ESPN Classic just replayed the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, when No. 2 Penn State upset No. 1 Miami, 14-10. Remember how the Hurricanes, reveling in their bad-boy image, showed up at a joint -- no Michael Irvin jokes, please -- dinner wearing fatigues, and then stormed out because they didn't want to attend the same steak fry as their opponents? The intimidation tactics didn't work, however. Turns out, the Miami receivers took quite a beating from the Nittany Lions each time they ventured over the middle, and didn't seem all that enthused about going for the ball toward the end.

It's hard to imagine that an offense that included Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Vinny Testaverde, running backs Alonzo Highsmith and Melvin Bratton and receivers Irvin, Brent Perriman and Brian Blades only managed 10 points and left without the national championship trophy. Maybe it was those five interceptions from Testaverde. Just a hunch. He never was the same after that, though he managed to play in the NFL for three decades, so he must have been doing something right. Or a lot of teams were fooled.


Speaking of No. 1 vs. No. 2: Texas 41, USC 38. Just a hunch. I'll gloat tomorrow ... or insist that I accidentally hit the wrong number key.

On to the Orioles, who still haven't traded Miguel Tejada, but did announce Jeff Conine's signing. Newsday is reporting that they're pursuing Ruben Sierra, who shouldn't be that hard to catch, considering that he's 87 years old.

Before you begin projecting how Sierra would fit into the lineup, take into account that the New York media reported last winter that the Orioles made a two-year offer to Sierra, who chose a lesser deal from the Yankees. Not true, according to various team executives who were furious that they were portrayed as losing out on another free agent when they never made him an offer, let alone a two-year proposal. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Or even a mediocre one.

Imagine how frustrated the front office is right now, believing it had a deal in place for Jon Garland, before the White Sox decided that it would be swell if the Orioles threw in Erik Bedard. Pass. And believing it had an agreement to swap Jorge Julio for Kris Benson before the Mets decided, hey, why not include Adam Loewen, too? Pass. Trust me, folks, the Orioles are extremely active in trade talks, more so than past years, according to some industry types, but they're not eager to be fleeced.

Meanwhile, the organization is making preparations for Saturday's Fanfest at the Baltimore Convention Center. One reader, Steve Fink, had an interesting question.

"I haven't seen the list of players expected to be at Fanfest," he wrote, "but is it true that Melvin Mora will be the only current Oriole in attendance?"

That's fine, as long as he doesn't complain about the lack of pitching.