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No Need to Worry, Elvis’ Tickets Are at Will-Call Window

On my list of people to worry about, I am crossing off the following:

Elvis.

The King has been taken care of for Saturday’s Houston Oilers-New England Patriots game at Memphis. Houston Coach Jerry Glanville is leaving comp tickets for Presley at the will-call window.

It’s a truly beautiful gesture. However, if Elvis has nothing better to do with his life than attend a National Football League practice game, he goes right back on my list.

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The L.A. Kings.

If Elvis does show up at the Memphis game, it will be the second-biggest sports story of the week.

I can’t help myself. I’m still excited about the Kings getting Gretzky. This town is going nuts. I was standing in line Wednesday morning to get my season tickets. I asked the guy behind me, some older fellow with a pompadour haircut and sunglasses, wearing a Springsteen T-shirt, how he felt about the trade. I think this guy spoke for a lot of us when he said, “I’m all shook up.”

Cubbie Fans.

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I am tired of Cubbie fans and their inflated concept of their importance in the cosmic scheme of things. Also, I am tired of them referring to their team as the Cubbies. How would they like it if we called the local club the Dodgies?

I am sick of hearing about their ballpark’s stupid lights. You’d think the Taj Mahal was being turned into a burger drive-through.

Hey, Cubbie fans: You want to worry about a baseball tradition lost to modern technology, how about the disappearance of real bats in the on-deck circle?

Nowadays, players swing those damn metal sticks that have weights inside and go click and clack. Or if they use a real bat, they put a weighted plastic doughnut on it.

Whatever happened to guys swinging two or three regular wooden bats, loosening up in the traditional and manly way? Next thing you know, ballclubs will have Nautilus machines in the on-deck circle.

U.S. Gymnastics Federation officials.

These people don’t have to worry about where their next wall-to-wall shag carpet is coming from.

The Gym Fed has a $6.9 million annual budget, out of which it doles out a total of $6,000 in direct cash assistance for athletes’ training and living expenses.

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So, $6.9 million comes in and $.006 million is passed along to the gymnasts. This policy assures that no U.S. gymnast will ever be late for a workout because his or her Porsche broke down.

The pharmaceutical industry.

The winner of the Tour de France buzzed across the finish line with a masking drug in his system. A boxer defended a world bantamweight title with an assist from amphetamines. Several NFL players are serving suspensions for flunking drug tests. Some U.S. track and field athletes, as yet unnamed, flunked drug tests at the Olympic trials.

To paraphrase the line in “The Graduate"--One word, Ben: Pharmaceuticals.

A true growth industry.

Tom Lasorda.

When his pitchers balked away a game in Houston Sunday, the Dodger skipper didn’t whimper about the umpiring. He didn’t defend his balkers. He put the blame where it belonged.

“To me, I don’t understand why pitchers don’t stop (in their stretch motions),” Lasorda said. “Just stop. What’s so difficult about that?”

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Well said. As ridiculous as this season’s balk enforcement is, those two balk calls were legit and the Dodger pitchers knew better.

Muckraking.

This honored form of literary expose is still alive. In his new book, Brian Bosworth, rock ‘n’ roll linebacker, tells of fast times at Oklahoma U. He writes of student-athletes free-basing cocaine on game day, taking steroids, driving expensive cars and firing machine guns off dorm roofs, although apparently no student-athlete did all that stuff at once.

Some of those things Boz himself even participated in, which makes him a mucker and a raker.

The Raiders.

I think we’re all worrying too much over the team’s quarterback situation.

Look at it this way: Most NFL teams will open the season with a darn good quarterback. Most of those starting quarterbacks will get injured, and most teams will then have to scramble and adjust to playing under a second-rate or backup quarterback.

The Raiders will get a head start on everybody by opening the season with three backup-type quarterbacks. Regardless of injuries, there will be no major adjustment necessary.

Also, you have to feel good about the Raiders because they are no longer sitting on their helmets. The new coach, Mike Shanahan, has outlawed the Raider tradition of players on the sidelines sitting on their helmets, looking like huge frogs on tiny toadstools.

Personally, I don’t see how sitting on one’s helmet hurts a team, unless one fails to remove one’s head from the helmet before sitting on it.

This will be a big adjustment for the players, especially for the veterans, who are so accustomed to the Raider tradition that they eat dinner and watch TV while sitting on their helmets.

If you Cubbie fans are looking for a new worthy cause, you might want to jump on this one.


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