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Trip to the Game in NFL Starts With a Trip to the Bank

There’s nothing like a day at the football stadium. The only problem is, it’s getting so fans have to make choices, like buying tickets for the family to see an NFL game or paying the mortgage.

Ron Reid of the Philadelphia Inquirer said personal license fees and high-priced season tickets make pro football an expensive proposition. David Modell, son of Baltimore Raven owner Art Modell, said recently that the strength of the NFL is “not corporate cocktail parties” but “fathers and mothers bringing their sons and daughters to the games.”

Baloney, said Reid, who termed Modell “dim-witted,” considering ticket prices.

Wrote Reid: “Every family of four we know of is only too eager to pony up $4,000-plus for the right to spend another $1,600 or so on season tickets for games played in a facility built with their tax dollars.”

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Add Baltimore: Quoth the Ravens, “Charge ever more.” The average ticket price for the new Ravens will be $40.05, compared to $32.61 last year when the team was the Cleveland Browns.

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Trivia time: How many National League 20-game winners were there 30 years ago, in the 1966 season?

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Hail, hail: The weather has been pretty good in Paris for the French Open, but it wasn’t so great for tennis the week before in Dusseldorf, Germany. Pete Sampras didn’t mind, although he did have one small complaint.

“The only problem was when I got hail in my eye,” he said.

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Simply irresisti-Bull: Utah. Seattle. Utah. Seattle. Boy, it sure must be driving those poor Chicago Bulls batty, wondering which team they will be facing in the NBA finals. Uh, not really, not with the really important stuff happening.

“We’re just happy to see the sun shining in Chicago,” Bill Wennington said.

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And usually hit it: Pittsburgh Pirate coach Rich Donnelly sees no reason to have catchers or plate umpires at that launching pad in Denver, otherwise known as Coors Field.

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And why is that?

“Because everybody swings at everything,” he said.

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Darn it: Reporters probably are going to have to cross usually outspoken George Karl of Seattle off their lists as “most quotable coach” now that he has a new philosophy about interviews.

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“I think before I talk now,” he said.

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Try an extension cord: Pitcher Terry Mulholland of the Philadelphia Phillies has a lifetime batting average of .083, but he has hit two home runs--one to center field and one to left. Mulholland told Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer his goal is to hit one to right “to show I have power to all fields.”

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Trivia answer: Five--Sandy Koufax, 27-9; Juan Marichal, 25-6; Gaylord Perry, 21-8; Bob Gibson, 21-12; Chris Short, 20-10.

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And finally: Golfer Hale Irwin’s nephew, Heath Irwin, was the fourth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots. He said he was sickly as a child and that doctors told his parents he’d be lucky to grow to 5 feet 10.

“I was so tiny they held me back in the first grade because they were afraid I was too small,” he said.

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Irwin is a 6-3, 292-pound All-American offensive lineman from Colorado.


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