Sunday night football finally has arrived. . . .
And Willie (Flipper) Anderson forever will be remembered for the night in New Orleans when he replaced Henry Ellard in the Los Angeles Ram game plan and Stephone Paige in the NFL record book. . . .
Last year, Anderson caught 11 passes for 319 yards. Sunday night, he caught 15 passes for 336 yards. . . .
The Flipper File: He is 6-0, weighs 172 pounds, was born and raised in Paulsboro, N.J., led UCLA in receiving his senior year, was drafted on the second round in 1988, and was nicknamed as a baby by his grandmother Pearl, who thought he sounded like a dolphin when he cried. . . . Maybe Al Davis should consult with Art Shell before moving the Raiders to Northern California. Shell is unbeaten and untied in four games as a head coach at the Coliseum. . . .
Shell never would have been able to celebrate a happy 43rd birthday Sunday without the aid of the Raider chapter of the Penn State Alumni Club. Wide receiver Mike Alexander caught a touchdown pass, fullback Steve Smith ran for a touchdown and guard Steve Wisniewski recovered Smith's fumble on the New England nine-yard-line to keep the winning field goal drive alive. . . .
NFL coaches on the hot seat: Seattle's Chuck Knox, Atlanta's Marion Campbell, New England's Ray Berry, Indianapolis' Ron Meyer, Houston's Jerry Glanville and the Jets' Joe Walton. . . .
Bounty or no, the Eagles took a cheap shot at Cowboy kicker Luis Zendejas on Thanksgiving Day and Coach Buddy Ryan should be disciplined by the league. . . .
Ranting and raving Mike Ditka looks as though he's a candidate for another heart attack. . . .
What a fascinating, wide-open year this would be for a national football championship tournament. . . .
How far should Notre Dame be dropped in the rankings after its only defeat in the last two years? . . .
Last week, former Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger said the Fighting Irish weren't in the same league with the Hurricanes. I guess he didn't just mean that both are independents. . . .
It was difficult even for the most avid Notre Dame haters to root for swaggering, strutting, finger-pointing Miami. . . .
For the first time all season, Notre Dame looked a step slow. Or maybe it's that Miami is a step faster than anybody outside Tallahassee, Fla., and Boulder, Colo. . . .
Lou Holtz didn't give Rocket Ismail enough to do Saturday in the Orange Bowl. . . .
The Notre Dame fumble that was ruled a non-fumble is another reason why the NCAA should go to instant replay. . . .
Houston quarterback Andre Ware now is being projected as a comfortable winner in the Heisman Trophy balloting. . . .
The many comparative scores of the Rose Bowl rivals: Michigan 28, Ohio State 18. USC 42, Ohio State 3. Michigan 24, Illinois 10. Illinois 14, USC 13. Michigan 24, UCLA 23. USC 10, UCLA 10. Notre Dame 24, Michigan 19. Notre Dame 28, USC 24. . . .
Decisions, decisions: ABC reporter Jack Arute asked an Illinois fan at the Northwestern game Saturday if he would rather have his team go to the Rose Bowl or the Citrus. . . .
Most unusual Nov. 25 matchup was Boston College at Georgia Tech. . . .
The Coliseum scoreboard doesn't give enough out-of-town scores. . . .
Commentator Bill Walsh claims that this is the best San Francisco team ever. Wonder if he would be saying the same thing if he were still coaching the 49ers. . . .
There are more championships and fewer boxers around to fight for them than ever before. Tonight in Paris, 36-year-old Dwight Muhammad Qawi gets a shot at the vacant WBA junior heavyweight title against the famed Robert Daniels. . . .
Tex From Texas, a 2-year-old colt stabled at Hollywood Park, was bred in California. . . .
Dave Johnson screamed, "And down the stretch they come!" when he called a steeplechase race on ESPN. . . .
Sure enough, Easy Goer is favored over Sunday Silence in next year's Breeders' Cup Classic at the Sands Hotel future book in Las Vegas. . . .
I broke into a sweat watching the Maui college basketball tournament being played in a gym where the temperature was 90 degrees. . . .
Golden State is talking to Dallas about a trade for Roy Tarpley, who is suspended and most likely will not play another game for the Mavericks. The Clippers, who have future draft choices to spare, also are interested in Tarpley.