Ray Ratto in the San Francisco Examiner: “With seven shopping days before the season opener, the [Oakland] Coliseum is still only three-fifths full, which means that the Raiders’ homecoming is going to seem an awful lot like a Cincinnati-Tampa Bay game in December.
“For much of this, you can thank Al Davis, whose customer-service skills could be matched by a KGB agent who just had an argument with his wife.
“The tickets were priced as though the team had been moved to Brunei, the ticket office was run by a guy whose middle name must surely be Swifty and the ticket buyers were bum-rushed to the PSL scheme as though they were the convicts in ‘The Producers,’ each being sold a 100% interest in ‘Prisoners of Love.’ ”
Trivia time: Who holds the coaching record for most Pacific 10 football championships?
Surprise coming: Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves reads newspapers to learn what batters are thinking.
“Sometimes I’ll see a quote from a batter saying I threw a fastball, when it was a changeup,” Maddux said. “I’ll tell myself, ‘If he thinks that was a fastball, I’ll throw him my real fastball next time.’ ”
All alone: David Weathers, Florida Marlin pitcher, after giving up two home runs by Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs:
“I was more stunned than the guy [Mike] Tyson fought. And I didn’t have a trainer in my corner to throw in the towel.”
College humor: Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune:
Q: What’s the new coach at the University of Miami called?
Q: After finally winning a bowl game and the national title, Nebraska dumped its goofy hick mascot Herbie, the Cornhusker, so what will the new symbol of the school be?
A: A police blotter.
The humanitarian: Oscar Gray, Arizona Cardinal rookie fullback, made the mistake of being carried off the practice field because of heat exhaustion last Tuesday. So Coach Buddy Ryan cut him.
“He can’t stay up, he can’t play,” said the humanitarian Ryan.
Come again? Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, recalling a baffling greeting from Ralph Kiner, New York Met broadcaster:
“Hi everybody. Welcome to Shea Stadium and a couple of left-handers going today. Well, a lefty and right, uh, two righties for ya this afternoon.”
Looking back: On this day in 1974, Moses Malone, 19, signed a contract with the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Assn. to become the first player to go directly from high school into major professional basketball.
Trivia answer: USC’s John McKay, with nine.
Quotebook: Tom Osborne, coach of defending national champion Nebraska’s football team and possessor of a 219-47-3 record there: “You keep talking about what you have as a team, but you just don’t know. It gets a bit wearing to keep talking about uncertainties.”