Christmas gift Bill Parcells, the coach of...


Christmas gift Bill Parcells, the coach of the New York Giants, said he got a new coat from his wife for Christmas.

"It's a very nice coat," he said. "Of course, she can afford it. She's on a very high salary."

=1 Parcells makes an estimated $800,000 a year.

A bouquet from Buddy After last week's Dallas-Philadelphia game, two Eagles, Ron Heller and David Alexander, said that Issiac Holt and Eugene Lockhart of the Cowboys tried to gouge them in the eyes.

That prompted coach Buddy Ryan, who never misses a chance to knock Dallas, to say, "That's Dallas. That's the way they do things. They're not tough. They're not dirty. They're playing like sissies. Littl girls punch people in the eyes."

Cheering against the home team The New England Patriots, attempting to become the third team ever to lose 15 games in a season, will have a sellout crowd for today's game against the New York Giants. There's one catch. More than half of them will be Giants fans. The Patriots even advertised in the Giants program because the Giants were big favorites in New York before the Patriots were founded in 1960.

All this prompted coach Rod Rust, who's in danger of losing hi job, to say, "All the Giant fans are coming to town and that's great. We'll have to chance to get booed in our own stadium, and that might be good for us. It might be kind of fun."

Losing what? Kicker Pat Leahy of the New York Jets, who in his 17th year and in seventh place on the all-time scoring list with 1,352 points even though he's never made the Pro Bowl, was honored by his teammates last week with the team's MVP trophy. He even got a standing ovation at practice.

He said it was the highlight of his whole career. "I almost lost it," he said.

The balding Leahy, 39, also said it's not the legs that go first.

* "It's the hair," he said.

Is Barry Sanders heading for the Supreme Court? Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions has 1,297 yards rushing going into the final game of the season and he trails Thurman Thomas of the Buffalo Bills by 16 yards in the race for the league rushing title.

The last Lion to lead the league in rushing was Whizzer White in 1940. He's now known as Supreme Court Justice Byron R.


The Lions, incidentally, have never had a league passing or receiver leader.

Meeting Walter When running back Merril Hoge of the Pittsburgh Steelers was drafted four years on the 10th round out of Idaho State, he said his goal was to last until the second preseason game because the Steelers were playing the Chicago Bears in that game and he wanted to meet Walter Payton.

"When I met him, I laid out what he'd done the last 10 years and why he was my hero. He looked at me with the nicest smile and said, 'That's the nicest thing anyone's ever told me.' He shook my hand and told me, 'Keep working hard and you'll do well.' "

Hoge is leading the Steelers in rushing with a career high of 735 yards.

He's renting Billy Joe Tolliver wasn't thrilled when he was benched for the final game of the season by San Diego Chargers coach Dan Henning for rookie John Friesz.

F: "Let's just say I didn't buy a house," Tolliver said.

What about his horse, Silver? Jerry Glanville, the Atlanta Falcons' coach who left the Houston Oilers last year, said he knew he was on his way out of Houston when Mike Holovak replaced Ladd Herzeg as general manager in 1989.

"When we switched general managers, I was the Lone Ranger without a silver bullet and without Tonto," Glanville said.

Glanville wants you to remember that his team's 47-27 victory over the Oilers in the opener may cost the Oilers a playoff berth if they lose to Pittsburgh tonight.

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