Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on September 25, 1994 · Page 53
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 53

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Sunday, September 25, 1994
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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1994 THE DETROIT NEWS 13E Forum Nebraska, Valparaiso each blessed with name players f V""v As they always say, the trouble with bucket seats is that everyone doesn't have the same bucket. . , . Statistic: The odds against a 300 game in bowling is 450,000-1. . . . Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr., at !ri5'Jia SUNDAY BEST ; Randy Knorr Nancy Kerrigan Bill Murray Mo Vaughn date for the basketball team at Valparaiso University. . . . Idle Thought: If you marry for money, you'll probably earn it. Nebraska has a freshman quarterback named Monte Christo Fact: When you see a priest outdoors in Paris, you are supposed to touch iron for good luck. Anecdote Alley II: An overworked employer said to his boss: "I've worked here for eight years and I've been doing the work of three people. I want a raise." The boss replied: "I can't give you a raise. But if you tell me who the other two people are, I'll fire them." Quote-Unquote: Jay Leno says, "If you want a high school student to observe a moment of silence, just ask them a math question." . . . Comedian Bill Murray, playing in the pro-am at the Greater Milwaukee Open, autographed the rear of a female fan's shorts: "Best Wishes. Mike Wallace." . . . Allen Schwartz, the Singing Window Washer, says: "No wonder today's teen-agers are so mixed up half the adults are telling them to find themselves, the other half are telling them to get lost." . . . Whatever became of the Tri-City Black-hawks? (They're rooming with the Sheboygan Redskins.) Winderupper: If you'd like to tease your plants, water them with ice cubes. "The nice thing about asking -forgiveness of sin is that you get to commit the sin." Anecdote Alley I: A widow called her newspaper to place an obituary notice. She was told it was $2 a word. She said: "Just put in: 'Jim Died.' "We can do that if you like," the newspaper rep said,."but we do have ' a five-word minimum." The widow thought for a moment and replied: "OK, make it: 'Jim Died. Buick for sale.' " Inside Tip: The reason older pool players sit down between shots is because pool is an intermittent intense isometric exercise which raises the blood pressure. Just ask Fats. .... Frank Howard, the ex-Clemson football coach, still keeps an office in the athletic department and shows up every day. He is 85 Fact: An estimated 25 people a year die in elevator accidents mostly those who force open the doors and fall down the shafts. Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn was picked up for speeding and driving without a license and his lawyer pleaded that he was "a play on this surface." Bill Kofender, former DRC publicist: "If you know anything about the speed of light, you'll agree it gets here too early in the morning." Randy Knorr, backup catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, when asked how he was holding up during the baseball strike: "I'm doing just fine. I've gone months without playing." Allan Malamud, Los Angeles Times columnist, after Navy lost 56-14 to San Diego State and fired its offensive coordinator: "How safe is the defensive coordinator's job?" Will Rogers, the late humorist: "I am not a member of any organized party. I am a Democrat." Nancy Kerrigan has received 27,000 letters since her attack in Detroit in January and has, by her own count, answered 18,000 of them, paying for the postage and pictures. . . . Sign in Beverly Hills shoe store: "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his Guccis." . . . When Deion "Prime Time" Sanders was charged with resisting arrest and driving without a license, it was suggested he change his nickname to "Crime Time." . . . it' Joe Falls Jason Kidd.No. 1 draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks: "Now that I'm here, we'll turn this program around 360 degrees." Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter, taking a look at the NCAA Division II football poll: "How anybody can rank Texas A&M-Kingsville over Carson-Newman is beyond me." Jackie Vernon, comic: "When I was a kid, we didn't have a TV set. So we used to sit around and watch the mirror." Earl Strickland, beaten in the first round of the Challenge of Champions billiards tournament in Las Vegas: "I don't say the table was crooked, but they forgot to mow the greens. Jack Nicklaus wouldn't ' seasonal worker, currently unemployed." . . . The Butte Copper Kings of the Pioneer League had a team batting average of .302 this season. Unfortunately, the opposition had a team batting average of .319 and the ERA of the Butte pitching staff was 7.17. . . . John J. Salgado, celebrated Noodge of the North, says: "My wife is an angel. She is always harping about something." ... Idle Thought: The trouble with good ideas is they quickly degenerate into hard work. The Quote Machine: Karl Ballard, walk-on receiver for Colorado State, on why he slept in his car at the local McDonald's: "I didn't have much money and they had bathrooms." and, of course, they are "counting" on him. . . . Sonny Eliot, the Wondrous Weatherman, says: "I just read my horoscope and it told me not to take bad advice, so I've stopped reading my horoscope." . . . Dept. of Incidental Information: The highest-scoring tie in college football history was 52-52 between Brigham Young and San Diego State on Nov. 16, 1991. . . . George Burns, the 98-year-old comedian, says: Robbins on road to the Solheim Cup Wings respond to fan complaints Mt. Pleasant native joins Mercy's Mallon on US. team heading to October competition against the best of Europe. Disgruntled Red Wings season-ticket holders have had their say. Last week, they were asked to contact The Detroit News with comments on how they've been treated by the club. The two most tytyi Kelly Robbins of Mt. Pleasant is on her way to the LPGA's equivalent of the Ryder Cup. Robbins was Captain JoAnne Carner's choice to complete the United States team for the Solheim x - J J I . ' -ft'; r . A ' " S i 1 -. , Sir ' 4d"" " 'J ' A ': . GOLF It common complaints: 1. Being required to purchase preseason game tickets at regular-season prices to retain season tickets. 2. The process of upgrading season tickets is slow and unfair. A" f 1 il lii 'TiiminrriMnrK-l Cup competition Oct. 2 1-23 against Europe's women professionals at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Robbins was next in line to make the team, finishing 10th in the points standings, just ahead Cynthia Lambert Vartan kupelian never gave any indication that she could be playing well by the Solheim Cup," Carner said. The Europeans won the Solheim Cup two years ago. On the tee The 29th "Big Event" Turfgrass Benefit Day will be Oct. 3 at five area golf courses: Lochmoor Club, Dearborn Country Club, Country Club of Detroit, Wabeek Country Club and Bay Pointe Golf Club. The Big Event is the major fund-raiser annually for the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. In the past 20 years, nearly a quarter-million dollars have been turned over to support turfgrass research at Michigan State University. "We used to shoot for 350, 400 people at The Big Event, but we've grown a little bit and we now have five courses, with a limit of 100 golfers at each," said Roy Szynd-lar, event chairman and superintendent at Southgate Golf Course. "We were up to 420 last year." The donation is $100 per person for the four-man team (Stableford system) event. It includes golf, cart, dinner and prizes. Call Kate Mason at (810) 362-1108. Late entries . will be filled as space allows. , In the sun It's been a great year for Michigan golf. In addition to outstanding tournaments, it's been a superb season weather-wise and the state's courses have been in absolutely gorgeous condition, thanks to the superintendents who don't very J Associated Frcss Kelly Robbins, a long-ball hitter, will help the U.S. team play The Greenbrier course's par-5s during the upcoming Solheim Cup. with better sight lines and have not been accommodated for years. Mike Harris of Dearborn had season tickets for five years, but did not renew for this season. He and three friends had shared four seats that were separated. Harris said he asked formei director of season-ticket sales Greg . Strausser each season about improving his seating arrangement. Said Harris: "He told me, Tir going to be honest with you, if yoi want your tickets moved, buy somt advertising or tickets to the Drive (former Arena Football League team).' "I'm Mr. Fan here. I can't afford that. "If our seats were together, we would still have the season-ticket package. But this year, we had it Now we get PASS. So we're punt ing. Not only is the price too mud for tickets, but the lines are shortei in the bathroom and the beer i: colder at my house." Strausser didn't disagree witl Harris' account, and said that th preferential treatment is a commor course of business. "The manner in which th( Wings conducted business wai much the same way any business would accommodate customers,' Strausser said. "If you have a customer spending $100,000 with yoi and another spending $5,000, theii needs are taken into account accordingly." The News presented Hitch wit! a list of the unsatisfied customers Hitch said each case would be researched. In general, however requests for new tickets and foi upgrades by season-ticket holden are controlled through a computer "We've