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Assuming it comes off and Riddick Bowe is successful in his Fox Network fight during halftime of the Super Bowl, reportedly the heavyweight champ's manager, Rock Newman, is looking for some canvasback to oppose Bowe during one of the timeouts of the title game at the Final Four next April.
* St. Peter's Church in Pittsburgh, proximate to Three Rivers Stadium, offers its parking lot (and a Mass) to Steelers fans heading to the game. It must be having some effect because the place is packed and the team has won five straight at home.
* One might question why ex-Navy great Joe Bellino is being inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor in a big ceremony in Miami at the end of the month. While the recently retired Navy reserve captain was brilliant and won the Heisman Trophy as a Mid, he was held to just 4 yards in eight carries while losing to Missouri, 21-14, in the 1961 game.
* So far, at least, Shaquille O'Neal is doing a good job for the NBA, speaking from a television perspective. His Orlando Magic games on TNT are matching the ratings the Celtics were accustomed to getting with Larry Bird.
* Considering Manon Rheaume was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame last week, what happens if the aspiring hockey goaltender ever climbs above third string for the minor-league Atlanta Knights?
* Football lost one of its most solid citizens last week when Pete McCulley passed on due to an apparent heart attack. Pete was a tireless worker as an assistant at Navy and with the Baltimore Colts. He didn't appear quite ready for the head coaching job when he was thrust into the position by Joe Thomas with the San Francisco 49ers. He maintained a home in Annapolis for about 30 years and son Kit, a defensive back, was an Academy grad.
* I don't know about you, but I sort of enjoyed David Klingler catching his lumps (10 sacks) during Cincinnati's 21-9 crunching by the Steelers Sunday. Recall some of the things Dave and Houston did to some of their opponents while in college: 95 points against SMU, seven touchdowns and 750 yards passing vs. Eastern Washington.
* Chances are, the best fight on the HBO card out of Atlantic City (Taj Mahal) Saturday will be Percy Harris (15-3) of Laurel testing former Olympian Roy Jones (19-0). Jones is all but conceded a world title soon, but classy Harris is not just an "opponent" on the way up. Iran Barkley (29-7) vs. Robert Folley (22-5) and James Toney (32-0) vs. Doug DeWitt (33-7) head the show.
* Good line from the master of ceremonies at a recent luncheon celebrating the 25th anniversary of Atlanta Hawks basketball. "When he played for the Hawks, they called Tom McMillen 'Senator,' " said radioman Steve Holman. "As a matter of fact, in Washington they used to call him 'Congressman.' "
* The lease for Candlestick Park the Giants are getting to remain in the Bay area reminds one of the Memorial Stadium situation here years ago. Whenever the Colts or Orioles would work themselves a sweetheart deal, the other would be hollering bloody murder for similar treatment. Same with the 49ers at present.
* Prettiest play I've seen all year, high school, college or pro (live or on TV), was Dietrich Johnson's right-on-the-fingertips 77-yard bomb to C.J. Willey giving Cambridge a 7-0 lead over Wilde Lake on its first scrimmage play of the state 1A championship game. Otherwise, Wilde Lake dominated, 23-7.
* Only about 1,500 tickets remain for Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi's debut at the Durasoft World Professional Figure Skating Championships at the Capital Centre Dec. 12. Brian Boitano is heavily favored to rule the men as he introduces a routine he could end up using in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
* When the players broke off from the tennis establishment to form the ATP Tour a few years ago, more than a few people assumed the operation would flounder. Wrong. The ATP will conduct 87 events in 34 countries next year after staging 81 tourneys in 29 countries with prize money totaling $43 million this year.
* Here's one you probably didn't know: One of every 700 Americans is a graduate of what Big Ten university? Hint: There's a sly trick in the question. Answer later.
* After ending the preseason winless, New England Patriots coach Dick MacPherson pleaded, "It's very fair to judge the players because they're individuals. But it's very unfair to judge the team. We won't be where we want to be, team-wise, until the middle of the season." Following a 34-0 shelling by Atlanta Sunday, the team stands at 2-10, so it's no rush to judgment referring to them as the Pat-hetics.
* Perhaps it's best that Greg Maddux of the Cubs was named the Cy Young Award winner in the National League. His chief competition, Tom Glavine, happened to be out of the country and incommunicado on his honeymoon the day the announcement was made. Glavine, incidentally, was a heck of a hockey player, but chose baseball after comparing himself to a couple of his high school rivals, NHL all-stars Brian Leetch (Rangers) and Tom Barrasso (Penguins).
* For the fan who has everything, terrific sports calendars. Mike Gustafson has his '93 ballpark epic, 12 stadiums including Camden Yards in 12x18 shots (1-800-554-0153) . . . And, on the boxing front, Everlast has pictures, memorable dates and trivia about the sweet science (609 627-1356). . .and Baseball America has a calendar of minor-league parks (1-800-845-2726).
* Steffi Graf just purchased an apartment in Manhattan, explaining she wanted a place where she would be "out of the spotlight." Oh.
* Trivia answer: Penn State.