Longer field goals point to need for change


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WHILE everyone is in a fix-it mood -- get rid of instant replay,have a college football playoff, invade Kuwait, etc. -- it's time once again to propose the longer a field goal the less point value it should carry. Sometime in this decade, they'll be kicking 75-yard field goals and a team won't even need an offense.

* Dick Schultz wants colleges to, in effect, pick up the tab for football and basketball? The NCAA executive director obviously hasn't checked out some of the deficits some states are running.

* A full-scale range war among fight promoters is raging with no less than four cards in the next couple of weeks. Josh Hall's Punch & Foody Show kicks it off tomorrow at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie with Victor Davis (22-8) battling Sam Gervin (16-37). Sam's known as a trial horse in the business.

There will be a card in Lanham next Wednesday, followed by one in Rockville Jan. 21, then the Painters Mill card featuring Andrew Maynard Jan. 24.

* I can't get the thought out of my head that Buddy Ryan yanked Randall Cunningham out of a playoff game the other day just to foster his reputation for independence and it no doubt ended up costing him his job.

* It was this week 20 years ago the NBA announced its silver anniversary all-star team and included were Bob Cousy, Bob Davies, Paul Arizin, Joe Fulks, Sam Jones, George Mikan, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman and Bob Pettit. If you missed these guys, gang, I'll tell you . . .

* Francesco Damiani, the WBO heavyweight champ Ray Mercer faces Friday night in Atlantic City (pay-per-view), lost the Olympic gold medal to Tyrell Biggs in 1984. But, as pros, the Italian pounded Biggs into submission. Mercer, who didn't begin boxing until age 23, conducted his training at an Army base in Arizona where, for weeks, he slept in a barracks.

* Dennis Erickson, coach of Miami's, uh, roughnecks, says everything his team does is magnified and blames the press for writing about it all the time. "We're not going to be choirboys," he said, which comes as no surprise.

* They're calling North Carolina's crew of freshmen the best recruiting class of all time in college hoops, but Dean Smith is quick to point out, "The guys we had coming back from last year beat them by 56 points in a scrimmage."

* Ironically, it was Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman who cast the 21st and deciding vote that saved instant replay last year. Think he'd like to have his vote back after a length-of-the-field TD by the Eagles was negated because Earnest Byner of Washington didn't fumble?

* The Giants play host to the Bears Sunday and Friday night, at the Meadowlands, Lawrence Taylor will be in the corner of Lex Luger when he takes on Big Cat during a NWA show. The team and the NFL must love the idea.

* To the surprise of millions, Dwayne Schintzius has dropped 40 pounds (to 255) and is showing the resolve to become an NBA player with the San Antonio Spurs. While playing in college, he consistently showed less maturity than the team's ballboys.

* LSU's splendid sophomore center Shaquille O'Neal has just cause to never speak to James Brown again. The CBS sportscaster says, "O'Neal is on his way to becoming a polished Darryl Dawkins." Huh?

* Even devout pro basketball fans will probably be aghast to learn that Wilt Chamberlain still shares the record for number of free throws made in an NBA game. Yes, Stilt canned 28 of them (on the night he tallied a C-note in Chocolatetown).

* After one of Don Shula's Miami teams won a Super Bowl in the '70s, the coach said, "We weren't the best team in the league this year, but we were the healthiest, and I think that probably counts for more. We didn't lose anybody important all year while other teams that could have competed lost their quarterbacks or best linebackers or best running backs."

Something to remember recalling the quarterbacks who are missing from playoff games. Houston without Warren Moon is like Mike Tyson without a left hook.

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