Notes on a Scorecard

Home, sweet Los Angeles Coliseum home. . . .

Why leave home when you've won seven consecutive games there as the Raiders have since Art Shell replaced Mike Shanahan as head coach last Oct. 3? . . .

The silver and black couldn't have asked for much better support than the 54,206 fans gave them on a sweltering Sunday afternoon that would have been spent more wisely at the beach or pool side . . .

The crowd made such a ruckus that the Denver Broncos barely could hear the signals being called when they were deep in their own territory in the west end, which was quite often. . . .

The Raider offense was deadly dull, but their high-scoring defense was something to behold. . . .

My favorite Howie Long gem on a day of several: Denver had a first down on the Raider 25-yard line in the first quarter when John Elway handed the ball to Bobby Humphrey. Long rocketed off the line of scrimmage, got to Humphrey the same time the ball did and threw him for a three-yard loss. . . .

An underrated inside linebacker is Tom Benson, who came to the Raiders from New England as a Plan B free agent and led them in tackles last season. . . .

Jay Schroeder, the victim of some butter-fingered receivers, was better than his numbers indicate. . . .

Marcus Allen deserves more playing time next week in Seattle. . . .

Avid sports fan Magic Johnson stood on the sidelines next to the Raider bench, wearing a "Commitment to Excellence" T-shirt. . . .

Before Anthony Dilweg is inducted into the Hall of Fame--or beats out Don Majkowski for the Green Bay Packer starting quarterback job--he will have to prove his worth against something more formidable than a banged-up Ram defense that isn't that much to begin with. . . .

Scratch the fake punt from San Diego Charger Coach Dan Henning's playbook. . . .

The Cincinnati Reds remind me of a thoroughbred who sets such blistering early fractions that he wins despite tightening up and staggering down the home stretch. . . .

Umpires have become a sensitive lot, indeed, but Dodger outfielder Kal Daniels was out of line when he went berserk after being ejected from Saturday night's game by Gary Darling. And why risk getting booted out of what was the most important game of the year by protesting a strike call? . . .

It's surprising that the slimmed-down Tom Lasorda had the strength to slam Daniels to the ground. . . .

There was a ban on beer Saturday at the Rose Bowl, but UCLA still managed to drive some of its fans to drink with an opening-day performance against Oklahoma that brought back unhappy memories of 1989. . . .

Homer Smith was awfully conservative in his return as UCLA offensive coordinator, especially early in the first quarter when the Bruins ran the ball three consecutive times from the Oklahoma 26, 25 and 22-yard lines. . . .

The one bright spot was redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Maddox, who has a strong arm and displayed uncommon poise in relief of Jim Bonds. . . .

Now the question is whether to give Bonds another chance against Stanford in the Rose Bowl Saturday or switch to Maddox? Maybe you go with Bonds and make a change early if he fails to move the team again. . . .

Compare Bonds' attitude--"the offense sputters, you expect a change," he said after being lifted--with that of departed Bret Johnson. . . .

Best seats in the Rose Bowl Saturday were in the last row behind the goal posts, beneath the scoreboards that provided the only shade on a hot day. . . .

Here's what's good about a 50-7 game: In Gainesville, Fla., 75,428 people were able to take their minds off the murders of five students and yell themselves hoarse as Florida trounced Oklahoma State. . . .

If you're familiar with Gene Stallings' coaching record, you weren't shocked that Alabama lost to Southern Mississippi. . . .

Famous last words from CNN analyst Danny Sheridan Saturday morning just before the college football pregame show mercifully was pre-empted by a report from Helsinki: "BYU has absolutely no chance to beat Miami.". . .

Ty Detmer is tough. . . .

Do you see the tape of the finish of that Utah-Minnesota game, won by the Utes on a 91-yard return of a blocked field goal? You won't see another quite like it again. . . . Sound-alikes: Mary Carillo and ESPN's Robin Roberts. . . .

Maybe the Clippers should have drafted both Bo Kimble and Paul Westhead out of Loyola Marymount. . . .

That new offensive coordinator has done wonders with Gabriela Sabatini's game. . . .

Now tennis has the Wild Bull of the Sampras.

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