Page C2 Altoona Minor • Monday, June 30,1997 CYCLING vew Oilers have taken Tennessee two-step BY MIKE FISHER Fort Worth Star-Telegram -T-he NFL franchise in Hous'• I ton has taken itspowder- . I blue uniforms aiid its ill-fitting nickname of "OUei's" to Elvis territory, leaving us wondering whether the franchise will—like the King himself— ever be spotted again. As if the dub's departure from Houston wasn't unseemly enough, now come indications that owner Bud Adams' plan to spread the Oilers wealth to football fans in both Nashville and Memphis might have been short; sighted. ' AVhile awaiting the construc- • tipn of a new stadium in their ': eventual home of Nashville, the ' Oilers will play their first two seasons in Memphis. To an outsider, this seems like nothing more than : a way to build a broad regional ; fain base. f ;But an outsider—and that obi viously includes Bud—wouldn't I know that the dislike between j some in the cities of Memphis and • Nashville runs deep, that some folks in Memphis don't want to support a Nashville team, that some folks in Memphis are still bitter that they weren't awarded an NFL expansion team, that some folks don't see the logic in developing emotional and finah- , cial ties to a business that is certain to leave town after 1998. None of this matters anymore to the people of Houston, who are busying themselves in one of three ways: 1) Hinging their h&pes on expansion; 2) Devoting themselves to either the Cowboys or Saints, two franchises with marketing eyes on the spurned city; or 3) Feeling the same apathy toward the NFL they've long felt for the Oilers. Even Mr. Oiler himself leans toward No.3. ;"I am sad for the city of Hous- j ton," says legendary running •' I back Earl Campbell "I tried to do • what I could." ^For instance? "Obviously, I'm not a wealthy : enough man to be an NFL oyvn: er," Campbell says. "But 1 did work to put together an investment group that would have tried to buy the Oilers and would have kept the team in Houston .Unfortunately, Bud Adams never returned my call." So now, it seems, Nashville doesn't have the Oilers, Memphis doesn't want the Oilers, and Earl Campbell and Houston don't care about the Oileis. "Frankly," Campbell says, "I'm way more concerned about how things are going at the University of Texas." NFL buzz Denver says it didn't need new Cowboy Anthony Miller, but the top three Broncos wideouts are now Ed McCaffrey, Rod Smith and Flipper Anderson.... Bears runner Rashaan Salaam has slimmed to 2l7pounds. ...Fantasy sleeper Carolina's Mushin Muhammad, being groomed as the Panthers' go-to receiver. ..:In order to make Napoleon Kaufman the featured back, Oakland may shift Harvey Williams, to fullback. ... The Ravens are considering signing ex-Dallas center Ray Donaldson. ... With the addition of Andre Rison and Brett Perriman, the Chiefs have 15 receivers on their roster.... The Michael Irvin rumors keep spinning, the latest offerings representing both coasts. From Oakland comes a Michael- to-the-Raiders deal. For once and for all, let's use facts and figures to dispel this stuff: The Cowboys receiver has three years left on his deal, featuring §900,000 per year in signing bonus. That's $2.7 million in bonus that, upon an Irvin trade, accelerates immediately into this year's Dallas cap. Deal Irvin and his $1.5 million base is erased, but his total cap figure goes from $22 million (base plus $900,000 bonus) to $2.7. So where's the savings? And when you get a quality player in return (who presumably also makes SI million or more), you've just spent $3.7 million or more on two players (Irvin and the person he's swapped for) to do one job. End of that discussion. And from D.C. comes gossip that Irvin, wanting to stay in hiding, made an emergency cancellation of a guest spot on "Larry King Live".. In fact, the CNN people were hardly panicked on Tuesday as they worked on a show that would feature not Irvin but Jerry Falwell and a goat-cloning scientist. And in fact, days before he was supposedly scheduled to be "in hiding," he joined a host of Cowboys at a card-signing show in New Jersey. New Jersey might not be the highest-profile place, but it's hardly "hiding out." mm® ® game Retirement not in Gretzky's plans NEW YORK (AP) - Wayne Grefczky, the NHL's most prolific scorer, nine-time MVP and 10-time scoring leader, is not entertaining any thoughts at this time that the 1997-98 season will be his last. That was what his agent said Saturday night, after a Los Angeles radio station reported that the 36-year-old Gretzky would retire after next season. • • . "He still enjoys playing the game too much to make a decision of that magnitude at this