Notes on a Scorecard

What a wonderful weekend this should be--the last weekend of the baseball regular season and the first weekend of the hockey season. . . .

Ha! . . .

The NHL owners and their beloved commissioner, Gary Bettman, appear determined to blow the greatest opportunity the sport has ever had. . . .

NBA interest has declined. Baseball is shut down. The NHL playoffs last season were the best of the expansion era. But the owners and gregarious Gary want to lock out the players, who are more sensible than their baseball brethren, and delay the opening of the season. . . .

Call it the Nitwit Hockey League. . . .

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Christian Okoye, the former NFL rushing leader who is living in Southern California, says he is ready, eager and able to help any team in need of someone to get the necessary yardage on third and short. . . .

Okoye, 33, is a year younger than Marcus Allen. . . .

Among the surprises of the season is that the Denver Broncos have twice been unable to finish off what might have been a game-winning or game-tying comeback because of a fumble and a bad pass by their quarterback. . . .

The Broncos and the Raiders rank last and next to last in the league in points allowed. . . .

As long as there is overtime, don't expect to see an NFL coach go for a two-point conversion when his team is a point behind late in the game. . . .

The first pro football game ever televised was between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 22, 1939, at Ebbets Field. It was seen on an estimated 1,000 sets and announcer Allen (Skip) Walz was paid $25. . . .

Without quarterback Tommie Frazier in the lineup, Nebraska might be held to fewer than 50 points by Wyoming on Saturday in Lincoln. . . .

Washington's weekly update on Napoleon Kaufman notes that his 11-game touchdown streak was stopped by Miami and that he was limited to 80 yards, but that he gained 65 in the second half, when the Huskies overcame a 14-3 deficit to win, 38-20. . . .

Pernell Whitaker should repeat his earlier victory over Buddy McGirt on Saturday in Norfolk, Va., and retain his mythical title of best fighter, pound for pound--at least until the James Toney-Roy Jones Jr. bout. . . .

Rafael Ruelas, who defends his International Boxing Federation lightweight title against Billy Schwer Oct. 22 in Hong Kong, is in Big Bear and "training like a hungry fighter because I see all these champions getting upset." . . .

One of the victims was James Leija, who lost to Gabriel Ruelas. . . .

On the phone from Houston, George Foreman told Bob Arum that he is well on his way to trimming down to 240 or less for his bout Nov. 5 in Las Vegas against WBA champion Michael Moorer. . . .

I'll believe it when I see it, but the postponed Riddick Bowe-Larry Donald fight has been rescheduled for Dec. 3. . . .

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario's $2,054,665 puts her only $51,647 behind Pete Sampras in earnings this year. . . .

Keep an eye on apprentice jockey Geoff Cooper, who just turned 16, during the Oak Tree meeting that begins next Wednesday at Santa Anita. . . .

Best Pal, racing's richest active thoroughbred with earnings of more than $5 million, won't be supplemented into the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs and will race instead in the California Cup Classic Oct. 29 at Santa Anita. . . .

Harold Miner might get his wish and be traded by the Miami Heat to the Portland Trail Blazers for Clyde Drexler. Coach Kevin Loughery gave Miner an average of only 21 minutes of playing time last season. Drexler is 32 and is contracted for a balloon payment of $8 million before the 1995-96 season. . . .

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You've got to figure that the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox will make offers to Tony LaRussa when his contract with the Oakland A's expires next week. . . .

Angels Care, the California Angels' official charity, will stage a celebrity bowling event Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Regal Lanes in Orange. For $35, bowlers can participate on teams with celebrities, including Bert Blyleven, Tommy Davis, Vince Ferragamo, Fred Lynn, Ken Brett and Bob Starr. . . .

How much has baseball attendance increased over the years? Ken Burns' documentary reminded us that only 10,000 fans at Fenway Park watched Ted Williams hit a home run in the last at-bat of his career in 1960. . . .

Not too many more watched Roger Maris hit his 61st homer in 1961 at Yankee Stadium. . . .

Mismatch of the week: Shula vs. Shula.

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