computerized a list," II itch said. "I've standardized it to 1 first-come, first-serve basis. W( have a waiting list now. First are th ticket holders who want to renew then there is a separate list for thos( who want to make changes oi upgrades, then there's the list foi new ticket holders. "I understand the frustration I'm a Lions season-ticket holder I've got seats in the corner and I'vi been waiting to upgrade those." Hitch said the Wings have of fered tickets through packages called Prime Seat and All Sports where customers were given preferential treatment in selecting seats Hitch said those programs have been eliminated. of Michelle McGann. The top point-getter among the Americans was Betsy King. Add former U.S. Open champ Meg Mallon, who attended Far-mington Hills Mercy, and the American squad has a strong Michigan flavor. Mallon played her way on the team with a ninth-place finish in the points. "Kelly has played good, solid golf the last couple of years," Carner said. "She's won three times, she's a long-ball hitter, and I took that into consideration because The Greenbrier is long and tight. Her ability to reach a few of the par-5s will be important." Carner's decision came down to Robbins, McGann and veteran star Nancy Lopez. "I was waiting to see if Nancy would come out of her slump but she often get the recognition and credit they deserve. "Down in southwestern Wayne County, it's been dry for us," Szyn-dlar said. "In Oakland County and on up, it's been better weather than normal. The golfing weather has been exceptional and these are bonus days we're getting in September. Nobody's complaining about that, either." Not on your life. On the air The Golf Channel is on track for national distribution in January. The 24-hour network has moved its corporate headquarters to Orlando, Fla. (from Birmingham, Ala.) and will feature PGA, LPGA and European Tour competition, instruction, golf news, shopping and video tours of golf courses. Mark Oldham, former tournament director of the Brickyard Crossing Championship in Indianapolis, has joined the network as vice-president of tournament affairs, effective next month. Before 1986, preseason-game tickets were provided free to season-ticket purchasers. Despite a season-ticket base approaching 17,000, the crowds at the first four preseason games this year at Joe Louis Arena have drawn estimated crowds of 6,500 in an arena that seats 19,275. "If they would offer these games at a lower price, they would probably fill the place," said Denise Mullins, a season-ticket holder for 20 years. "I'm paying $1,978 a year for one seat, then I have to buy preseason games?" Many fans are reluctant to relinquish their tickets, despite the preseason ticket policy and annual increases in cost. Tickets range in price from $15 to $43. All of the lower-bowl seats and the first row of the upper bowl are $43. "We've had tickets for 40 years, in the family," George Young said. "I have found the front-office people to be very good, going out of their way to help. But . . . the biggest insult is when they started forcing fans to buy preseason games. They're not even discounted." "We'll look into that in the marketing end. It will be reviewed," Atanas Hitch, the club's vice-president, said about the preseason tickets. "I'm not saying it's going to be changed; I can't promise that. I will bring it up for next season. It could be something that is quite possible (to change). Hey, I want those preseason games packed." Several fans who called said they had been waiting to upgrade their tickets for example, attempting to get seats next to each other, or moving closer to the ice or to seats Teams hungry for size in expanding league Being close to 7 feet tall and armed with a modicum of post skills will be a hot commodity in NBA training camps this season. Scouts are pounding the out-lands for big men who have a chance to make it in the pro game. It's a NBA desperate situation! and one of the reasons the Pistons are willing to pay Oliver Miller upwards of $10 million, including incentive bonuses, over four years. The 280-pound Miller has a Hatcher might stay with Vipers Bill Halls ing a three-pointer. Scoring has fallen off in each of the last 10 seasons and the NBA is concerned about last spring's low-scoring NBA Finals between Houston and New York. It was rough, ugly and turned off fans. Rod Thorn, league vice-president for operations, said the rule change is designed not only to encourage outside shooting but to reduce rough play in the paint. The Pistons won two championships (1989 and '90) with physical, hard-nosed defense, and the Knicks adopted the format with a good deal of success in the past couple of seasons. It has led to some rousing brawls and the NBA wants to clean up its image. "The amount of contact allowed now is more