point," Michael Barnett said when asked about the report by XTRA-AM. John Rosasco, a spokesman for the New York Rangers, for whom Gretzky starred last season, also denied knowledge of any such plans. Sooners, Irish may meet in'99 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)— Oklahoma football officiais reportedly have verbally agreed to a game between the Sooners and Notre Dame at South Bend in September 1999. Oklahoma athletic director Steve Owens reached an agreement on the game last week, The Sunday Oklahoman said. The newspaper cited sources as saying Notre Dame and Oklahoma officials came to the agreement Friday. "Steve agreed to this one game because it has the potential to be a blockbuster financially for OU," the source was quoted as saying. If the game materializes, it would be the first between the teams in 31 years. Notre Dame won the last game 45-21 and leads the series 6-1. highlights Television—Monday 10 a.m. — Tennis: Wimbledon Championships (samp-day tape) — NBC. Noon—Tennis: Wimbledon Championships—HBO. 2 p.m. — Major League Baseball: Kansas City at Chicago Cubs — WGN. 6:45 p.m. — The Press Box (& taped interview with. Doug West) — Public Access Channel 11. 7:30 p.m. — Major League Baseball: Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh —'Fox Sports Pittsburgh; WGN. 7:30 p.m. — WNBA basketball: Los Angeles at Houston — ESPN, 7:30 p.m. —Major League Baseball: Atlanta al New York Yankees—TBS. 11 p.m. — Sportscenter — ESPN. Radio — Monday 6:50,7:50,8:50 a.m. — Local race results with Ron Fox -i WBXQ-FM (M.3), 7:02,8:02 a.m. — Local race results with Ron Fox — WBRX-FM (94.7). 8:03 a.m. — Ned Jarrelt's World of Racing— WWCW-FM <107.S). 9 a.m.—Ned Jarrett's World of Racing — WBRX-FM (M.7). 9:30 a.m.—Ned Jarrett's World of Racing—WBXQ-FM <94.3), 4:50 p.m. — NASCAR Today — WBXQ-FM (W.3). 5:03 p.m.-NASCAR Today- WWCW-FM(107.5), 8 p.m. - NASCAR Today- WBRX-FM(91.7). 7:10 p.m. — Major League Baseball: Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates - WVAM-AM (1430); WTRN-AM (1340). (Check the Mirror TV booklet for complete listings) « ? i. The Associated Press A pack of cyclists ride by a potato field during the third stage of the 1996 Tour de France. This year's race begins July 5. Great wide open With Indurain gone, Tour de France is anyone's race BY SALVATORE ZANCA Associated Press Writer PARIS—Miguel Indurain won the Tour de France five straight times this decade, using explosive bursts in the time trials to make history. But the Spaniard known as "Big Mig" stepped off his bicycle for good in January,. leaving the sport's premier race wide open this year, even with the return of defending champion BjarneRiis of Denmark. "Now I'm the one to beat," Riis said,-adding that he doesn't mind the extra pressure. "I've learned to live with that. I'll try to use that in a positive way instead of lettingit nag me." The Tour begins July 5 in Rouen, northwest of Paris, and ends three weeks later after a decisive time trial around the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland Paris. Indurain had turned the Tour into his own personal kingdom from 1991 to 1995, becoming . the only rider to win the race five times in a row. After he won his first title when three- time winner GregLeMond faded, it became a race of Indurain against the rest of the field — and Indurain came out ahead. He won the four following years with a simple tactic: stay close on the flats and in the mountains, then annihilate them in the time trials. Simple, but everyone else still feared it. Even irTTSifcy jyhen Indurain fell behind, everyone waited and waited for him to come aack. He neverlucl and finished llth, more than 14 minutes Behind. He announced liis retirement on Jan. 2, saying he had dedicated enough time to professional cycling/ Riis took advantage ofMurain's failure last year and held on for the victory ahead of Telekom teammate Jan Ullrich and Richard Virenque. All three are back, but none of them have been outstanding this season. Riis, though, didn't show much befdre last year's Tour, either. • Riis, the first Dane to win the race, is surrounded by a good team in Telekom. He has "Now I'm the one to beat. I'll try to use that in a positive way instead of letting it nag me." Bjarne Riis Defending champion helpers in the mountains, sprinters on flats •and teammates willing to sacrifice themselves for the overall victory. This year it may be difficult to convince Ullrich, who is doing well in the Tour of Switzerland. He is just 23 and became the first German since before World War SI to be in the top-. three of the Tour, finishing barely a minute behind Riis. Ullrich won one stage in Switzerland