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After Jordan, Some Will Need Sense of Reality

Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune, on the retirement of Michael Jordan:

“No one expects the world to change its calendar from A.D. to A.J., After Jordan, or in keeping this thing on the informal first-name basis it has become, A.M., After Michael. But it is the least the NBA can do.

“Whatever there is of this season will be Year 1 A.J. and the next 2 A.J., and so on. The Super Bowl used Roman numerals, and the Romans didn’t even play football. Not only did Jordan play basketball, he defined it for his time, for all time.

“Whatever basketball was before Jordan it was not the same after.”

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More Jordan: Bob Ryan in Wednesday’s Boston Globe: “On this, the first day in the rest of the NBA’s life, it may seem ludicrous to suggest that not having Michael Jordan is a good thing. But it is.

“Having Jordan for this truncated season would have been nothing more than a placebo for a sick league.

“Why not simply rename the sport ‘Michaelball’?

“If the NBA is to be salvaged it must, must, must be bigger than one man.”

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Trivia time: Who holds the NFL playoff record for touchdown passes?

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Summit meeting? Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post: “As if Cuba hasn’t got enough problems, with poverty, hurricanes and a dictator, now the destitute island might get a visit from Albert Belle during spring training.

“No international incidents, please.

“The thought of the new Oriole free agent being introduced to Fidel Castro is just delicious. Albert, Fidel. Fidel, Albert. What a cage-match stare down!”

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Condescending: Indiana Pacer forward Antonio Davis admitted after the NBA settlement that the players need to improve their image.

“We’re going to go out and do things we don’t really like to do--sign autographs, reach out to the fans,” he said.

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Comment from Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Don’t pull any muscles reaching out, Antonio.”

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Trivia answer: Joe Montana, 45, with San Francisco and Kansas City.

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And finally: Woody Paige of the Denver Post, on Rick Neuheisel’s leaving Colorado to coach the Washington Huskies:

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“Neuheisel couldn’t be trusted to remain at Colorado. He was always a short hauler. The night before the Buffs’ game at Nebraska three years ago, Neuheisel told me, point-blank, that the coaching position he wanted was with the NFL expansion team in Los Angeles (Couldn’t you worry about beating the Cornhuskers first, Coach?).

“The only good game plan Neuheisel ever devised was to escape CU.

“I was an idiot for ever suggesting that he be named coach in the first place.

“But let the Washington Huskies learn for themselves that success isn’t measured by guitar riffs and raft trips.”

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