Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on November 30, 1988 · Page 61
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 61

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Wednesday, November 30, 1988
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STREET EDITION STATE EDITION F The Arizona Republic WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1988 Sports 4m XX Fighting for No. 1 begins Holtz: Choosing best a crap shoot By Bob Eger The Arizona Republic The Sunkist Fiesta Bowl is more than a month away, but the verbal . salvos are under way. Miami, Fla., coach Jimmy Johnson started it Monday when he said his second-ranked Hurricanes (9-1) should be national champions if they beat Brigham Young on Saturday and Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, and third-ranked West Virginia (11-0) beats top-ranked Notre Dame (11-0) in the Fiesta. If West Virginia is elevated to No. 1 through that scenario, "I would become a strong proponent for the playoff system, because I would say that the polls are ridiculous," Johnson said. That drew return fire Tuesday from West Virginia coach Don Nehlen. "Jimmy Johnson's just trying to Sunkist Fiesta Bowl plant seeds in everybody's heads, but his team lost to Notre Dame and he can't erase that fact," Nehlen said. "The No. 1 team will play the No. 3 team in the Fiesta Bowl and the winner of that game will be the national champions because the No. 1 team already has beaten the No. 2 team." West Virginia has been criticized for a weak schedule, which included Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Fast Carolina and Fullerton State. "Schedules are something you can't even get into," Nehlen said. "We're a Division 1 college football team and we're undefeated and so is Notre Dame. We're the only ones left." Nehlen got support Tuesday from Syracuse coach Dick MacPher.son, whose team finished fourth in the final Associated Press poll with an 11-0-1 record last year. "He's had a similar schedule before and never went undefeated," MacPherson said. "When anybody goes through 1 1 games undefeated, it shows the quality of the team and the coaches. Let them do it before they start knocking West Virginia." When asked Tuesday if he had an opinion, Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz said, "No." He then explained. "I know everybody wants me to come out and say that if West Virginia beats us, they deserve to be No. 1," Holtz said. "That's not my decision. That's not my right. "I've never jumped up and said this team should be No. 1 or that one should be No. 1. I haven't said it for 1 1 weeks and I'm not going to say it this week." Holtz wouldn't even proclaim his ' Irish as No. 1. ."I think we're a good football team, but we're not a great football team," he said. "Are we the best football team in the country? I don't think so. "I would have no qualms if West Virginia were placed No. 1 in the country right now. I wouldn't argue against that from what I've seen on film." Schlichter picking up pieces Art Schlichter "It bothers me when someone puts me down for my toughness." Former pro QB working three jobs while mending life The Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio Art Schlichter, former Ohio State quarterback who was suspended twice by the NFL for gambling, is living near his parents' farm and holding three jobs after trying unsuccessfully to come back in the Canadian Football League. "I'm just trying to pick up the pieces," he said in a story published in The Columbus Dispatch this week. "It's a continuing state for me." Schlichter is working for an athletic equipment manufacturing company, an automobile dealer, and a radio station where he is a part-time sports announcer. "It keeps me busy, and that's really what I need to do," Schlichter said. His release from the Ottawa Rough Riders came Oct. 11, one day after he ended a 30-day "stay on the reserve list because of a rib injury. He started in five games. For the year, he completed 41 passes in 89 attempts for 658 yards and three touchdowns, but had seven interceptions. "What led up to the release was the fact he was not very productive," Rough Riders coach Bob Weber told The Dispatch. "In fact, he was very unproductive." But Schlichter said a personality conflict developed when, 10 days into his rehabilitation, Weber criticized him for not practicing. He said Weber might have been trying to rush him into the lineup because the team was playing poorly. Ottawa finished with a 2-16 record, worst in the CFL this year. "I've played hurt about as much as -anybody during the course of my career," said Schlichter, who set most of Ohio; State's passing records between 1978-81 and played for the Baltimore and India- -napolis Colts in the NFL. .- -X "You can put me down for a lot of things, but it bothers me when someone ; puts me puts me down for my toughness." Schlichter and Weber differ on the nature of the injury. Schlichter said torn " cartilage under his rib cage caused pain so severe he had trouble breathing and sleeping on his back. Weber said the area was very deeply bruised but there was no physical damage. , Rumors that Schlichter had been -gambling again circulated at the time of his release, but Weber said he heard nothing along that line, and Schlichter said it "was " never mentioned and it didn't happen." ' ' - '' y , I . 