On the Level, He Is Among the Greatest

Anthony Munoz, the Cincinnati Bengals' 11-time all-pro recognized as the NFL's best offensive tackle, will retire after Sunday's game against Indianapolis.

The NFL Alumni Assn. honored the 6-foot-6, 284-pound former USC star as one of the best players of the 1980s, giving him a plaque that reads:

"The NFL has three levels of offensive linemen. The bottom line is for players aspiring to make the Pro Bowl. The next step is for those who have earned all-star status. Then there's Anthony Munoz. He's alone at the top, a sure Hall of Famer."

Bonds the butcher? Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post notes that one of the more intriguing aspects of Barry Bonds' deal with the San Francisco Giants is that it is a personal-services contract with owner Peter Magowan.

"Magowan made his money from Safeway," Kornheiser writes. "Does this mean if Bonds slumps, and Magowan concludes he's not getting his money's worth, he'll tell Bonds to go bag groceries after day games? Will you see Bonds slicing deli at the Fisherman's Wharf Safeway?"

Trivia time: Who are the seven Heisman Trophy winners who played in the Rose Bowl game after winning the award?

No comment: Sterling Sharpe is articulate and approaching an NFL record for passes caught in a season, but the Green Bay Packer wide receiver is not fond of interviews, at least with Wisconsin reporters.

"You guys know me better than that," Sharpe will often say when approached for an interview, according to the Milwaukee bureau of Associated Press. Or he might say: "Nope, nope, nope." Or: "Not today, not tomorrow. . . ."

Better than roulette: Scotland's Dale Reid made $31,850 with a hole in one on the 164-yard 14th hole at Gold Coast, Australia, during Sunday's final round of the Australian Ladies Masters. The payoff was made by Jupiters Casino.

"Casinos have made more money from me than I've made from them over the years, but I might put some money on 14 on the roulette table (Sunday night)," she said.

Early playoffs: As far as Kansas City running back Christian Okoye is concerned, the NFL schedule is wrong in saying the playoffs start next month.

"If we beat Denver Sunday, we keep playing," Okoye said. "If we lose, we're out. This game definitely qualifies as a playoff game."

Winning family: Memphis State kicker Joe Allison, who won the Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award, is a cousin of Daytona 500 winner Davey Allison and a nephew of former Winston Cup champion Bobby Allison.

Real fan: Chris Webber, Michigan's sophomore forward, supported San Diego State's Marshall Faulk for the Heisman Trophy. Or did he?

"I think it would be good to see a sophomore win, like David Falk," he wrote.

Trivia answer: Frank Sinkwich, Georgia, 1943; O.J. Simpson, USC, 1969; Jim Plunkett, Stanford, 1971; Archie Griffin, Ohio State, 1975 and 1976; Charles White, USC, 1980; and Desmond Howard, Michigan, 1992.

Quotebook: Former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, on returning home to Las Vegas: "I just want to be here when (university president) Robert Maxson gets run out of town. I want to be at that parade."

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