Before downgrading the Rams to Lambs, consider that four of their last seven games are against Phoenix, Dallas, the New York Jets and New England. . . .
The mistake John Robinson made when he traded Eric Dickerson was not insisting on getting linebacker Cornelius Bennett in the deal. Bennett is the defensive demon the Rams are lacking. . . .
When he was holding out, challenging Mike Tyson and pumping iron in a local gym, Tony Mandarich got his name in the newspaper every other day. Now that he's stuck in the trenches for the Green Bay Packers, he has become anonymous. . . .
Most unlikely passing duel of the season was that between your favorite and mine, Marc Wilson of the New England Patriots, and Ken O'Brien of the New York Jets Sunday at Foxboro, Mass. . . .
It came as no surprise that the Raider defensive team was introduced before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Coliseum. Jay Schroeder doesn't play defense. . . .
The Raiders' first-round draft of 1988--Tim Brown, Terry McDaniel and Scott Davis--may go down as one of the greatest ever. At the very least, they're making up for Bob Buczkowski. . . .
Ramblin' Rookies: Detroit's Barry Sanders and Miami's Sammie Smith have fancy moves, but the best ones belong to Cleveland's Eric Metcalf. . . .
For $350 a pop, Nicholson-row ticket-holders will be able to sit in new blue chairs at the Laker-Phoenix Sun opener at the Forum tonight. Along with the rest of the capacity crowd, they will hear good-luck charm Jeffrey Osborne sing the national anthem. For the first time in three years, however, there will be no ring ceremony. . . .
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's jersey won't be retired until late in the season. . . .
Trivia buffs should be aware that the 1988-89 Lakers were the only team ever to go through the entire NBA playoffs in the minimum number of games. They swept Portland, Seattle and Phoenix and were swept by Detroit. . . .
The Clippers were close to getting Ron Harper from Cleveland for the rights to Danny Ferry several weeks ago before the Cavaliers were hit by injuries and decided to keep the high-scoring guard. . . .
Chris Evert will unveil her dry sense of humor to a national television audience this week when she becomes the first past-or-present woman athlete to serve as host on "Saturday Night Live" on NBC. . . .
Just one more time, put me ringside on a Thursday night at the Olympic Auditorium with 9,000 fans roaring, Aileen Eaton running the show from the second row on the aisle and Mando Ramos, Danny (Little Red) Lopez, Bobby Chacon, Carlos Palomino, Jerry Quarry, or Raul Rojas waging war inside the baby blue ropes. . . .
Ram cornerback LeRoy Irvin, a boxing buff, will promote his first show Nov. 21 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Heavyweights Orlin Norris and Tony Tubbs will be paired in the main event. . . .
The bad news: The U.S. national soccer team hasn't scored a goal in its last two World Cup qualifying games. The good news: Neither has the opposition. . . .
Rickey Henderson, the filet mignon of hotdogs, should have been voted MVP of the World Series. It was a hitters', not a pitchers', series. . . .
The pep talk, not the game plan, will be Lou Holtz's biggest challenge before the Notre Dame-SMU game. . . .
The co-owners of Caltech, who finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf and may take on Prized again in the Hollywood Turf Cup Dec. 10, originally wanted to name him Jet Propulsion Laboratory. . . .
No truth to the rumor that Penn State will jazz up its uniforms next season by borrowing the Cleveland Browns' helmet logo. . . .
Jim McMahon no longer speaks to San Diego reporters but, in the grand tradition of Jose Canseco, will grant you an audience for the bargain rate of $1.40 a minute if you dial his 900 number. . . .
Ricky Ervins, the pinball wizard, needs only 55 yards to gain 1,000 for the season. It will be the 18th time a USC rusher has reached 1,000. The surprising NCAA leader is North Carolina at 19. . . .
Which bores you more, listening to someone talk about his golf game or his rotisserie league?