There are some smoothies in this list, but somebody's missing


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* A poll, conducted by Boxing Illustrated magazine, came up with the following as the slickest fighters of all time: Willie Pep, Sugar Ray Robinson, Benny Leonard, Gene Tunney, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jimmy Slattery, Maxie Rosenbloom, Billy Conn and Pernell Whitaker. What, no Rocky Balboa?

* If Philadelphia's proposed 4.3 percent non-resident wage tax on visiting athletes was adopted in all the National League cities, Met Bobby Bonilla's bill would exceed $170,000.

* Local college hoop nuts can't wait for Paul Baker's annual NCAA Tourney Breakfast at the Quality Inn in Towson March 18. How fanatic are these guys? The meeting gets under way at 7 a.m. sharp!

* Call the Bullets and the operator says, "Washington Bullets, you gotta believe." But even coach Wes Unseld is having trouble holding true to the motto these days. After a recent pummeling putting the team a dozen games under .500 at the Cap Centre, Wes said, "You hate to lose in front of big crowds. People have stuck with us and I don't know what to tell them."

Meanwhile, the Bullets just set a franchise record by registering their 12th sellout and are averaging 12,000-plus per game.

* Danny "Little Red" Lopez, an exciting featherweight champ in the late '70s, decided to hop into the ring again and was flattened by a 14-26 opponent just 37 seconds into the second round. Venerable Archie Moore was in town a couple of weeks ago and revealed he's not planning a comeback.

* Closet (or bathtub) national anthem singers are reminded they can try out for the position of "Star-Spangled Banner" renderer for the Orioles-Red Sox, Red Sox-Phillies exhibition games in Washington April 4-5 on Thursday at RFK Stadium beginning at 9 a.m.

* Long John Daly has had just mediocre success since his surprise victory in the PGA Championship last year, but he's still smacking them off the tees. During a recent tourney and on a 365-yard, par-4 hole, Daly's drive ended up 20 feet shy of the green.

* Despite protests to the contrary by tourney director Josh Ripple, the $400,000 WTA Champions Challenge scheduled for the Washington Tennis Center in mid-September is an exhibition and not a real tournament. Gabriela Sabatini is already penciled in to head the six-women, by-invitation-only field.

* Talk about good deals. Sportsman's Park outside Chicago offers free parking and free grandstand admission every racing day. Now that's a way to get folks interesting in viewing the bobtail nags.

* Pray tell, what was the big rush to retire Walt Williams' uniform number at Maryland? The guy still had a couple of games to play.

* Obviously, soccer's international governing body FIFA failed to note the relatively small turnouts at several World Cup games in Italy a few years ago when it suggests Washington might not be chosen as one of the dozen site hosts here in 1994 because of the seating capacity at RFK Stadium (55,750). Ridiculous, capital cities are always deeply involved.

* Great sports trivia question: Four people, one team and one thing have made the cover of Sports Illustrated, Time and Newsweek magazines the same week. Name them. Answer at the bottom.

* Given their habit of upsetting so many people with some of their logistical decisions, isn't it strange the Orioles don't review their decision-making process or personnel?

* One of the amazing statistics coming out of the Winter Olympics was Norway increasing its medal count over the last four years from five to 20 and it didn't have George Steinbrenner showing the way as our U.S. Olympic Committee has.

After all these years and with everyone but the backup bullpen catcher making $1 million per annum, managers have finally made it to seven figures, Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland being the Roger Bannisters of the dugout set. It's enough to make Earl Weaver consider coming back, no doubt.

* It turns out that the infamous computer virus last week wasn't to commemorate the birthday of the Michelangelo, but to commemorate the goal by goalkeeper Michelangelo Rampulia in Italy's first soccer division. It was the first score by a goalie in the 94-year history of the league and tied the game for Cremonese against Atalanta, 1-1.

* One of the reasons they don't complain about the ice at the Cap Centre, the Spectrum in Philadelphia, the Meadowlands, etc., is because of the sheet laid down for the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden: beyond horrible. Recently, a ref made a ground rule that if a defenseman fell down upon hitting the bare cement spot while back skating, it would cause an immediate timeout.

* Get this. The Yankees apparently want to get away with having as few ushers as possible serving fans at games. They're talking about 10 ushers when at one time the complement for a game was about 80. It's not as though it will cause a big savings as the ushers cost the ballclub about $100,000 last season.

* Trivia answer: Mark Spitz, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath and Cheryl Tiegs (original swimsuit issue), Secretariat (thing), Miracle on Icers 1980 Olympics.

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