erving and Johnson retired.

Currently, there are very few players in the league that command the respect of not only their colleagues, but the fans as well. Instead, we have guys like Pippen who refuse to play if the game-winning play does not go to him. Jordan, Magic, Dr. J, and Bird would never pull anything like that.

There are exceptions to the current trend, though. Sir Charles, David Robinson, and newcomers like Grant Hill are "good guys". Barkley, however, is the only player close to having the charisma and fan appeal of a Magic Johnson.

Contrary to popular opinion, Shaq is not a great statesman for the league. He's a good player, but he has absolutely no personality and an ego that is as big as George Steinbrenner's. How can you respect a guy like Shaq who did not have to work to gain his superstar status and who also has a kung-fu game named after him.

Michael, please come back. The league needs you.

Trivia Question

What was Michael Jordan's highest single-game scoring performance, and who was it against? Send answers, comments, and a list of every fraternity at MIT whose letters end in "epsilon" to: easports@the-tech.

Answer to last week's question: nobody won a free hockey puck because nobody could tell us that Northern Michigan beat Harvard 87 in the 1991 NCAA hockey final.