and finished second in two others. "When we're so near the Tour, it is always good to be reassured," he said. "To win a stage represents for me a nice reward. A success that can mean something coining up in the Tour de France." During the early 1990s, there was Indurain and Italians Gianni Bugno and Claudio Chiap- pucci battling in the mountains. Then it was Indurain and Swiss riders Tony Rominger and Alex Zuelle in the time trials. Now, Bugno is all but put of cycling, Chiap- pucci's team didn't qualify for this year's race, Rominger is getting old and Zuelle is recovering from a broken collarbone. Zuelle had surgery earlier this month and his team hopes he'll be able to start the Tour. He was the runner-up in 1995 but has never really challenged for the title. "He will be the one of the cyclists more rested, and that can be an advantage," said Manolo Saiz, manager of Zuelle's team. Over the last few years, several up-and-comers Had hoped to take Indurain's place as the best in the sport: Russian Yevgeny Berzin, who beat Indurain in the Tour of Italy one TYSON-HOLYFIELD II ' year, and Laurent Jalabert and Virenque, two French riders. Chris Boardman of England and Lance Arm strong 01 the United States were also mentioned as riders to watch. Boardman is a speed specialist who has had trouble holding the distance; Armstrong, who won the one-day world championship in 1993, is recovering from testicular cancer. Abraham Olano was built up in Spain as In- durain's successor, especially after Indurain ' helped him win the world title. But in a race that lasts three weeks, a lot can happen and none of the hopefuls have been consistent. In 1989 defending champion Pedro Delgado lost nearly three minutes when he arrived late for the start Two years ago Boardman crashed on a rain-slicked road in the prologue. Entire teams had to drop out after a number of riders were stricken with a mysterious illness, which some suspected had to do with _ doping. This year the Tour will be watched ' even more, with surprise blood tests sure to cause a lot of problems and maybe some dropouts. The Tour's opening time trial is five miles around Rouen, also the site of the 119-mile first stage. The second stage begins on the northern coast in St. Valerj -en-Caux and sends the riders south. They'll hit the Pyrenees by Bastille Day, July 14. After the Pyrenees and a rest day, the second part begins with a time trial in St. Etienne on July 18. Then it's off to the Alps and a quick trip through Switzerland. A few more stages over eastern France and the riders head to Disneyland Paris, where there's a 38.5-mile time trial the day before the final day. When the cyclists cross the finish line on the Champs Ely sees hi Paris, they will have completed 21 stages—and 2,405 miles. Riis is confident he can wear the yellow jersey again at the end. "If I ride as powerful as I did last year, I'll feel safe," he said. "They can't beat me (or else) they'll have to ride damn fast." RUDEL/ A suspension is likely, and merited (Continued from Page Cl) With tons of time to fill and the public, which laid out $50 a pop for a fight that was expected to gross $130 million, wanting answers, Gray stood tall, asking the tough questions of all involved and virtually demanding to speak with Tyson, The request, through Don King, was shockingly granted and suddenly Gray had to be wishing he chose some other occupation. Like liontaming. Tyson snarled a few lame excuses for his tactics while admitting he retaliated for the head butt and then stormed off. Tyson's purse of $30 million (Holyfield made $35) is now being withheld pending review by boxing's various governing bodies. A suspension is likely and, of course, merited. When Tyson boxes again is questionable, whether he deserves to even more so. It's doubtful you'l! see him in the ring at least for a year, and that includes on Rocco Scalzi's next card. While Holyfield rides off to his 54,000 square foot, 17-bathroom house in Atlanta, Tyson will have to figure out a way to show . remorse and beg the boxing commission to someday give him another chance. Because he knows the sad bottom line — that the boxing fan will still pay to see him fight. In the meantime, he can play with his pet tiger Kenya, maybe bite its ear when he gets mad, The public, no doubt, would be rooting for Kenya. (Rudel is the Mirror's associa te sports editor and columnist.) ROUND-BY-ROUND LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tile rouncHyround efesojiton d Evarnte tWytekf 5 WBA heavywa^l We (ieSeree against Mfce Tyson: ROUND 1 Tyson ddm rush oo! as «i eie first ficfl but i <S*1 take them long to mi* A t$i, alhcugh Ihere was no