NFL name game could use local Accent


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Folks everywhere must think we're a bunch of dullards if all we can come up with as a proposed name for a hoped-for NFL expansion franchise is Cobras (Glazer), Bombers (Weinglass) and Football Team (Clancy) -- embarrassing suggestions that haven't been rescinded yet, incidentally. There's absolutely no doubt what the name of the team should be if it materializes: The Baltimore Accent. After all, a regionally unique name is what everyone seeks and what's more unique than our speech, hon?

* It might not be a bad idea if a bunch of bartenders got together for the purpose of putting out a sports page sporadically. The way it turns out, Washington sportscaster Steve Buckhantz got the "beat" on Joe Gibbs retiring as coach of the Redskins last week as a result of stopping off at a bar on his way home from work. Years ago, first word of Hank Bauer's imminent dismissal as manager of the Orioles also came via a pourer at a downtown Baltimore grog shop.

* Among the 60 or so applications received for the hoops coaching job at Loyola College is one belonging to Billy Donovan. Recall, he's a gutty, long-range marksman who led Providence to the Final Four a couple of years ago before taking an assistant's job with his old coach, Rick Pitino, at Kentucky. Donovan is said to be a strong recruiter, especially in his native New York City, a locale where the Greyhounds hope to improve their presence.

* It was sweet revenge the Washington Capitals Alumni squad got from their New York Islanders counterparts last weekend, 4-2. Earlier, the Isles, already loaded with guys who had been out of the game for only a year or two, rang in some classy college players while rolling to a 13-3 pounding. "Justice triumphs," revealed Caps captain Yvon Labre, who turned over a hefty check to the Salvation Army.

* I don't know about you, but I just won't rest until I am an eyewitness to a "White Castle of Fear leather strap match," latest come-on by those devilishly creative minds running World Championship Wrestling.

* Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the fabled horse of the ages, Man o' War, being retired from stud duty at the ripe old age of 26. He sired 350 foals along the way.

* Let's hear it for Saucony running shoes. The American company, which produces its shoes in Maine and distributes in 18 states, is donating $1.50 for each pair of shoes sold prior to April 2 to the Fit to Achieve Program of the National Associations for Sport & Physical Fitness.

* After not even playing last year, Carlos Quintana, backup first baseman for the Red Sox, requested a $500,000 raise from the ballclub. The Sox submitted a figure with easily achieved incentives that would have landed the player a 50 percent raise. In arbitration, Quintana lost and, meantime, blew the incentives the team originally had offered.

* Despite his down year in 1992, Cal Ripken still grabs the No. 2 spot among the most marketable athletes, according to a survey of Fortune 500 companies conducted by Steiner Sports Marketing. Shaquille O'Neal (surprise!) got the top spot with Troy Aikman, Dave Winfield, Larry Bird, Jim Kelly, Emmitt Smith, Brett Hull, Christian Laettner and Riddick Bowe trailing. Strangely, the O's shortstop is not a spokesman for a national concern.

* They're looking for the most competitive tourney ever as 84 teams spread over seven divisions, both girls and boys, begin play in the Crofton Invitational Basketball Tournament Sunday at noon. Bullets rookie Tom Gugliotta and team mascot Hoops will be on hand for the opening ceremony at noon and the first 50 fans through the door will be given a free ticket to a future Bullets game. The Crofton Middle School will be the site of most games in the tourney, which will rage well into April.

* It might be getting on to that time for someone to straighten out Pernell Whitaker. Sure, the former Olympic champion is a heckuva fighter as he proved while picking up his third world title with a close victory over Buddy McGirt last Saturday. But for "Sweet Pea" to arrogantly declare himself "the best fighter around with nothing else to prove" even before he has fought Julio Cesar Chavez is foolhardy.

* The thing about the record-tying 17-game losing streak recently turned in by the San Jose hockey team is that the Sharks were outscored 88-31, and were truly competitive in just four of the games. At least the original "Ineptitude Kids," the Washington Capitals of 1974-75, could come within a goal or two consistently during one of their lengthy swoons.

* They were a newspaper headline writer's dream team, those Redmen (now Minutemen) of the University of Massachusetts in the mid-'50s: The names in the starting lineup included Eid, Aho, Fry, Foley and Burke.

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