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Those Who Go Up Get Flagged Down

Mark Clayton of the Miami Dolphins received a high score for artistic merit and a 5-yard penalty for an illegal celebration Sunday when he dunked the ball after catching a touchdown pass that helped the Dolphins beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 17-14.

The 5-foot 9-inch Clayton stuffed the ball over the 10-foot-high crossbar after grabbing a 5-yard scoring pass from Dan Marino in the third quarter to break a scoreless tie.

“Michael Jordan would’ve been proud of me,” Clayton said.

The officials penalized Miami 5 yards on the ensuing kickoff, but one of the officials complimented Clayton for having the right stuff.

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“He came over to me on the sidelines while I was sitting on the bench,” Clayton said. “He said he gave me a 10 for the dunk. I said, ‘Well, why don’t you go pick up that flag?’ ”

Add Clayton: The National Football League advises officials not to penalize players for all end zone celebrations, just those that seem to be planned. Clayton admitted his guilt. The dunk was something he planned during warmups.

“I always wanted to do that,” he said. “I was out there in pregame just messing around, and I said, ‘Ooh, I feel springy today.’ I was getting up like with my elbow to the crossbar and I said, ‘If I get one going down the middle, I’m jamming it.’ ”

Trivia time: It was 75 years ago today that Notre Dame pulled off its first big upset, beating powerful Army, 35-13. Knute Rockne was one of the stars as a pass-catching end. Who was his quarterback, who completed 14 of 17 passes for 243 yards. (Answer below.)

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None of the ’88 Olympic gold medalists were good enough, but basketball star Michael Jordan has become the latest athlete featured on the front of the Wheaties cereal box. Only 7 athletes have appeared nationally on the box in the company’s 60 years.

Other athletes honored by Wheaties were Olympians Bob Richards (1956-70), Bruce Jenner (1977-79) and Mary Lou Retton (1984-86), baseball’s Pete Rose (1985-86), football’s Walter Payton (1986-88) and tennis’ Chris Evert (1987).

In February, each Wheaties box will include a life-size poster of Jordan.

“We’ve never really put this kind of promotion effort behind one of our Wheaties champions as we have with Michael,” said Jim Nuckols, Wheaties product manager. “The appeal of Michael to kids . . . is really unlike any of the other athletes we’ve had.”

One of every 10 boxes will contain a certificate for a free basketball signed by Jordan.

“To be on the Wheaties box is very prestigious,” Jordan said. “You have to be at the top of your game to be a part of it.”

The Indianapolis Colts got into the Halloween spirit Monday night by handing out masks to all 60,000 fans attending the game those.

Most of the fans got masks of ABC’s broadcast team--Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf.

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However, up in the cheap seats were thousands of Bob Ueckers.

He’s no gym rat: Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant watched video tape of the Boston Celtics playing some exhibition games in Spain and said he was amazed.

“Watching Larry Bird play basketball wearing a tan is like watching ‘Casablanca’ colorized. No matter how often you see it, it will never look right.”

Trivia answer: Gus Dorais.

Quotebook

Dino Ciccarelli of the Minnesota North Stars: “We may have been good at one time, but I’m sick and tired of hearing how good we are. If we’re so good, why do we keep finishing last?”


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