damage. Tyson wasn't altafldng in Hie fira 30 seccnds, then he butted Holjfekl h !te ctest Yii8i Ns head Referee M* Lane cated te skiers to gcSmxti Via 8wn to fffl No mearwgM pwxtes were landed in the faa minute. Tyson actually VBB fi^itrg teSerwatt/. The crew] booed v*en iheycSncted. Holyfield landed an wer- head risWiM misseJ (free puichei Tysoi landed a tea Holy- feVJ tended a teS to »K body. Thai Ihey separated. Tyson jabbsd and Siey dotted wth 48 seconds lefL A big lidhl lo the heed n 228 »/ Hrfjfew Tyscn came back «i a left k> the head. Tyson landed a light load at 2:37. The setout amid charted "HdyfieVf! HoMeHT as tK rand ended. The AP gives the round to Hotyfl*. ROUND 2 Tyson was up before the bei btf Lane stepped tm The fibers immed«feryc*ncfied. Tyson missed NA> jabs. Boh wefB keeping the/ifclanco trying to leiit each <*«. Tyson nfesed a ric/it and they cfintfwd. Tyson is cut over'ihe rift eye Lane cated K a head tt/s and hated il briefly to tel f« judoes. Tyson complained a a low blow at the mdpoinl of the mrd. HotySeW landed a cjMd hook after a Tyson miss, Tyson tended a right to the head. Hof/feM landed a hook and a right to the body and mbsed a t>9 now. HciyfieU Mocked a Tyson ho* and they cfrvched. They almost wrestled to the grourrf and Lane cated bme again to warn them about the rour/i stufl. Tyson missed a tett hook and HoryfeW missed a HI hook »» 25 secwids teS. Tyswi got a left Ncfi on the head and they cinched HdytieWa round. ROUNDS Dr. FSp Homansky v«nt to Tyson's comer dumg the'rest f& rod and vrafched as to handeis worked on the GJL Tyson went at ivithoi* ta mouftpiecs and Jie round was hated briefly, Tyson got in a good left to the tody and two felts totho head. Tyson was ajacliig with fwy, Horyfi*) 9* away and tf«y oSnched Tyson missed a rioX to Ihe haad but AIJ a toft to *e body. Hotyieki tended a ten hook high to the head wtti 1:58 ttl ii the round. Tyson teaped r wrih a feft hook 6ut it was Mooted. Tyson vras dor0 most ot tho ft^Sng as toe round passed half //ay. Tyson landed a rlort to the head, rfcf/feld was missiig bacty. HorySeM landed" a fefl kw and Lane warned to keep rt up. Tyson landed a good iioW »9h a n*w!e teft. Tyswi got h a ja!s and men rresed a tetl-righl w»i 40 seconds Wt Holyfeld Jumped up and *wn after besTo, bitten on tf» rtc/R car ty Tyson and Lane penatod Tyson a poM tof bulling in the mouJi with 33 seconds left. HoVSeW was Weerfrg taoy Komansky came irrto th& rirxj to exarwie Hdr/fieW- Lane peoafcod Tyson 2 conu. The light resumed ate a 4-rt*w!e delay, Tyson M Km ao/a'i when the fight resumed Tyson got in a short left lo the javj. Tysco pushed HotyfieW away. They were angry al each other and ttyitog furfousV. Tyson landed a r^rl al ffe bel. It was Tyson's round bu* Tyson tost it due to penalty. The fight was ruted ovw by efequalfcafon. ^ Eghl broke out h Iho ring as Tyson Ined to get lo Hotyliekf, S&xjrily grabbed Tyson and ptJed hfrn sway. Tyson hrt a police officer. ANSWERS / Public perception is a problem for Tyson (Continued from Page Cl) Michael Moorer, the IBF champion, has a contract with Showtime to fight Tyson, whether Tyson won or lost Saturday night. Holyfield, the WBA champion, also has talked of fight ing Moorer, who outpointed Holyfield in a title match in 1994. That fight might be more attractive at this time for '•'•', Showtime. What is particularly damaging to Tyson is ' the way he lost, and how that loss Is perceived by the public, Tyson,'who avoided the media Sunday, said': that his bit ing was in retaliation for Holyfield : hitting low and butting, which opened a cut • over Tyson's right eye. Referee Mills Lane ruled the butting was accidental. Tyson also was cut over the left eye by what was ruled an accidental butt in the first fight, Nov. 9, when he was stopped in the nth round ' ; Most damaging to Tyson's reputation is the fact that many people who left the MGM Grand Garden, where all 16,331 seats were . sold, agreed with Holyfield that Tyson wanted a disqualification because he knew he couldn't win. The MGM Grand still has one fight remaining on its six-fight deal with Tyson, but it is ^PM J? e h ° Jtel - casi n° will want to pass on 1 ^ ? rand ofncials had no comment on hat Sunday nor on the chaos in the casino in the fights aftermath. The capacity crowd poured into parking lots and streamed through the hotel and casino, joining thousands who had gathered for a • glimpse of celebrities. Chaos broke out in the hotel lobby and adjoining casino when people heard what they believed to be gunshots, Hotel executives said the sound was that of a champagne bottle breaking in the main lobby.
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