The Herald-Palladium from Saint Joseph, Michigan on November 15, 1994 · 16
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The Herald-Palladium from Saint Joseph, Michigan · 16

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Saint Joseph, Michigan
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Tuesday, November 15, 1994
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43 The Herald-Palladium. Benton Hartxx-SL Joseph, Michigan. Tuesday. November 15. 1994 SPORTS Digest 1-9 Oilers fire Pardee HOUSTON (AP) - Starting over can be difficult especially after a 1-9 start But that was Jeff Fisher's response on Monday after signing a three-year contract to coach the Houston Oilers. He replaces Jack Pardee, fired by owner Bud Adams after Sunday's 34-31 loss to Cincinnati. "We are 0-0, the 1995 season starts this afternoon," Fisher said. "I can assure you from the kickoff against the New York Giants (Monday night) until the last play against the Jets on Dec 24, this team will play as if they are going for the home field advantage." Adams also fired assistant head coach Kevin Gilbride, leaving offensive coordinator Dick Coury to game-day play-calling duties. Any hopes Pardee had of lasting out the season ended with Doug Pelfres field goal as time expired a day earlier at Riverfront Stadium. The loss was the sixth stragiht for the Oilers, assuring their first sub-.500 season since 1986.: Poor health forces Raveling to retire LOS ANGELES CAP) -When coach George Raveling called a morning meeting with the USC basketball team, the players thought he might tell them it would be awhile before he would return. They d:-,-'t expect him to say hewou ?r be back. Ravi 'owly recovering from sei s - juries from a car accident oept 25, told the players Monday that he was retiring. "At first I thought he was just kidding and trying to pick TipeveTybody,siTnood, because-! everybody s feeling sorry for him jight now and looking at him differently because he's lost a lot of weight,"' swingman Stais Bozeman said. "But after talking to him, I knew he was serious. "Everybody was just real shellshocked. You couldn't believe it He just up and retired" A head coach for 22 years and the Trojans' coach the past eight seasons, Raveling, 57, said be can't meet the physical demands of the job and wants to concentrate on rebuilding his strength. Charlie Parker, an assistant under Raveling for seven years, was appointed interim head coach for this season. Hoosier Tire quits racing circuits HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - The NASCAR tire war is over, thanks to the surprise surrender of upstart Hoosier Racing Tire. The hostilities that began in February ended Monday with the unexpected announcement that the Lakeville, Ind., company was withdrawing immediately from both the Winston Cup and Grand National series. Bob Newton, president of Hoosier, said the decision was made "to concentrate our efforts in short-track racing, which remains our bread and butter." Hoosier, which made a brief foray into Winston Cup racing in the late '80s but withdrew its bias-ply tires in the face of Goodyear's then-new racing ra-dials, this time brought radials of its own to challenge the established tire giant in 1994. Valdez, Crotty honored by MIAA Kevin Valdez, a junior from Dowagiac, has been named to the 1994 AH-MIAA Football Team. He played defensive back for Hope College this fall. Hope wide receiver Jesse Crotty of Lakeshore was an honorable mention selection. Crook new baseball coach at Buchanan BUCHANAN - Tom Crook has been named varsity baseball coach at Buchanan High School. The middle school teacher also will coach seventh grade boys basketball. Crook previously served seven years as head baseball coach at Boca Raton, Fla. Lewis helps Calvin win regional title ANDERSON, Ind. Former South Haven running standout Nate Lewis helped Calvin Col-Ippe caDture the Division HI cross country regional title last Saturday here. Lewis was fourth on the Calvin team and idth overall in 25:34. Calvin will compete in the nationals this Saturday at Betmenem, ra. Baseball mad Jordan, Scorpions account for 80 percent of Arizona Fall League's attendance SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. UP) -Harlan Muehring can see how much Michael Jordan means to baseball. He runs the only souvenir stand that's open at Tempe Diablo Stadium during Arizona Fall League games. Most of the time there's not a single customer in line. That's fine by him because it gives him a perfect view of home plate. That is, except when Michael Jordan and his Scottsdale Scorpions come to play the Tempe Rafters. ?TheJirst day, hewas hereX probably sold 50 of those Scorpion