Big Player Doesn’t Get Big Picture

Things to know about Ralph Tamm, a San Francisco 49er guard:

--He succeeded Roy Foster as a starter on the right side last season and by December had earned a three-year, $2.75-million contract.

--He can bench press 490 pounds, about 50 more than any teammate.

--He doesn’t know much about football.


“Ralph is funny,” tackle Harris Barton told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He knows what me and him are supposed to do, but he really doesn’t know the game.

“Last season, we were playing the Raiders in the preseason and Bill Musgrave was leading the team downfield, and he threw an interception in the end zone. Everybody groans. Ralph goes, ‘What’s that mean?’

“I say, ‘Touchback. Their ball on the 20.’

“He says, ‘Don’t we get any points?’


“ ‘No, Ralph, geez.’ He yells, ‘I don’t know the rules, I just line up and play ball.’ ”

Add Tamm: Then there was one of the first practices after the 49ers signed Tim McDonald. The Pro Bowl safety was coming across the line when Tamm chopped him at the knees with a vicious block.

“Steve Young took Tamm aside and said, ‘Don’t you know who that is?’ ” Barton said.

“ ‘Yeah, I know,’ Ralph said. ‘That’s No. 46.’


“ ‘Ralph, that’s Tim McDonald,’ Young said.

“He says, ‘Who’s Tim McDonald?’ ”

Trivia time: Besides being NBA head coaches last season, what do Pat Riley, Rick Adelman, Rudy Tomjanovich and John Lucas have in common?

Basketball crazy, indeed: In North Carolina, there is now proof that the love for basketball knows few limits.


According to the Charlotte Hornet newsletter, the rights to eight season tickets were recently sold at a bankruptcy auction for more than $160,000. The buyer still needs to purchase the tickets for another $21,648, assuming they are in the prime location described.

The Hornets have about a 98% renewal rate among season ticket-holders, who buy about 21,000 of the 23,698 seats in Charlotte Coliseum. So those wanting to be close to the action are eager for a chance to be given better seats through attrition.

Strike zone: New York Met Manager Dallas Green’s take on striking baseball players:

“I don’t anticipate many of them going out and getting jobs. A few of them might have to fire their gardeners and chauffeurs.”


Dynasty: Florida State’s football team has won 16 consecutive conference games, outscoring its opponents, 679-173. Even worse for the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference, there is nothing to indicate a change is ahead.

“We are not talking about humans here,” North Carolina Coach Mack Brown said. “It’s not an ACC problem, it’s a national problem. Those guys are really good.”

Trivia answer: All were drafted by the San Diego/Houston Rockets.

Quotebook: An Atlanta disc jockey, commenting a few years ago on the possibility of a highway being named in honor of Dominique Wilkins: “That’s the one with all the No Passing signs.”