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Perhaps Some Boxing Tips Are in Order

After the National Hockey League announced that it planned to add a team in Tampa, Chicago Tribune columnist Bernie Lincicome came up with a list of “everything anyone needs to know about the game.”

Lincicome’s public service included:

“The puck. The object of the game is to see it. No one ever has. Hockey is one long parlor trick.

“Icing. There is way too much of this, to my way of thinking.

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“O Canada. This is where they give the hockey scores at the beginning of the sports report instead of the end.

“Orr. Generally 17 down in the Sunday crossword puzzle.

“The crease. This is the longest scar on a goalie’s face. The reason they wear their masks into singles bars.”

Trivia time: In a poll of sportswriters conducted by the Soviet news agency Tass, who was the USSR’s top athlete of 1990?

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Sleep on it: Last year’s Liberty Bowl drew a record 60,128 fans for Air Force and Mississippi. This year, only 13,444 of a paid 39,262 braved 36-degree temperatures for Thursday’s game between Air Force and Ohio State.

Asked whether the Liberty Bowl might look for a corporate sponsor, executive director A.F. (Bud) Dudley said: “That is an area we might put emphasis on in the next two months. It seems to be the thing of the future.”

The Fun Bowl: The Seattle Times has been publishing “Husky Diary.” Each day, a Washington player shares something that impressed him during the previous 24 hours of his Rose Bowl experience.

Wide receiver Curtis Gaspard liked the time UW and Iowa players visited a medieval theme restaurant.

Said Gaspard: “We went through this one door and into what was like a big auditorium, or something. It was like a big feast. And as we ate there was this entertainment. . . .

“And it was a competitive thing because there was a horse and a knight representing each section. You cheered for ‘your’ knight.

“So that was real good.”

A month?: In 1990, whenever Raghib (Rocket) Ismail was available for an entire game, Notre Dame was undefeated. The Irish’s two losses came when Ismail’s thigh injury limited him to one play against Stanford and one half against Penn State.

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Coach Lou Holtz said last week: “When you don’t have Rocket Ismail, it hurts you. It’s like ‘Phantom of the Opera’ wouldn’t be the same without that actor. . . . I wish I could remember his name.”

Holtz added: “I took my wife to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and she wouldn’t look at me for a month unless I wore a mask.”

Smart mom: Tennessee Coach Johnny Majors was second in the 1956 Heisman Trophy voting as the Volunteers’ star tailback, but in their 1957 Sugar Bowl loss to Baylor, Majors fumbled a punt at his team’s 15-yard line, leading to the Bears’ winning touchdown.

Earlier, Majors’ roommate, Bruce Burnham, was kicked in the head and went into convulsions. In the locker room after the game, the team learned Burnham was OK.

Majors recalled that the first thing his mother asked about was Burnham’s condition.

What was her opinion of her son’s performance?

Said Majors: “She was a teacher and had eight kids, so she cooked a lot. A reporter asked her about my fumble, and she said, ‘Even I burn the biscuits on occasion.’ ”

Trivia answer: World chess champion Gary Kasparov, who successfully defended his title against Anatoly Karpov in a two-month series that is expected to end this week.

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Quotebook: Colorado punter Tom Rouen, on how he would react to an Orange Bowl victory over Notre Dame for the national championship: “I’d probably go nuts.”


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