Sometimes, an encounter with the Phoenix Suns' Charles Barkley can be a harrowing experience. Just the other night, for instance, he reportedly clocked some guy in a nightclub. The cops couldn't substantiate the punch, though, and didn't charge him. Still, it wasn't the first time Barkley has been in that situation.
For the benefit of those who might run into him in a restaurant or nightclub, Executive Sports Editor David Casstevens of the Arizona Republic has compiled a list of do's and don'ts.
Here are some of them:
--Do not pet Barkley.
--Do not attempt to feed Charles by throwing Beer Nuts at him.
--Do not interrupt Barkley if he is conversing with someone else, or eating and his mouth is full.
--Do take no for an answer.
--Do not tell Barkley that his game reminds you of former Sun Armon Gilliam's.
--If you must provoke a confrontation, wear a mouthpiece.
--Don't mention Madonna.
Togetherness: Despite Stanford's poor football season (4-7), Coach Bill Walsh saw hope for the future by the way his team pulled together.
"I'm impressed by the vote for team captains just before the Cal game," he said. "Running back Scott Lange, who had not played a minute all season, was No. 2 in the voting. The players appreciated the effort he gave. He never missed a practice and always gave everything he had."
Lange, a walk-on from Savannah, Ga., had only two carries for four yards in his career.
Add Walsh: The losing streak may end at one season. USC and UCLA recruiters say that "the Genius" is getting everybody he goes after and will have his second consecutive big recruiting year.
Stanford's priorities are on defense.
"We didn't have many sacks this year," Walsh said. "I think we got to USC's Rob Johnson once, but come to think of it, it might have been a motion penalty. All I'm sure of is they were back five yards."
Trivia time: With Jason Kidd, California is the preseason favorite to win the Pacfic 10 basketball championship. When was the last time the Bears were favored?
Goal posts: When Utah fans tried to tear down the goal posts after Chris Yergensen's 55-yard field goal beat archrival Brigham Young last Saturday, they were thwarted by BYU players and personnel.
But 50 miles to the north, at Utah's Rice Stadium, the goal posts went down.
School officials said the standards on the north end were vandalized either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Seven men were questioned after being caught trying to climb the stadium fences shortly before the incident was reported, but were released.
Friendship: Soccer star Diego Maradona has literally given the shirt off his back to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Maradona wore the shirt in Argentina's 1-0 victory over Australia that qualified Argentina for the World Cup.
"To Fidel, the greatest, with all my care and friendship," Maradona wrote on the shirt that was presented to Castro last Friday night by an Argentine journalist, according to the Cuban government news agency, Prensa Latina.
Trivia answer: In 1960, the season after Pete Newell had led them to their only NCAA championship. In 1960-61, the Bears were defeated in the NCAA final by Ohio State.
Quotebook: Former NBA star Julius Erving, after signing a multiyear deal with NBC as a studio analyst on its NBA "Showtime" program: "One of the things about this move is that you're part of conveying and explaining and keeping alive the history of the sport, the legacies of players."