'N vvi f , , The Associated Press UP IN ARMS Seton Hall players hoist 5-foot-4 Pookey Wigington, the hero of the Alaska Shootout, after the Pirates dumped Kansas to win the tournament championship. Story, F4. City Council backs course for road race 3 cities vie for Formula One site By Mark Armljo The Arizona Republic The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to guarantee a course for a Formula One auto race. Now it is up to Bernie Ecclestone, the head of the F-l sanctioning body, to decide if he wants to bring the prestigious European racing series to the city's downtown streets, The F-l organization is looking for U.S. sites to replace Detroit on its schedule, either in 1989 or 1990. A decision could be made within two weeks. Jack Long, who is Ecclestone's North America spokesman, said Phoenix is one of three finalists. It is believed one site is Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Long would not name the other city. A letter will be sent by city officials to Long explaining Tuesday's action. The city will state in the letter that it will make a maximum financial commitment of $1 million for safety equipment such as barricades. The city, however, expects to be reimbursed from public funding raised by Phoenix real-estate developer Howard Pynn. Pynn, who was given exclusive rights 13 months ago to negotiate for a downtown race, said he has the support of the Thunderbirds organization and plans to raise the $1 million by having 500 supporters donate $2,000 apiece. "I've already had contacts from 300 people and at least 100 have already tried to give me money," Pynn said. The original cost of laying out a 2.1 -mile course was put at about $1.5 million, but Pynn said he has a plan to cut the cost to $850,000. "I think this is a tremendous step the city has taken," Pynn said. "It's probably the last step necessary because I don't know what else the city can do. "I think we've put together the cleanest deal ever presented to Formula One by a city in the United States." Pynn won't entirely know how clean the deal is or how successful his efforts have been until Ecclestone decides whether the Valley will be one of the stops on the F-l circuit. If and when Ecclestone does, a more "elaborate" contract still needs to be negotiated between the city and F-l before the city will make a final commitment to stage the race. Council members expressed concern that the city not be stuck with a "huge deficit." Council member Duane Pell, who first brought the subject up with Mayor Terry Goddard more than three years ago regarding a downtown street race, was pleased with the council's action. "This has been a slow process, but the council has reaffirmed its commitment to attract a Formula One race," Pell said. "Today's action showed that. "Something needed to be done to demonstrate our good faith, and hopefully, it will have an impact on the Formula One people. We're not there yet because no final decisions have been made, but at least were showing that we're pursuing it." Soviet wrestlers to meet Sunkist Kids in 'Fiesta Takedown' By Bob McManaman The Arizona Republic Sec HOLTZ, pagcl'5 The Soviet Union will send 10 of its lop wrestlers to the Valley to compete against the Sunkist Kids, the Arizona-based Olympic developmental team, in what is being billed as the Fiesta Bowl Takedow n I. The dual meet is scheduled for 7;3() p.m. Dec. 30 at the University Activity Center, and is one of 56 events being held in conjunction with the Jan. 2 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, which features top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 3 West Virginia. "This is tremendously exciting," said Fiesta Howl associate executive director John Junker. "This just adds to the Fiesta Bowl menu as far as having a truly world-class sporting event." The USSR-USA challenge will be telecast Dec. 31 by TBS on a tape-delay basis, Junker said. The Soviets, who will be making their first appearance in Arizona, arc expected to send the same team that competed in the Seoul Olympics. Heading the list is two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Sergei Beloglozov, who has been dubbed "the greatest wrestler in the world." Beloglozov won the gold medal in the 57-kilogram division (125.5 pounds) at Seoul. Other top Soviets expected to make the trip include '88 Olympic gold medalists Makharbek Khadartsev (90 kilograms198 pounds), Arsen Fad-saev (68149.5) and heavyweight David Govdjichvili, who defeated American Bruce Baiimgartner in the gokl-tncdal match. Baumgartner, a gold medalist at the '84 Olympics in Los Angeles, is one of several U.S. Olympians who have made commitments to attend to the Fiesta Bowl Takedown. Others include '88 gold medalists Kenny Monday (74 kg) and John Smith (62), bronze medalists Nate Carr (68) and Bill Schecr (100), and Tim Vanni (48), an assistant coach at Arizona State, who placed fourth overall in Seoul. The Sunkist Kids, who have won the National Freestyle Open team championship each of the past seven ycars will be coached by Bobby Douglas, the head coach at ASU. Douglas, who coached the Sun Devils to their first NCAA title last season, predicted his Sunkist Kids will defeat the Soviets if more than 10,000 tickets are sold. "I guarantee it," Douglas said. The Soviets will be coached by Ivan Yarygin, who in 1976 defeated American Russ Hellickson in a dramatic, 228-pound division bout at the Montreal Olympics. Yarygin ulso coached the Soviets in Seoul. Fiesta bowl officials will announce ticket prices and availability today. f.i ,w"N BOB HURT Republic Columnist Garagiola can always talk his way into new field y"i ilwiri tiihi..