hats," Muehring said. "We won't even sell that many Tempe hats all year." How much is baseball mad about Michael? So far, the Scorpions have accounted for 80 percent of all attendance in the Arizona Fall League, and the only thing that makes them different from any of the five other teams is Jordan. This comes, by the way, after Jordan and his Birmingham Barons pulled 39 percent of overall attendance this summer in the 10-team Southern League. "I dont think they're coming to see me play baseball," Jordan said Sunday. "They're coming because of what IVe done in basketball . "This is probably the closest they can get to me," he Said. "And half of them probably think I cant play baseball." Sanders may be NFL's next 2,000-yard PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Barry Sanders is on his way to becoming the third running back in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards in a season. He'd prefer, however, not to dwell on it "I don't plan to approach it any different in the next six games than I did in the last 10,"- Sanders said Monday, less than 24 -hours after setting a club record with 237 yards in the Detroit Lions' 14-9 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sanders needs 681 yards in those six games to join Eric Dickerson (2,105 in 1984) and O.J. Simpson (2,003 in 1973) as the only NFL players to gain that many yardsin a Season. He'll try to get closer Sunday when the Lions (5-5) visit the Chicago Bears (6-4) in a key NFC Central game. "It would be something special to all of us, but there are more important things on my mind right now," Sanders said. Tm busy enough without worrying about 2,000 Steeler frustrates Bills PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pro Bowl ' linebacker Greg Lloyd suggested a few days ago that the Pittsburgh Steelers could solve their scoring problems by letting the defense play offense. Maybe he wasn't joking. The Steelers (7-3) still aren't scoring their offense hasn't manufactured a touchdown in 10 quarters but they're still winning and staying close to division-leading Cleveland. For these Steelers, the best offense isn't a good defense, the offense IS the defense. "This defense is geared to scoring points. We talk about it all the time, and we talked about in the hotel last night," Lloyd said after the Steelers' defense produced both touchdowns in a 23-10 victory Monday over the fighting, fussing Buffalo Bills. All-Pro cornerback Rod Woodson, who has lobbied for years to play both offense and defense, did exactly that sort of. He returned a Jim Kelly interception 37 yards for a touchdown and forced a fumble for another score as the Steelers produced only their third 20-point game this season. When it wasn't scoring, a Steelers' defense reminiscent of the once-dominant Steel Curtain blitzed, bothered and bewildered the Bills (5-5), sacking Kelly and Frank Reich seven times, forcing three turnovers and blocking a field goal. The Bills, who trail AFC East-leading Miami by two games, might not make the playoffs, much less return to the Super Bowl. "I talked to some of their players after the game, and they seemed in doubt about the rest of the season," Steelers safety Carnell Lake said. The Bills were so frustrated that Kelly was spotted at various times defense Jordan hit .202 with 51 RBIs and .30 stolen bases for Double-A Birmingham. The rookie left fielder is batting 244 and still striking out one-quarter of the time in the Arizona league, made up of top prospects from each major league team. But it's at the box office where Jordan is the biggest hit It's surely enough to leave NBA commissioner David Stern envious at a time when his league is dealing with wayward Dennis Rodman. The other sports havent done any better major leaguers are on strike and hockey players are -locked out On Sunday, a crowd of 4,789 came to Scottsdale Stadium to see Jordan play against the Sun Cities Solar Sox. A few miles away, a crowd of about 180 saw Chandler play Tempe, while about the same amount saw Mesa take on Peoria. The Scorpions have drawn 59,232 in their 33 home and road gates. Total attendance for the league is 74,373. While Jordan has played before crowds of 6,000, other teams have drawn around 100 fans for some games. Last year, in its second season, the Arizona league drew a total of 38,568 fans. The Scorpions drew 8,244 in 27 games last year, com-, pared to 27,242 in 16 games this season. At Sunday's game in Scottsdale, the line at the concession stand was 25 deep all day. The sign at the souvenir stand read "Scorpion Caps While They Last!" yards, but I dont see any reason for the production to go down." Center Kevin Glover said that Detroit's offensive linemen