Boomer Gets Off First Shot

Quarterback Boomer Esiason of the Cincinnati Bengals went to New York this week to accept the Schick trophy as the National Football League’s most valuable player from the Pro Football Writers of America.

While he was there, he got a jump on the Super Bowl hype.

“Last year, the football writers said Boomer Esiason hasn’t reached his potential and the Cincinnati Bengals were going to fire the coach,” Esiason said. “I had a lot of nice names for you back then. Now this year, you’re all my buddies.”

Add Boomer: Of his idol, former Baltimore Colts quarterback Bert Jones, Esiason said: “The first thing my wife and I had in common was that we both loved Bert Jones. I liked his arm, she liked his butt.”


Last add Boomer: The Bengals won’t get to Miami, where the Super Bowl will be played Jan. 22 against the San Francisco 49ers, until Sunday.

Esiason can’t wait.

“I would like to be down there now to get acclimated to the weather,” Esiason said. "(Monday,) I spent a great deal of time in the steam room trying to simulate what it might be like down there.”

Rise and fall in the Big East: This conference has been one of the most competitive in recent years, but what’s happening so far this season doesn’t always add up. St. John’s lost by a school-record 29 points to Providence, then bounced back and beat Villanova by 19. Syracuse lost by 5 to struggling Pittsburgh, then routed unbeaten Seton Hall by 24.

Seton Hall upset Georgetown before its one-sided defeat by Syracuse. Pitt upset Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, then lost to Boston College.

The Jekyll-Hyde routine is driving coaches to distraction.

Said Pitt’s Paul Evans: “I was thinking of not having practice (the day after losing to Boston College) because I might kill them.”

Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds, when he and Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox were voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame this week, took a swipe at the free agency era.

“We might be the last two guys (to make the Hall of Fame) who played with the same club our whole career,” Bench said. “I don’t think we’ll have to decide what uniform to hang up there.”

When rookie guard Rex Chapman of the Charlotte Hornets was at Kentucky, some observers were comparing him with Hall of Fame player Jerry West.

Said scout Marty Blake: “If I had $100 for every ‘next Jerry West’ I’ve seen, I could have retired long ago. I think Chapman would do well to be the next Danny Ainge.”


St. John’s basketball Coach Lou Carnesecca, 64, when asked how long he intends to coach: “I’m going to keep going, going until they take it away. Hopefully, I’m smart enough to get out before I die with my boots on, but I’m not Errol Flynn, you know.”