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There's no respect for Magic, Phelan

Fact: Let's see, Bill Clinton did nine states in 29 hours this week and the Astros did six states in 27 days last season, and the Astros complained.

Opinion: It's a shame to see Magic Johnson basically hounded out of a league that he all but saved from ruin -- by uninformed people, no less.

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Fact: Prairie View has not won a football or basketball game in 20 months.

Opinion: You know there is no respect for age in this country when Jim Phelan has to fight for his job when he's getting ready to win his 700th game.

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Fact: Lou Holtz says a computer should pick two teams to play for the national title after the bowls, which (Bonus Opinion) is an idea right up there with putting a headlock on an official.

Opinion: Mike Ditka, who has won two playoff games in seven years since Buddy Ryan left, is in his last year.

Fact: Mario Lemieux is on a pace to score 126 goals this season, which would be something like hitting 100 home runs.

Opinion: Looks like A.P. Indy is Horse of the Year.

Fact: A Bush (George Jr.) hired a Kennedy (Kevin) to manage the Rangers.

Opinion: This Heisman Trophy voter is extremely undecided.

Fact: The five NBA teams with the highest regular-season winning percentages are (no surprise) the Celtics and Lakers and (surprise) the Bucks, Sixers and Spurs.

Opinion: Jim Valvano has taken some hits in this column over the years, but it's real nice to see him back in circulation after fighting cancer.

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Fact: (You know you're in trouble when . . . ) The Patriots' records for rushing and passing yards in a season are held by Jim Nance (1966) and Babe Parilli (1964).

Opinion: Lennox Lewis will be the heavyweight champion by the end of 1993.

Fact: The American League has won seven of the past 10 World Series and five straight All-Star Games.

Opinion: Look for the Towson State football team to win big next year with a spate of upperclassmen on scholarship and a schedule beginning to reflect the school's move to non-scholarship play.

Fact: Moses Malone has been playing pro ball since Gerald Ford was president.

Opinion: Desmond Howard surely expected to do a lot of things in the NFL, but become invisible was not one.

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Fact: Lloyd Daniels not only has the Spurs' roster made, but he might also crack the starting lineup.

Opinion: Redskins fans dismayed by all these losses and Joe Gibbs' overly conservative game plans, take heart: Only 3 1/2 months until the Orioles open spring training.

Fact: Tennessee's Johnny Majors has lost three in a row since returning from heart surgery, and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Vols fans have been heard to chant: "Block that artery! Block that artery!"

Opinion: I'm totally and utterly shocked that the Orioles have decided to stop offering a discount to season-ticket holders making early payment in full.

Fact: Hours after Jimmy Irsay went on television Sunday and pronounced the Colts' win over Miami as a "seminal moment" in franchise history, they got clubbed by 26 points.

Opinion: Benching Randall Cunningham took a bucket of nerve considering that the last coach who did it basically got fired in the elevator after the game. But that was wrong and this was right.

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Fact: Twenty teams said no in the draft to the Cowboys' Emmitt Smith, who looks like the NFL MVP this year.

Opinion: I'm a pro football fan, but it seems like the Jets or Bengals are playing in every AFC game.

Fact: Mark Rypien is the NFC's lowest-rated passer, remarkable considering that the list includes Vinny Testaverde.

Opinion: With all their talk about inter-league play and wild-card playoffs, the baseball owners shouldn't even bother hiring a commissioner.

Fact: Says Todd Marinovich: "I do some naked surfing. It's a great feeling, getting up there [naked] in the breeze."

Opinion: Apparently, no one can tell Joe Montana that it's just time to go.

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Fact: Bobby Ross and the San Diego Chargers, on a four-game winning streak, could wind up in the playoffs considering that they do not play another team with a winning record.

Opinion: One football record that will never be broken: seasons played, 26, George Blanda.

Fact: Rich Kotite's decision to start Jim McMahon this weekend was at the top of the front page of yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer, above the election.

Opinion: I keep having this strange dream where Bill Clinton says, "We won't know until we see the films. . . ."


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