He Is Positive That Negative Is Way to Go

Ask Mr. Negative, to whom every cloud has a silver lining, no doubt due to atmospheric pollution or radioactive fallout. Or maybe because his eyes are going bad from staring at this damn word-processor screen . . .

When Gaylord Perry missed being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, winding up 34 votes shy of the 336 needed for enshrinement, were you disappointed?

Heartbroken. I thought he should have missed by 336 votes. This guy loaded so much junk on the baseball it floated up to the plate looking like a hot-fudge sundae. This is known as creativity and gamesmanship. It is also known as cheating.

Enshrinement? How about incarceration? Your momma could win 300 games with Perry’s bag o’ tricks.


You’re not supposed to be able to drool your way into the Hall of Fame. Perry deserves his own special niche, though. Bestow on him the title Sultan of Saliva, present him with a gold-plated tube of K-Y Jelly (hold the peanut butter) and give him an Academy Award for special effects.

What’s the news on the Southern Methodist football scene?

A return to life, a renewed pride for the Mustangs’ program, which was found guilty of every rule infraction but loading up the football with K-Y Jelly. Around Dallas there is a proliferation of bumper stickers bragging: “SMU football: Integrity since 1989.”

That’s old news, though, since those bumper stickers started appearing a year ago.

On a recent halftime interview, Pat Riley told Chick Hearn, “There’s been a lot of speculation, undue criticism directed at Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) about his performance.” Do you agree?

I think what Riley meant to say was “ over due,” in which case I agree.

If the criticism was un due, it’s curious that Riley would put Kareem on a 2-week probation. What did Riley tell Kareem? “If this town’s sportswriters don’t shape up soon, you’ll be benched.”?

Interestingly, most of the undue criticism of Kareem has come from Kareem.

The media criticism, Riley said, “created a burden on our club.” Solving the Lakers’ problems should be simple, then. Just cancel the players'--and coach’s--newspaper subscriptions.

What do you think of the book, “Personal Foul: The Broken Promises and Shattered Dreams of Big Money Basketball at Jim Valvano’s North Carolina State”?

Riveting. I couldn’t put it down. I read the entire title in one sitting.

I read where Lloyd Moseby is disappointed because he’s about to be traded by the Toronto Blue Jays, just when they’re about to get new uniforms and move to a new ballpark. He said, “For 9 years I’ve played in pajamas, in the worst ballpark in baseball.” Do you sympathize?

Does a bear install plumbing in the woods? You think I’m called Mr. Negative because I hang out in photo darkrooms?

I think Mr. Moseby should be re-assigned to a new occupation featuring dignified clothing and pleasant working conditions. Coal mining comes to mind.

To be fair, though, I guess it wouldn’t be much fun to be in a line of work where you’re forced to wear a silly cap, funny underwear and flip-down sunglasses. No wonder the players are threatening to strike.

NBC’s Bob Trumpy made an on-the-air reference to Miami football Coach Jimmy Johnson having a reputation as “a used - car salesman.” Was that a low blow?

The lowest, an unprovoked cheap shot at used-car salesmen.

Most used-car salesmen, in fact, are former college coaches and alumni athletic boosters who had conscience attacks and decided to go straight, but couldn’t do it cold turkey.

Do you personally refer to the Forum as the Great Western Forum? After all, Great Western Bank did kick in a lot of money for arena improvements in exchange for linking its name with that of the Forum.

I think it would be unfair to single out one sponsor to have its name attached to this great arena. Several other corporations generously donate money to the Forum in exchange for hanging their name or logo inside the building.

Therefore, I always refer to this grand arena by its full and proper name: The Toyota Kenwood Prime Ticket Budweiser Michelin RC Cola Continental Airlines Sharp Copiers Centinela Hospital KLSX Radio Labatt’s Blue Discount Tire Center Bud Light Northwest Airlines Gatorade Amtrak Lite Beer From Miller Canon EOS Marlboro Emergency Exit Only Forum.