make a bigger issue of Sanders' .yardage totals than Sanders himself. "We talk a little bit about it, but we don't talk to Barry about it and he doesn't talk about it to us," Glover said. "I dont think he gives a hoot about it We (offensive linemen) don't have statistics, so what we try to do is make sure our, running back is among the league's best" ' lions coach Wayne Fontes said if Sanders is close to 2,000 yards when Detroit plays at Miami in the season finale, he'll try to help him achieve the milestone. "If he's close well give him the ball 50 times, maybe even 60," Fontes said. Fontes said Sanders might have even greater rushing totals if the passing game were effective. v APphoto SACK TIME: Buffalo Bills' quarterback Jim Kelly (right) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers' pod Woodson in the third quarter of Monday night's NFL game. Woodson forced a fumble which was recovered by the Steelers in the endzone for a touchdown. Steelers won 23-10. screaming at coach Marv Levy, quarterbacks coach Jim Shofner and wide receiver Andre Reed. "More than anything, this will make us mad," Kelly said. "Maybe that's what we really need. I'm not happy right now and neither are a lot of other guys." Of course, Reed had plenty of reason to be confused. He was flattened by Gary Jones and again by Darren Perry as the Steelers thrived on both the big play and the big hit "We set the tone early and they were looking over their shoulders all night," Lloyd said. "The Bills still have a very good team, but we own Monday night" ; In the stands, the fans were buzzing. In the aisles, a half-dozen general managers were talking. "When it comes to Michael, the crowds are different, that's for sure," Chicago White Sox general manager Ron Schueler said. "And I dont think it's over yet," he said. "I think we'll see another year of this, at least" Jordan is expected to begin 1995 at Triple-A Nashville. Some teams in the American Association have planned ahead and already set up special season-ticket packages featuring Nashville games. These days, the seven-time NBA scoring champion is looking forward to a break in a baseball season that began for him in spring training in February and will last into December. "Right now, I'm mentally tired a little bit," he said. "Three more weeks and I can get some rest" The Arizona league, though, wishes he would stay forever. More than 100 former Arizona players, including Mike Piazza, Bob Hamelin and John Hudek, have reached the majors, but no one created a stir like Jordan. "People in the Phoenix area now know about the Arizona Fall League, and Michael has been the catalyst," league executive vice president Steve Cobb said. Television has helped as ESPN and Prime Network have shown games Scottsdale games, that is. Sanders' performance Sunday didn't come without hassles. Not only did he have to endure questionable tactics by the Buccaneers' defense, but he had to take the taunts of his teammates for getting caught -from behind twice on long runs: - "They've been giving me grief for getting caught from behind," Sanders said with a laugh. "Brett's (Perriman) the worst. They make this huge sucking sound, like I'm getting sucked up by the defense." And Sanders' response? "There really isn't much I can say," he answered. y Sanders was less good-natured about the treatment he received from Tampa Bay's defense. "They seemed determined to take things a step furthe.-," he said. "I got a little annoyed, but I don't want to get too involved in those things. I thought some of the stuff they did was a little uncalled for. It r V A VJI They do under coach Bill Cow-her, going 6-0 in prime time the last three seasons. They turned the lights out early on the Bills, as Gary Anderson's three field goals moved him into sixth place on the all-time NFL list with 302 and Woodson's third career interception return touchdown put them up 16-3 at the hall Not only did Woodson intercept the pass, he apparently intercepted the play call. "What they ran against us we call a 104 quick hitch," Woodson said. "I heard (Kelly) call it and I told Darren Perry that the first time they ran it to my side to cover me because I'm going for the ball. Luckily, I got it" ; f ) . V " AP photo MAD ABOUT MICHAEL: The Scottsdale Scorpions' Michael Jordan runs the bases prior to his Arizona Fall League game against the Tempe Rafters in Tempe, Ariz., earlier this fall. How popular is Michael Jordan in the Arizona Fall League? So far, he's accounted for 80 percent of the league's attendance. The Arizona helped itself with a novel ticket plan. Instead of $4 for a ticket, a person can pay $68 and bring the whole family member and sit anywhere at any game