Madden Hit It Off With Co-Stars

Remember those old Miller Lite commercials with John Madden crashing through a paper poster?

Madden, talking about that commercial the other day, said: “The thing that concerned me was I wanted to be sure and break the paper. You can imagine what the other guys would have said if I couldn’t break the paper.

“So on the first take, I go flying through with both hands flailing away. Sitting at a table right in front are Billy Martin on the left and Dick Butkus on the right.

“I hit Martin with one hand right in the face, and catch Butkus with the other.


“Of all the guys you don’t want to hit in the face, these two have got to be at the top of the list.”

Trivia time: Mike Ditka played 12 seasons in the National Football League, 6 with the Bears. What other two teams did he play for? (Answer below.)

Wedding bells: Steve Garvey says he’s getting married again. Garvey, whose first marriage ended in divorce, is engaged to marry Rebecka Mendenhal, 33, who works for CNN in Atlanta.

Garvey said they met a couple of years ago when he was at CNN to do an interview.

“I gave her the ring just before Christmas so it wouldn’t spoil the other presents,” Garvey said.

From Norman Chad of the Washington Post: “NBC analyst Merlin Olsen, who was fairly innocuous for much of the day, bolted into inanity toward the end of the Fiesta Bowl with this statement: ‘You sense in this ballgame the reality of football--somebody wins and somebody loses.’ ”

Practice makes perfect: A lot of basketball players just go through the motions while doing layups during pregame warm-ups. But not the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Coach Dean Smith doesn’t want his players to develop any bad habits, so he has an assistant coach chart the layups, keeping track of the misses.

From Phil Jackman of the Baltimore Evening Sun: “A college coach, defending his school’s program, said proudly: ‘My players take shop, and advanced shop. Shop is when you build a chair. Advanced shop is when you paint it.’ ”

Trivia answer: Ditka, who was with the Bears from 1961-66, played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967-68 and the Dallas Cowboys from 1969-72.

Where would you rather live, in warm Phoenix or cold Buffalo?

Buffalo strong safety Leonard Smith, who was acquired Sept. 20 in a trade with the Phoenix Cardinals, says he prefers Buffalo.

“I never really had a chance to get adjusted to the climate out there,” he said. “Besides, I’m happy here.”

The drop of a hat: Would you believe a hat trick within 33 seconds? Perry Ganchar of the Muskegon (Mich.) Lumberjacks did it the other night in an International Hockey League game against the Denver Rangers. He scored his goals at 2:16, 2:25 and 2:49 of the first period and sent Muskegon on its way to a 10-3 victory.

It is believed to be the fastest hat trick by a minor league hockey player.


Jack Kemp, the new U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development: “Pro football gave me a good sense of perspective when I entered the political arena. I had already been booed, cheered, cut, sold, traded and hung in effigy.”