Dye's suggested boycott takes wing
An airplane circling Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium towed a banner reading "Boycott Montgomery Advertiser" yesterday, two days after football coach Pat Dye suggested a boycott of the newspaper. The small plane appeared over the campus during the first half of Auburn's homecoming game against Mississippi State.
The Advertiser broke the story of former Auburn football player Eric Ramsey's saying he received cash payments and other improper benefits while a member of Dye's team. Ramsey has released secretly recorded tapes to back up some of his claims. Speaking on his Thursday night radio call-in show, Dye suggested Auburn fans neither purchase the Advertiser nor do business with companies that advertise in the paper.
Dye -- who said after the game, "I never mentioned anything about a boycott" -- said the Advertiser has a vendetta against Auburn, a claim denied by Advertiser publisher Richard Amberg Jr.
First-round draft choice Antone Davis, a 325-pound offensive tackle from Tennessee, will start on the right side for the Philadelphia Eagles against the San Francisco 49ers today. After being benched two weeks ago after Philadelphia's 13-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Davis will replace Ron Heller, who moves back to left tackle.
In his six starts with the Eagles, Davis has struggled. He yielded two sacks and was called for a false start and two holding penalties in the 23-0 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sept. 30. A week later, he had three holding calls on running plays in the 14-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Davis said benching may not have really helped him. He said his mistakes probably would not have seemed bad had the Eagles not lost three straight games.
Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker beat their American semifinal opponents, setting up a final between the world's two top-ranked tennis players at the $1.1 million Stockholm (Sweden) Open. Becker rallied after losing a tight first-set tie-breaker to beat Jim Courier, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4. Edberg, ranked No. 1 in the world and the game's hottest player, beat Aaron Krickstein, 6-2, 6-2 to reach his fifth consecutive ATP final.
Becker is in his fifth final of the year. He lost the last three -- at Monte Carlo, Wimbledon and Indianapolis, after winning his first Australian Open title in January. Becker used an aggressive serve-and-volley game on the fast indoor surface to wear down the French Open champion. Edberg, a two-time Stockholm Open HTC winner, was broken only once in a 55-minute match.
* Top seed Steffi Graf struggled for a set before defeating Barbara Paulus, 7-5, 6-1, in the semifinals of the Midland Bank Championships in Brighton, England. She will play American Zina Garrison for the title. Garrison advanced when her opponent, Catarina Lindqvist, retired because of a stomach virus, with Garrison leading, 6-1, 1-0.
Today's match will be the ninth final of the year for Graf. For the second straight match, Graf had difficulty in the opening set. In the quarterfinals, she needed 49 minutes to win the first set against Lori McNeil, and yesterday, she needed 46 minutes to win the first set, as Paulus played an accurate and steady baseline game.
* Qualifier Amanda Coetzer of South Africa continued her string of upsets by beating third-seeded Sabine Appelmans of Belgium to advance to the final of the Puerto Rico Open in Dorado. Coetzer overcame three match points in a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 semifinal victory that moved her into today's championship match against France's Julie Halard, who downed Mary Pierce, also of France, 7-5, 6-1.
Rodger Davis of Australia shot a 3-under-par 68 in the third round and tied Bernhard Langer for the lead in the Volvo Masters in Sotogrande, Spain, at 209. Langer had a 70 in the third round. Davis completed his rain-interrupted second round in the morning, finishing with a 73 as Langer posted a 69.
But with Langer in the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead, Davis knocked in birdie putts of 15 and 18 feet on the 17th and 18th holes. Mark James of England and Italy's Constantino Rocca were tied for third, two strokes back. Nick Faldo of England and Craig Parry of Australia were two more strokes back at 213.
Saying he is weary of past and present Chicago Blackhawks "dumping unfairly" on coach and general manager Mike Keenan, owner Bill Wirtz went on the attack Friday. He unloaded with unexpected fury against all the critics, whether in the media or dressing room. Besides making a strong defense of Keenan, he lashed out at three of Keenan's most vocal detractors -- ex-Blackhawks Doug Wilson, Denis Savard and Wayne Presley.
"Wilson said he wasn't having fun playing in Chicago anymore, so we sent him somewhere he can play golf year-round," Wirtz said sarcastically of the defenseman traded last month. "I hope he has a lot of fun doing that in San Jose. He can't play golf year-round in Chicago."
And of critics in general, Wirtz said: "Remember when Bob Pulford [now senior vice president] was criticized for not making any trades? Now, Keenan's being criticized by some people for making too many. That's not fair to him."
* The Minnesota North Stars claimed left wing Derrick Smith on waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. The seven-year Flyers veteran hasn't played this season. Smith has 80 goals and 87 assists in 494 NHL games and has accumulated 338 penalty minutes. His best season was his rookie year, 1984-85, when he had career highs in goals (17) and assists (22) in 77 games.