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Notes on a Scorecard

Oh, Canada. . . .

Having an Olympic hockey championship decided by a shootout is like having a World Series decided by a home-run hitting contest or an NBA finals by a free-throwing shooting contest. . . .

It’s not as though an extension of the sudden-death overtime beyond the 10-minute period would have left the Swedish and Canadian teams exhausted for their next games. . . .

I mean, hockey competition in the Olympics doesn’t resume until 1998. . . .

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Sure, the one-on-one shootout--gunner versus masked man--makes for high drama. . . .

But isn’t real, sudden-death hockey pretty exciting, too? . . .

Hockey is a team sport. The shootout turns it into an individual sport. . . .

I hope the NHL says no to the shootout. Instead, the overtime period during the regular season should be doubled from five minutes. . . .

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No wonder they called it the “Miracle on Ice” when the U.S. won the gold medal in 1980 at Lake Placid. . . .

The Americans have been unable to win a medal since, and this year’s eighth-place finish was their lowest ever, despite a field weakened by NHL signings of European stars. . . .

Suddenly, we have all become experts on figure skating. . . .

Our expertise tells us that Nancy Kerrigan was robbed. . . .

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She was deprived of her gold medal because of the political bias of the judges who gave Oksana Baiul of Ukraine higher marks. . . .

Well, did it ever occur to you that the judges who gave Kerrigan higher marks might also have been prejudiced? . . .

I happen to think Baiul’s routine was the more entertaining. But I’m not sure if it was the better. Like most of you who are convinced that Kerrigan was cheated, I wouldn’t know a triple lutz from a double axel. . . .

Incidentally, Kerrigan’s edge in the short program over Baiul, who finished second, was rendered meaningless because any skater who finishes in the top three in the short and wins the long is automatically declared the gold medalist. . . .

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Tonya Harding didn’t have the equipment to win a medal. . . .

Harding gave new meaning to “short program” when she stopped her routine after 45 seconds, shed a few tears and explained that her shoelaces weren’t tied right. . . .

Instead of giving Harding 32 minutes to prepare for a second attempt, the officials should have booted her from the competition and allowed the next skater, Josee Chouinard of Canada, as much time as she wanted to prepare. . . .

Forget about Skategate. It was the rushed Chouinard, not Kerrigan, whose performance was hurt most by Harding’s presence in Norway. . . .

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The most uplifting story of a Winter Olympics packed with them was Dan Jansen winning a gold medal in his last try. . . .

Dominique Wilkins was just fine in his Clipper debut, but it’s too bad it was Sunday night instead of 12 years ago. . . .

The San Diego Clippers could have selected Wilkins second in the 1982 draft after the Lakers took James Worthy. Instead, the Clippers picked Terry Cummings, who was traded to Milwaukee two years later in the deal that brought Marques Johnson here. . . .

The Utah Jazz selected Wilkins third and then sent his rights to the Atlanta Hawks for John Drew, Freeman Williams and cash in one of the most lopsided deals ever. . . .

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Wilkins has a higher scoring average than Danny Manning this season. . . .

But the question is how many years the Human Highlight Film, 34, has left before he lands on the cutting-room floor. . . .

The bottom line is that Donald Sterling never should have gotten himself into a position where he had to trade his best player in the prime of his career. . . .

Immediately after USC’s upset overtime victory over California on Saturday, George Raveling was seen talking with Jason Kidd. . . .

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“Son, I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to coach against you again,” Raveling said to the Bear sophomore who is expected to enter the NBA draft after this season. “I’ve coached in this conference for 21 years, but I’ve never seen a better guard. The thing I admire most about you is the classy manner in which you conduct yourself. You’re a role model.” . . .

The Grand Olympic Auditorium looked--and smelled--good Sunday during workouts for the reopening Saturday night. . . .

Young heavyweights should study videos of clever Jersey Joe Walcott, who died Friday at 80. The left hook that knocked out Ezzard Charles and made Walcott, 37, the oldest man ever to win the heavyweight championship was as pretty a punch as ever delivered. . . .

Few have played or coached football or lived life with as much vigor as Marv Goux, 61, who has retired from the Rams, but continues to win his battle with cancer.

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