than what we're used to seeing," Thorn said. "This is a way to ease congestion around the basket." To ensure that the message is clear, referees will be instructed to strictly enforce the hand-checking rule this season. That means that physical defenders won't be able to manhandle small, quick point guards any longer. "We've got too much contact in our game as it is, from the holding variety," Thorn said. "We don't need players hand-checking each other all over the floor. We'll just be enforcing a rule that is already on the books,." ing the collective-bargaining process. The union has been claiming antitrust violations and challenging the NBA's salary cap and draft. An appeal was heard this week in a U.S. Court of Appeals in New York. A ruling by a three-judge panel isn't expected for several weeks. "It certainly gives me some concern because it's so different from years past," said Russ Granik, NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer. "The last four months, the union has refused to bargain with us at all. "In the past, even if there was litigation, we were always talking, but we've still got more than a month to go before the season and hopefully, we'll get a deal done." The bargaining agreement expired in June and the union wants to abolish the draft and the salary cap. So far, the court cases have gone against the union. However, insiders say if an agreement cannot be reached, the NBA most likely would lock out the players. "It's on the list of things we have to consider as an employer," Granik said. Moving forward Meanwhile, the NBA's competition committee has moved the three-point shot line from 23-9 to a uniform 22 feet this season, and three frail shots will be awarded to a player 4 ho is fouled while attempt couldn't have beaten out Edwards for the job five years ago. The Suns, with only Joe Kleine as an experienced post player, are taking a serious look at Ralph Sampson, 34, whose career was cut short by ailing knees five years ago. Even Moses Malone, 39, has signed with San Antonio to give David Robinson a hand. Besides Miller, the Pistons have made deals for two other centers, Mark West (Phoenix) and Eric Leckner (Philadelphia). The reasoning is obvious. Houston won the title last season with Hakeem Olajuwon and New York, with Patrick Ewing, was runner-up. Seattle, the most talented team in the league, was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs because they couldn't handle Denver's 7-2 Dikembe Mutombo. Other contending teams in this season all have solid big men. Orlando has Shaquille O'Neal, Charlotte leans on Mourning and Indiana relies on an improving Rik Smits. The current philosophy is simple. Get big or get lost. No talks on contract No one is pushing the panic button yet but there has been absolutely no progress in contract negotiations between the NBA Players Association and the league. The two sides aren't even talking. Instead, Witigation is overshadow the Capitals. "If they lock us out, I' play with the Vipers. I don't have contract here, either, but we'll wor something out." Detroit Coach General Man ager Rick Dudley's eyes lit up whe: asked if he thought Hatcher woul remain with the team when th season begins Friday. "Looks like it right now. We'r hoping," he said. Hatcher, who grew up in Sterlinj Heights and lives in Marine City wasn't really surprised by the an nouncement. "I don't know if I expected it," ht said. "There has been talk for abou three weeks that we'd be locked out M PaulHarrii The possibility of a National Hockey League lockout, or postponement, of the scheduled Oct. 1 start of the regular season, announced by Commissioner Gary Bettman, increases the chances of Kevin Hatcher remaining with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League. Hateher, a free-agent defense-man who is in a salary dispute with the Washington Capitals, has been participating in the Vipers' training camp at Fraser Ice Arenas. He has also played in the team's two exhibition games. "Right now, I still don't have a contract and I want to play hockey, no matter where," said Hatcher, 28 and a 10-ydar NHL veteran, all with weight problem, and caused the Phoenix Suns innumerable headaches with off-court antics. But he's 6-foot-9, can block shots and play post defense. The crisis will be exacerbated when the two Canadian expansion teams in Toronto and Vancouver join the league next season. Meanwhile, veteran players whom many would consider past their prime are being gobbled up by contenders in search of a championship. The Charlotte Hornets have signed Robert Parish, 41, to back up Alonzo Mourning. Seattle has picked up Bill Cartwright, 37, to shore up Ervin Johnson. And Portland has signed James Edwards, 38, th spell Chris DudKy, a player who

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