for the whole season. The league has sold more than 1,000 of its ticket packages; last Dungy denies he was offered job By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy said Monday he never was offered the head coaching job at Michigan State, despite a published report : The Detroit News reported Sunday that Dungy had refused an offer to replace fired Spartans coach George Perles next season. "Where that story came from, I dont know," Dungy said. Dungy is considered a leading candidate for an NFL head coaching job' after this season, and his name often comes up whenever coaching vacancies arise. But he said he never spoke with any university officials about replacing Perles, who was fired last Tuesday. "No one from Michigan State," Dungy said. "A lot of reporters." Asked if he would be interested in the job, Dungy said "probably noL" Unbeaten Ferris State and Grand Valley State received berths in the NCAA Division II playoffs Sunday, while undefeated Albion was picked to host a first-round game in Division III. Ferris State, ranked No. 5 last week, completed its first , perfect season on Saturday with a 30-28 win over Saginaw Valley State. The Bulldogs, who have a 29-game regular-season unbeaten streak, will host West Chester of Pennsylvania (8-3) in Big Rapids on Saturday. Grand Valley (8-3), ranked No. 18, will travel to No. 8 Indiana of Pennsylvania (8-2), which beat the Lakers 35-33 in the opening game of the season. In Division II, Albion (9-0) will host four-time champion Augus-tana (8-1) at noon Saturday. Oklahoma football coach Gary Gibbs denied Monday he plans to resign, saying he is concentrating on trying to beat No. 1 Nebraska. At a team meeting later in the day, he told his players the same thing. "He said he's going to be with us through Nebraska and the bowl game and he has no intention of resigning," said linebacker Brent DeQuasie. year, it sold only 22 of its $120 single-seat season tickets. "I'd pay to watch him play," said Scottsdale manager Terry Fran-cona, who also managed Jordan in Birmingham this season. "How many times to you get to get that close to the world's greatest athlete?" rusher "I don't need somebody to punch me in the middle of the pile to get me motivated to play." Sanders insists he gets as much satisfaction from having the team do well as he "does from settingrushingTecords.- "I get a lot of gratification from doing soVnething I like and doing it well. I think that's the case with anybody," Sanders said..' ..": '.' .1 . Although Sanders is only the second back in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons Dickerson is the other he has won only one league rushing title. Dallas' Emmitt Smith aims to overtake Sanders to win his fourth straight rushing title. "I didn't know Emmitt said that, but I'm sure he's not the only one who'd like to win the rushing title," Sanders said. "I would, too. Who wouldn't?" SPORTS BRIEFS At the meeting, the Sooners voted to accept a bowl invitation, most likely to the Copper Bowl. Dexter Manley, the former NFL star who was banned from the league for violating its drug policy, has been charged with felony possession of crack cocaine. Police said Manley, 36, was arrested Sunday night and was released Monday after posting $5,000 bad. BASEBALL: New Chicago Cubs general manager Ed Lynch plans to talk to Ryne Sandberg soon, although he hasn't decided whether to ask his former teammate about a comeback. "I haven't spoken with him formally, but I'm sure I'll give him a call to see how he's doing," Lynch said Monday at the annual general managers' meeting. "Any call I have with him will be social at this point It's too early to tell about anything else." Sandberg, one of the best second basemen in baseball history, suddenly retired in June. He said he was mentally and physically tired of the game, but there were indications he was disappointed with the Cubs' direction. BASKETBALL: Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson accused an NBA referee of having an anti-Bulls, anti-Scottie Pippen attitude. Jackson expects to be fined for violating the NBA's policy prohibiting public criticism of referees, but didn't let that stop him from blasting Hue Hollins on Monday. "His actions last Saturday night were brutish and, I thought, irresponsible," Jackson said. "He started off letting (Dallas forward JamaD Mashburn run into Scottie when he brought the ball up, which caused Scottie to lose the ball. When Scottie complained about the call, (Hollins) immediately 'teched' him and put him in jeopardy right away of being thrown out of the game." The technical came less than three minutes into the game.

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