Clippers look bad in any language


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The Los Angeles Clippers have taken to having their games broadcast in Chinese, which would seem to be in keeping with the way the team has played so far, losing its 16th in a row last night against Charlotte.

* Interestingly, the last three NFL teams to pull stakes and flee -- the Raiders (1982), Colts (1984) and Cardinals (1988) -- have had their winning percentages drop markedly, the Colts taking a .533 mark in three decades in Baltimore to .374 during a 10-spot in Indy. Still, how can things get worse for the Buccaneers if they vacate Tampa? They have a 85-203 history, a win percentage of .295.

* Some shockingly awful performances in the prize fighting ring have been turned in over the years, and right up there among them is Larry Donald's effort against Riddick Bowe in an HBO presentation Saturday night. The unbeaten former Olympian froze completely, failing to win a round on the card of one of the judges while getting just one and two on the other two cards. Donald threw just 14 punches in Round 8 and averaged just 16 per over the 12 rounds. As analyst Larry Merchant put it, "You haven't seen any replays, because there has been nothing to show." To which blow-by-blow man Jim Lampley replied, "Honesty is our policy here."

* Monthly, it seems, the NFL sends out word that it's breaking this attendance record or that. But look at some of these recent no-show numbers: Seattle, 45,000 (three games); Minnesota, 16,000; Washington, 13,000; San Francisco, 8,500.

* You have to love Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell's attitude regarding the toughest-he-can-find early schedule, which includes St. John's, Oklahoma, Missouri and, last night, Kansas: "The payoff to me is we're getting another opportunity to play a top team and make something positive happen." The guarantee money ain't bad either.

* With one hellacious day in Hofstra's football finale against Delaware a couple of weeks ago, senior receiver Wayne Chrabet set records they're still uncovering. He had three touchdowns in a quarter and five in the 41-41 game with 14 receptions and 245 yards. He had 16 TD catches this season, 31 in his career with 150 receptions good for 2,300 yards. The thing he'll always remember, though, is the five TDs in a game: "It puts my name in the record book alongside Jerry Rice [Mississippi Valley]. I can't believe it."

* The ranked college football team that grabbed off the most defeats (3) in competition against AP Top 25 teams was mighty Michigan (7-4), which still ended up No. 20 in the final regular-season poll and will pick up $1.7 million by playing Colorado State in the Holiday Bowl. The Wolverines were No. 5 in the preseason.

* Brian and Michael Partlow are twin bothers who play quarterback and receiver for Handley (Va.) High School, which goes for a state AA title this weekend. They've been mostly amazing while leading their team to a 13-0 record this year. Handley has averaged 40 points per game, Brian tossing 38 TD passes with Mike latching onto 24 of them. In a semifinal win the other day, the boys combined for aerial strikes of 65, 12 and 60 yards. They both did 1100-plus on the SATs.

* Tomorrow is the anniversary of one of the great days in horse racing history. It was 37 years ago that the steed Silky Sullivan took up a position 27 lengths behind the leaders in a mile race and came on to win. The legend commenced.

* Besides whipping Patterson with a 90-yard touchdown in the semifinals, Topper Ellis had a big day as North County was winning the Maryland 4A title against Largo, 23-6. After rushing for 126 yards and three scores, Topper said, "I proved tonight that I do not fold under pressure." Had someone suggested this schoolboy did?

* St. Peter's, St. Francis (Pa.), Canisius, Siena and Iona captured the last five spots (220 to 225) in the NCAA Division I computer rankings. Do you note a trend here?

* Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, which becomes the second largest "city" in the state of Nebraska when the Cornhuskers are home, just passed the 200 mark in consecutive sellouts. The joint holds just under 75,000.

* From the records are made to be broken department: Big Sandy in Texas set the national high school record for points in 1975 by scoring 824 in 14 games. Bloomington High of California slipped by that over the weekend by running its total up to 832 (in just 13 games). That's an average of 64 per game and it has one more game to play.

* Most fans insist baseball players make too much money, but only one, Will Clark, shows up on the list of Forbes' 40 highest-paid athletes (endorsements included) in 37th place. Hoops, golf, auto racing and boxing dominate the top 10.

* You're dead wrong if you thought DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten's 1,038 hoop victories at the Hyattsville school was far and away the most in the land. Ralph Tasker of Hobbs, N.M., has 1,042 wins and Bill Krueger of Clear Lake, Texas, has 1,036.

* A conservative estimate is that Chris Webber is the 22nd player for the Washington Bullets to "discover" that visiting teams at the Capital Centre and USAir Arena often receive as much vocal support as the home team during the past 20 years.

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