Al Davis plays familiar moving tune

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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The Los Angeles Raiders say they have discussed a move to Baltimore, Oakland is a couple of days away from offering the team its 13th straight annual deal, the NFL is reportedly set to build a football-only stadium at Hollywood Park (Inglewood) and Al Davis has Anaheim Stadium and even Dodger Stadium to threaten the L.A. Coliseum Commission with. It's all designed to give the fans a "first-class, state-of-the-art facility," of course. Not to mention all the proceeds from about 150 luxury boxes Davis can bank. No, this is not a recording.

* Over the last 27 seasons (1968-1994), there have been 253 series conducted during the Stanley Cup playoffs and a whopping 25 percent (62) have gone to seven games, a la Washington and Pittsburgh tonight. The physical aspects of hockey make for almost matchless tension in showdowns.

* As part of the National Fishing Week celebration June 5-11, Maryland is allowing the public to fish without a license on June 3, June 10 and July 4. The American Sportfishing Association says the industry has a $69.4 billion impact on the nation's economy annually. That's billion, right.

* There's a very simple reason why Mike Tyson has been elevated to the No. 1 contender's spot by the World Boxing Council: He's unbeaten over the last three years plus. None of the other top five -- Lennox Lewis, Lionel Butler, Tony Tucker and Joe Hipp -- can make such a claim, so cut this wrangling.

* A Pepperdine tennis player, Natasha Pospich, has beaten three top-30 collegiate players in NCAA tennis this season serving underhanded. Remember Michael Chang in the French Open years ago? A shoulder injury necessitated the move and Natasha may keep it in her arsenal once the shoulder heals. Pepperdine is hosting the NCAA women's championships, which wrap up Sunday, same day as the men's tourney being conducted at the U. of Georgia.

Tennis add: Kalamazoo College has won 57 straight Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association team championships. And you thought Kentucky and Adolph Rupp dominated SEC hoops in the '40s and '50s.

* All it will cost a track and field nut if he's lucky enough to win the Olympic ticket lottery for seven sessions at next year's Atlanta Games is $1,200 (for the best seat). The finish of the marathon the last day is not included but is free if one has a ticket for the closing ceremony (add about $300).

* Shaquille O'Neal just signed a two-movie deal. Your move, Michael Jordan. Want to direct?

* Off what he showed during the NCAA basketball sub-regional here in March, Antonio McDyess, jumping-jack sophomore from Alabama who declared for the NBA draft next month, might just match any of his more-publicized breathren when it comes down to playing pro ball.

* College and pro football coach Tommy Prothro, who died the other day of cancer at age 74, had the pleasure of sending his Los Angeles Rams against the New England Patriots in the first game (exhibition) played in Foxboro, Mass. He was conducting a post-game conference in a locker room when sportswriters recognized the sound of rushing water and hopped up on benches. Hit by a knee-deep wave, Prothro deadpanned, "I think they've got a few problems to iron out here before their league opener."

* Dennis Conner's being a no-show after losing the first four matches against New Zealand in the America's Cup competition was as bad as Team USA hockey coach Dave Peterson's getting lost after every setback during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He later alibied that he had to go to dinner with his players after the games. Standup guys, yes indeed.

* Casually mention during the next lull in the conversation that Seungkoo Lee and Hiroshi Kawashima are meeting for the WBC super flyweight championship in Yokohama next Wednesday and listeners will think you're really up on boxing.

* That's a pretty weak excuse former University of Miami football coach Dennis Erickson uttered while denying he covered up drug test results of his Hurricanes players: "Why would I cover up anything? How could it benefit me?" Uh, victories, Dennis, aren't they a fairly important commodity in your line of work?

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