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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : Irvin’s Mama Says She Didn’t Teach Him to Speak So

Associated Press

Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin insists he will say what he wants whenever he wants. His mother takes exception to that.

“I will be talking with my boy,” Pearl Irvin said from her home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. “I don’t need to tell you he didn’t learn to speak that way in this house.”

Irvin caused an uproar last Sunday while addressing a Texas Stadium crowd and a live national television audience during presentation of the NFC championship trophy. In defending much-criticized Coach Barry Switzer, he used an obscenity. .

Given a chance to apologize Wednesday at the Cowboys’ training facility, Irvin repeated the same word five times in front of a battery of television cameras. He then defied anyone to stop him from expressing himself in any manner he chooses.

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“I almost fell through the floor the first time he said it,” Pearl Irvin said. “I have never in my life heard Michael talk that way.

“He told me, ‘Mama, I’m sorry.’ And I said, ‘Michael, you know that’s no way to talk, especially not when you’re speaking in public. And especially when you’ve got a little brother coming up who listens to everything you say. You wouldn’t want him speaking like that.’

“Now, I’ve got to remind him one more time. . . . I told all my kids was act ugly and the world will treat you that way. If he hasn’t remembered that, maybe I’ll have to pass it on again, too.”

AROUND THE NFL

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Antitrust Suit Filed in Baltimore Against League

After NFL owners agreed in Atlanta to vote in three weeks on the Cleveland Browns’ move to Baltimore, an antitrust lawsuit was filed in Baltimore by city and Maryland representatives against the league, seeking at least $36 million in damages.

The timing of the lawsuit was curious considering it came about an hour after NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the owners would convene on Feb. 8-9, most likely in Dallas, to vote on the issue. Brown owner Art Modell needs approval from 23 of the 30 owners to move his team but there are serious doubts a negative vote would stand up to federal antitrust laws.

“We are suing to force the NFL to act because we have a legally binding contract with the Browns,” Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening said. “Throughout this country, courts have ruled that the NFL cannot stop team relocations. This is a clear violation of antitrust law and I’m sure we will be successful in bringing the team to Maryland.”

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Baltimore can’t begin construction of a new stadium for the Browns that is scheduled to open in 1998 until the move is completed. Jim Moag, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, said the bond market is strong right now, but could take a downturn if the league continues to drag its feet.

The owners wrapped up their meetings with a four-hour session that focused mainly on a proposed extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the players through 2002.

Tagliabue said a labor deal and franchise relocation are intertwined and need further study. The major stumbling block is a revision of the current revenue-sharing arrangement to help the league’s poorer clubs, a proposal sure to be received coolly by higher-revenue teams like the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL officials will continue negotiations with Cleveland Mayor Michael White, who is seeking to block the Browns move to Baltimore or have the league allow an established team to move to the city.

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Miami Dolphin Coach Jimmy Johnson fired defensive coordinator Tom Olivadotti, who received much of the criticism for the team’s disappointing 9-7 season. Miami’s defense ranked 16th and collapsed in a 37-22 playoff loss at Buffalo, giving up 340 yards rushing.

Olivadotti was in charge of the Dolphin defense for nine seasons, the second-longest tenure of any NFL coordinator.

“The media here [in Miami] just annihilated me,” Olivadotti said. “The people who know, they respect the job I did. We didn’t win a Super Bowl, so in that respect it’s a failure. But in the last six years, we were in the playoffs four times. Just imagine if we hadn’t been coaching our butt off--we’d have been 4-12.”

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Offensive coordinator Gary Stevens and secondary coach Mel Phillips will return, while running back coach Tony Nathan was fired. Four holdovers from Don Shula’s last staff remain in limbo.

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Quarterback Jim Kelly and linebacker Cornelius Bennett of the Buffalo Bills are scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgeries to their right shoulders today in Los Angeles.


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