If that's a fact, then an opinion is sure to follow


Fact: Larry Bird leads the NBA in minutes played this season.

Opinion: The NBA top 10 (in order): Portland, Boston, San Antonio, Detroit, Phoenix, Lakers, Utah, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Chicago.

Fact: Teams that originated in the AFL have won only seven of the 24 Super Bowls.

Opinion: Stop griping about the Orioles' off-season inertia. They just went out and signed the best young third baseman in Perth.

Fact: In 1990, the average game attendance in the American League was almost 2,000 higher than in the National League.

Opinion: The Philadelphia Cunninghams are the only team that can beat the 49ers.

Fact: College basketball people say this year's junior class is going to be Baltimore's best in a decade.

Opinion: It is a must that Joe Krivak get the ball in Mark Mason's hands at least 20 times a game next year.

Fact: The college hoops 1990 all-name team: Tim Jumper (Mississippi); Tyrone Steals (Robert Morris); Gym Bice (Texas-El Paso); Anfernee Hardaway (Memphis State); Matt Roadcap (West Virginia).

Opinion: Spot UNLV a dozen points against the Miami Heat, and it's a ballgame.

Fact: Oregon has signed a high school recruit named Damon Runyon.

Opinion: The 1995 All-NBA team: David Robinson, Derrick Coleman, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Kenny Anderson.

Fact: Four of the top five teams in NFL attendance this year are in the AFC (Buffalo, Denver, Cleveland, Kansas City). The Giants are the NFC team.

Opinion: Lou Holtz seems to do a lot of explaining these days.

Fact: The Bullets' A.J. English is the only NBA rookie to score 30 points in a game this season.

Opinion: "Friday Night Lights," a book about high school football, is terrific.

Fact: Says the Nets' unassuming Derrick Coleman: "I am the franchise."

Opinion: What a thrill to see Jackie Sherrill back in coaching.

Fact: The Oklahoma Sooners are 98-0 under Billy Tubbs when scoring 100 or more points.

Opinion: I can already name the 16 teams that will make the NBA playoffs.

Fact: The Red Sox have spent $27 million on free agents in the past three weeks.

Opinion: The Pro Bowl is an Alpo game, but at least, unlike in the baseball All-Star Game, the right players get to play.

Fact: Lawrence Taylor will be the first player to appear in 10 Pro Bowls if he shows up.

Opinion: The incredible shrinking Tony Mandarich is El Busto.

Fact: Forty-one years ago today, the Boston Celtics' Tony Lavelli scored 26 points against Minneapolis and gave an accordion concert at halftime.

Opinion: Alonzo Mourning is suddenly a man among boys.

Fact: Lee Trevino won a million bucks on the 1990 PGA Senior Tour.

Opinion: Since the NHL is handing out expansion franchises to anyone with a bucket of ice and a checking account, we should get one.

Fact: Barry Sanders has rushed for more yards than the Cleveland Browns this year.

Opinion: The New England Patriots are such a disaster that no one would notice if they left town.

Fact: (From "Amazing Stories"): When coach Dick Versace blamed reporters for the Indiana Pacers' poor start, general manager Donnie Walsh demurred, saying the writers would write good things when the team did good things. Versace was fired Thursday.

Opinion: If I'm Frank Robinson, watching what my team has done this off-season, I'm getting a little steamed.

Fact: Says Don Shula about Dan Marino: "Project his career over a period of time, and he's going to break all the records in the passing book."

Opinion: Refrigerator Perry must weigh 400 pounds these days.

Fact: The teams in the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl have 10 losses between them.

Opinion: There is Don Nelson and then there are the rest of the NBA coaches.

Fact: If the NFL draft were held today, the Cowboys would have three of the first 15 picks, five of the first 42 and seven of the first 68.

Opinion: If the Rams make a mistake and let John Robinson go, he'll go to Cleveland.

Fact: Nolan Ryan established nine major-league records in 1990.

Opinion: The poo-poo is really going to fly when athletic departments have to start releasing graduation rates. (It'll happen.)

Fact: Says former Giants linebacker Harry Carson about this year's team: "They don't have any personality except for Pepper Johnson. They're a bunch of button-heads."

Opinion: My Christmas wish is for Andre Agassi just to go away.

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