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Boxing manager-trainer Mack Lewis says, "I've been in the fight game for 50 years, and the only time I have had one of my fighters [Vincent Pettway] get a shot at a world title [vs. Gianfranco Rosi, Sept. 17], it's been through Don King." No, Mack's not going to bite the hand that . . .
* They usually don't start thinking ahead to hoops down College Park until mid-September. That was before Mark "Get It Done" Duffner's third juggernaut gave up 49 points to underdog Duke even before Labor Day, however. Hey, what kind of a year do you think Joe Smith's going to have?
* So ex-President Bush's George Jr., Texas gubernatorial hopeful, doesn't know the difference between a dove and a bald eagle when he's out hunting. Much worse than that is Bobby Knight being cited for hunting violations during the early goose season in Indiana, because everyone knows the coach knows everything. Of course he wasn't fined. In Hoosierland?
* About 930,000 kids are playing high school football this season, more than twice as many as will play baseball, which is just a couple thousand ahead of the participants in track and field. One of the teams in the Alaska Railbelt League is the North Pole Patriots, who have high hopes of making it into the championship game scheduled for Oct. 22. Any later and every game would look like that famous Philadelphia Eagles-Chicago Cardinals title game in a blizzard in 1949.
* Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh has been in the football business just a couple of weeks and it's already climbing in the polls, achieving a ranking of No. 224 in Division I, one ahead of Siena. Beware, St. Francis (Pa.), No. 222. Maryland's 82nd on the computer, Navy 127th, Towson State 155th, Morgan State 206th.
* Entering this year's U.S. Open, Ivan Lendl had a better all-time win percentage in the tourney than the gents who seemed to despise him the most, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. Boy, that has to boil them.
* The immediate reaction upon hearing Mike Tyson had designated no-name co-managers to handle his ring career when he gets out of jail next May is, remember the scene in Tokyo when Tyson's cornerman had absolutely no idea what to do as Mike was losing big to Buster Douglas?
* Northwestern has been down so long in football, it obviously forgot how to schedule. A couple of times lately, as if a Big Ten schedule wasn't tough enough, they've tossed good looking but thin teams into an opener against Notre Dame, which is no confidence-builder.
* For his introduction at a tennis tourney in New Haven, Andre Agassi selected Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were." Didn't that classic film of Brooke Shields', "The Blue Lagoon," have a theme song?
* If they play no more baseball in 1994, Lee Smith will become the first relief flinger ever to be the Rolaids champion with four different teams, O's, Bosox, Cubs and Cards. Like Jimmy Durante used to say, "We got a million of 'em."
* Mike Keenan, who had fled New York immediately after coaching the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, had the chutzpah to show up in Gotham last week charging $15 for his autograph. Mike insists he didn't leave the Broadway Blues, that "they wanted me out."
* They've sold all the ringside tickets ($600) for the "Unfinished Business" boxing card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Sept. 17 pitting Julio Cesar Chavez (90-1) against Meldrick Taylor (32-3).
* A prerequisite for the ATP Tour World Doubles Championship seems to be that the tourney must be staged in an out-of-the-way place. Jakarta, Indonesia, has the pleasure this time and it's over the Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-27). Jacob Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis won last year, which might have skipped your notice.
* Jockey Kent Desormeaux has a part in an upcoming "Baywatch" television show. It's not that demanding a role, Kent playing the part of a jockey recuperating from injury. He beat out Richard Kiel for the part.
* No wonder Wayne Gretzky is going around saying the NHL can't afford a strike; a bunch of his dough figures to be wrapped up in the varied business interests of his buddy Bruce McNall, ex-Los Angeles Kings owner headed for the hoosegow.
* After breezing through the Big East (football) Conference undefeated for nearly three seasons, Miami dropped a close one to West Virginia, 17-14, last year and many assumed the Hurricanes were on the way down. "Anyone who thinks that is in for a surprise," counters coach Dennis Erickson, whose 'Canes scored 56 points in their opener. As for the defense, Miami always plays super "D."
* Gabriel Ruelas, who fights James Leija for the WBC 130-pound title Sept. 17, has a brother Rafael who is currently the IBF lightweight champ. Have two brothers ever squared off for a world title before, and would their mother have to sanction the bout?
* The AXA World Ride scheduled for next year is certainly not for the faint of heart: It is a 12,000-mile cycling challenge for athletes with disabilities that will circle the globe and take eight months to complete. The riders will pass through Baltimore on their way from Washington to Boston late next March.
* "The Curse of Rocky Colavito" is a loving look at the 35-year "slump" of the Cleveland Indians authored by Terry Pluto, who once covered baseball for this newspaper. With the Tribe's great season interrupted by the strike, Pluto is thinking about a name change to "The Curse of Fehr and Ravitch."