-it time of crisis were so tood that he wrote M:irniie tir.Ae me want to reach for the fullback Kelvin Fisher lost a vurd. "I elected short subjects. . . . Joe Garagiola lost his job as NBC-TV's baseball analyst but not his sense of humor. He proudly refers to himself as a statistic unemployed. His audience laughed. I mean, who's going to save food stamps for a guy living in a $ 1 million Paradise Valley mansion. "It's OK to laugh at those less fortunate than you," Joe said, acting wounded. "I tell you something, if you've never been down to the unemployment office. They've got foitus that come right up to your kazoo. "It bothers me. I said to the guy standing next to me, I said, 'Hey, Evan. NBC kept Joe dangling, refusing to negotiate his new contract until after the World Scries, in which he wowed them. Joe, bless him, told the NBC brass where to stuff in peacock. Good for you, Joe., The network moguls will miss you more than you miss them. Gaingiola received a consolation coll from Ins childhood buddy, Yogi Berra. Gnraeiola, insisting for the umpteenth time that lie docs not make up Yogi's quins, claims that Yogi's words of advice in tins time of crisis were so good that he wrote them down: "Don't worry, Joey," Yogi said, "If nothing hapcns, you can't make it." Joe, 62, can make a living making speeches, but look for him to stay in broadcasting. He likes the work and he likes the game. "Baseball players ore a lot smarter than football players," lie satJ. "You never saw a baseball team with too many players on the field, did you?" Look beyond the coaches There arc more bad coaching situations than bad coaches. Today's case studies: Marv Levy and John Mackovic, whose reconstruction jobs with the Buffalo Bills and the University of Illinois, respectively, have attracted national attention. Levy was fired by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1982 after going 31-42. Mackovic, w ho succeeded him, was 30-36 before being fired in 1988. The message to owner Lomar Hunt is obvious: l east of the club's problem is the coaching. Little things mean a lot Critics sniping at Arizona Slate's t arry Marniic make me want to reach for the barf bag. All he has proved is that's he's no genius. It would have taken a genius to get more than 6-5 out of w hat John Cooper left him, if you factor in all the injuries. So he's not a genius. Now, fans, let's have the patience to find out if he's a good coach. One thing I'd like to sec the Devils do is work on the short-yardage offense. This is not Marmic's exclusive problem. It has bugged both Darryl Rogers and Cooper. The Devils simply can't get that yard w hen they need it. It was apparent Saturday at Arizona. The Devils converted 6 of 13 third downs, And there were some beauts. One was a third-and-10 surprise run that broke Bruce Perkins for a 44-yard touchdown. Paul Justin also had some third-down magic. Needing 9, he passed 29 to Steve Martin. Needing 21, he passed 22 to Martin. Needing 8, he passed 12 to Perkins. But get tins: The Devils faced third down needing 3 yards or less seven times and converted only twice. The last three times they faced third and I, Justin sneaked for zero, Perkins ran for zero and fullback Kelvin Fisher lost a yard. I don't know if that's because of blocking, running, personnel, coaching or play-calling, but it's those little things that make the difference in big games. A cram course for Fiesta There's much debate inside the coaching fraternity over how to prepare a team for a bowl. Some want bowls to be a pleasure trip, a rcwurd. Others feel it's a work session, and that levity leads only to losses. Lou Holtz, the Notre Dame coach, has come up w ith a compromise for the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl that is interesting. He'll give his troops ample time off, but only on cither side of a concentration camp. His Irish players will be off until Dec. 16, except for a one-hour nightly conditioning session. Christmas holidays start at Notre Dame on Dec. 16, but not for the players. For six days, they will work out twice daily and attend two to three meetings a day. Then, they get four days off to go home for Christmas before reporting here. Incidentally, is there a better coach around at getting his team up and ready for one Aw? I doubt it. Inside Red Sox keep Gcdman Boston Red Sox free-agent Rich Gcdman agrees to a one-year $1.1 million contract that reportedly makes him the highest-paid catcher in the American League. F2. Wildcats take on Lobos Ilth-ranked Arizona opens its basketball season tonight against New Mexico. F4. INDEX: IVJiCHipTS Briefs F2 College Ml. 12 basketball: Cardinals 12 Maine at DcPatil, Basketball 14 ASPN. 6:30 p m. Stale Briefs 5 New Mexico at Scoreboard 16 Arizona. Ch. 27 and LSPN, 7:30 p.m. Complete listings, F2

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