U nconventional wisdom for a Wednesday morning . . .
John Robinson: He's coming back to Anaheim Stadium Sunday to broadcast his old team's season finale against the Atlanta Falcons. What will he see, what will he say? "The Rams are in last place; they're winless against the division; Cleveland Gary has nine fumbles; Jim Everett is Dan Fouts one week and Dieter Brock the next; the defense can't stop the run; opponents are averaging 24 points a game, and Kevin Greene has one sack in the last seven games. Nothing's changed!"
Ram MVP: They ought to do what the Heisman committee should have done--take a bye this year. Gary? His 1,000-yard season is either the cheapest (only a 36-yards-per-game average since the Dallas game) or the costliest (nearly one fumble per 100 yards) in the history of the franchise. Everett? He looked splendid against the Giants, Cowboys and Buccaneers--but what about the Bills, Dolphins, Saints, Cardinals, Vikings and Packers? Darryl Henley, or maybe Anthony Newman, the club's interception leader? Remember, this is a defense that surrendered 27 points in one half to Tampa Bay and 28 points in one quarter to Green Bay. How about Jackie Slater? Not a bad idea, I thought; he made it through a 17th season with the Rams, which ought to be worth something. Then I remembered the coin flips.
David Lang: How about him? Argument against: He's a 12th-round draft choice, otherwise known as a last-round draft choice, and he has only gained 150 yards in 10 starts. Argument for: He's averaging six yards a carry and who else on the roster has both a 71-yard run and a 67-yard pass reception this season? Besides, it's an ancient Ram proverb: When season is in tank, give MVP award to anonymous, hard-working, Zen-like blocking back. Robert Delpino was so honored in 1991, after Buford McGee got it in 1990.
Vince Evans: With this season down the drain, the Raiders start building for next year.
Steve Beuerlein: Do you suppose the Raiders could have used him this season?
Marcus Allen: Do you suppose the Raiders could have used him this season?
Marcus Allen on Monday Night Football: He's right--Al Davis has trashed what should have been a Hall of Fame career. The only thing shocking about it is that Marcus waited this long to say so.
Todd Marinovich: Is he still the Raiders' quarterback of the future . . . or is Joe Montana?
Joe Montana: Role reversal in San Francisco. Steve Young used to be the one known as Greatest Backup Quarterback In The History of Western Civilization.
Ruben Sierra: That Jose Canseco trade looks a lot better for the A's today than it did 48 hours ago.
Mark McGwire: And now the A's are closing in on a reunion with their monster-mashing first baseman, which means Oakland will have withstood the worst of Hurricane Free Agency--emerging a bit shaken, but with McGwire, Sierra, Terry Steinbach, Harold Baines and Ron Darling still intact. Quote from A's General Manager Sandy Alderson: "We'd like to sign McGwire and our fans would like him to come back. " Since when was that ever a good reason to re-sign a player?
Kelly Gruber: Why He Could Be The New Gary Gaetti: He will be 31 before he plays his first game for the Angels (Gaetti was 32) and he arrives in Anaheim coming off a .229 season (same as Gaetti). Why He Might Not Be The New Gary Gaetti: Gruber is only two years removed from his last 30-home run season (Gaetti was four) and two years removed from a 118-RBI season (Gaetti's career best, 109 RBIs, came in 1987). How We Will Know: If Gaetti is starting at third base on July 1.
Dave Winfield: The Angels had their choice for ex-designated hitters and they went for Chili Davis, thus creating the opening for Winfield to return home. First a World Series and now this. How will Winfield ever be able to thank them?
Georgia Frontiere: Operating within the same city as Jackie Autry has done tremendous things for her reputation.
San Diego Chargers: True fact: On Oct. 13, 1991, they lost to the Rams, 30-24. True fact: Since then, the Chargers have become the hottest team in the AFC. True fact: Since then, the Rams have gone 5-20.
Expansion hockey watch: Ottawa is 3-30-3, winless in 18 road games. San Jose is 5-28-1, winless in its last 12 games. Tampa Bay is 14-21-2. Combined, they have 22 victories--or two fewer than the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jack Ferreira: With him as general manager, San Jose was a presentable 17-58-5 in its inaugural NHL season, including 30 defeats by two goals or less. Without him, the Sharks have degenerated into such a pathetic sight that their Cow Palace streak of 53 consecutive sellouts ended this month, with recent home crowds hovering barely above 10,000. Anaheim, San Jose's major misconduct could be your flashing red light.
Power play: Hockey parlance for Disney's lease negotiations with Anaheim Arena.
Brad Holland: The rookie head coach is getting great experience against Northern Iowa, Cal State Northridge, Eastern Illinois and Chapman. Check back after Jan. 4, after Holland experiences UCLA, Nevada Las Vegas and New Mexico State, back-to-back-to-back.
Rollie Massimino: The reason he has been able to take over at UNLV without missing a beat, or a breakaway dunk? Easy. Rider.
Jerry Tarkanian: Taken down by Lloyd Daniels again.