Terp coach is in need of a new script writer

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Maryland coach Mark Duffner should moonlight delivering inspirational messages on small radio stations throughout the South. His remarks during the weekly ACC coaches teleconference are so uplifting. For instance, he was "very happy and pleased" the Terps beat West Virginia and he views the game and the first half of the Florida State game "as a shot in the arm" as the team prepares for Wake Forest this week. But the Terps are not overconfident: "We realize we have to build on the effort last week and have to get some things squared away and continue to improve."



* If you knew that 641,827 deer have been brought down by hunters since they started keeping records in 1931, you obviously latched onto one of the early copies of "The Maryland Deer Hunting Guide" authored by the old Water & Woods man, Bill Burton. It hits sporting goods stores and newsstands this weekend.


* Eight years prior to Sports Illustrated's touted 40th anniversary issue picking the 40 athletes who had the greatest impact on sports, Sport magazine had the original idea and it's amazing how similar the lists are. The 1986 list seems a little better with the likes of Casey Stengel, Avery Brundage, Curt Flood, Vince Lombardi, Red Auerbach, Chris Evert and Jim Norris on it, but SI is solid, too, if only because of Secretariat, its Athlete of the Year in 1973.

* Randy Gatewood's grabbing 23 passes for 363 yards as his team, Nevada-Las Vegas, was losing to Idaho the other day recalls a statement once made by Leon Hart of Notre Dame, the last lineman to win the Heisman Trophy (1949). Hart made 19 catches that season and years later, when the Terry Hanratty-to-Jim Seymour (Fling & Cling) battery showed up in South Bend, after their first game, Leon said, "I expected my records to be broken, but not in one game." Seymour made 16 catches in his debut.

* This contribution to the New Bay Times by poet laureate Nini Seymour pretty well sums up a lot of people's thinking about the baseball strike: "Take me out to the ballgame, take me out of the fray; You pay me peanuts, I want some jack! 25 million or I'll never come back! So just take me out of the lineup, if we don't win you're to blame, so it's 8-9-10 and we're out of the old ballgame."

* Sometimes you have to wonder who's in charge of the scheduling for the "Biography" show on the Arts & Entertainment Network. Included on this week's lineup are, get this, Michelangelo, Joan of Arc and, better hold onto your hat, Mike Tyson.

* This week marks the anniversary of the return of jockey Eddie Arcaro to the irons after he was suspended for a year for an attempt to injure a fellow rider in 1943. I'll get back to you on what old "Banana Nose" tried to do back then.

* According to the May report of the Consumer Products Safety Commission, no fewer than 1,455 people visited hospital emergency rooms in 1992 as a result of injuries suffered while playing ping-pong. And some want to outlaw boxing?

* Chris Fox of Hagerstown grabbed seventh position in the national championship 10,000-meter run in Tennessee over the weekend with a time of 29:11. Arturo Barrios prevailed in 28:43.

* Every golfer in the top 10 going for the Vardon Trophy, which goes to the PGA Tour player with the lowest per-round average during the season, is under 70 with Greg Norman (68.42) and Fred Couples (68.94) leading the way. And Nick Price (69.17) is the guy who has won all the tournaments (six), including two "majors." The game obviously is too easy.


* It took the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas about 15 minutes to come up with the odds for major-league baseball in 1995 despite not having the vaguest idea where the game is headed from its present uncharted position. The Orioles are second choice for the AL East, fourth choice for an AL pennant and 15-1 to make it to the Fall Classic, so act according, Pete.

* Enthusiasm is never tough to come by when the subject is either boxing or the fights on television and Ferdie Pacheco approaches the lectern. The "Fight Doctor" is the greatest advance man the sport has ever seen, and he's not bad doing a retrospective either.

For instance, if you would even consider not watching a replay of last Saturday night's championship extravaganza in Las Vegas on Showtime tonight (9:30-11 p.m.), Ferdie suggests that your right to make decisions definitely should be suspended.