Fans who believe in the axiom that the rematch is rarely as exciting as the first match should bring plenty of reading material to Candlestick Park Sunday. . . .
If the AFC championship game is decided by special teams, the Raiders will be in big trouble. . . .
Think ABC is hoping for a New York-L.A. matchup in the Super Bowl? . . .
I would feel much better about the Rams hiring defensive coordinator Jeff Fisher if he could bring Reggie White and Jerome Brown with him from Philadelphia. . . .
Ben Johnson can exceed his $30,000 guarantee to run the 50 meters in the Sunkist meet Friday at the Sports Arena with bonuses that depend on attendance. Johnson also received four Toronto-L.A. round-trip plane tickets. He gave the other three to his mother, coach and manager. . . .
Johnson figures to improve after getting off the blocks slowly and finishing second in Hamilton, Canada, last week, but 880-yard runner Paul Ereng has a much better chance to set a record. . . .
Ereng, a Kenyan who won the 800 meters in Seoul, is aiming for the world indoor mark of 1:46.9 set by Crenshaw High product Johnny Gray. . . .
Oklahoma’s Billy Tubbs and Missouri’s Norm Stewart make Jerry Glanville and Chuck Noll look like the best of friends. . . .
Danny Nee, coach of surprising Nebraska, was a high school teammate of Lew Alcindor at Power Memorial in New York. . . .
Arizona doesn’t have a scorer in the top 10 in the Pac-10. . . .
Nevada Las Vegas, which visits UC Irvine tonight, does everything exceptionally well except shoot free throws. The Rebels are an ordinary 68% from the line. . . .
An all-freshman team might look like this: Shawn Bradley (Brigham Young), center; Jamal Mashburn (Kentucky) and Deon Thomas (Illinois), forwards; Grant Hill (Duke) and James Robinson (Alabama), guards. . . .
Officials let the basket count on too many charging fouls. . . .
Kentucky assistant Bernadette Locke is getting high marks. . . .
I wonder if that “crowd” of 75 for the Cal State Northridge-Northeastern Illinois game in Chicago the other night was an estimate or an actual count by someone in the stands. . . .
Don’t look now, but the hottest team in the NBA is the Detroit Pistons. . . .
Only the New York Knicks have a better record on the road than at home. . . .
For the record: Wilt Chamberlain will be the fifth player to have his NBA uniform number retired by two teams. Others are Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati, Milwaukee), Nate Thurmond (Golden State, Cleveland), Julius Erving (New Jersey, Philadelphia) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles, Milwaukee). . . .
However, if Golden State ever gets around to it, Chamberlain could be the first to be so honored by three teams. . . .
Message on Chamberlain’s answering machine: “Speak up and see whether you get Memorex or me.”. . . .
One discussed trade has Chicago sending Stacey King and a first-round draft choice to Dallas for Derek Harper. . . .
Meldrick Taylor didn’t pick an easy spot Saturday night, challenging Mark Breland’s conqueror, undefeated Aaron Davis, on HBO for the World Boxing Assn. welterweight championship. . . .
The International Boxing Federation has dropped Buster Douglas to 10th in its heavyweight rankings. . . .
Busiest fight venue in the country this year could be the Forum, which has scheduled 26 shows. . . .
Boston Bruin Coach Mike Milbury has created a stir by putting one of his goons, Chris Nilan, on the Wales Conference all-star team. . . .
The summary for the Calgary-Winnipeg game Tuesday night was a major space eater--12 goals and a slew of penalties. . . .
Voting for the Eclipse Award for horse of the year may be as close as the AP and UPI voting for college football team of the year. If I had a vote, it would go to Criminal Type over Unbridled and the late Go For Wand. . . .
Los Alamitos promises a race every 12 minutes when the harness horses return to the track Feb. 8. . . .
During World War II, the major leagues consulted President Roosevelt, who said baseball would be good for the home front. . . .
Among the missing on opening day of voluntary winter workouts at Dodger Stadium was Fernando Valenzuela, who is awaiting arbitration. . . .
I’ll have to re-evaluate my thinking about the pennant races now that the Dodgers have traded Kevin Campbell to Oakland for David Veres. . . .
From Chick Hearn, after Gregory Glenn’s $42,000 half-court shot at the Forum: “Only in America.”