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Scott Ostler

A Modest Proposal to Keep Errant Eric in Ready-to-Play Shape

August 28, 1985|Scott Ostler

News and views . . . News: During his salary holdout, Eric Dickerson is staying in shape by swimming.

Views: The last Ram to use swimming for his training program was Joe Namath. It was appropriate training for Joe, because he spent most of his Ram career in a prone position.

But will aquatics training help Dickerson? Only if the Rams need a broken-field swimmer. Eric would be better off taking up a sport that more closely correlates to what he does on the football field. I suggest bowling.

News: Vitas Gerulaitis and Bobby Riggs lose to Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Afterward, Gerulaitis says: "This had nothing to do with men against women."

Views: Of course it didn't. This was clearly a case of boys against women.

News: Lakers get Maurice Lucas, dump Bob McAdoo.

Views: And the NBA shudders. The Lakers have made the NBA final four of the last five seasons without a true power forward--a blacksmith type who can score, rebound, and physically dominate and intimidate the opposition.

Now the Lakers have one of those fellows, if Lucas can still play. All the Lakers did last season was kill opponents with poetry and speed. Next season, with Kurt Rambis, a healthy Mitch Kupchak, and Lucas, the Lakers' motto might be: No more Mr. Nice Guys.

News: Seven Dallas Cowboys are fined for busting up a dorm at training camp.

Views: Also, Tony Dorsett holds out for a new contract, and is clamped in a vise by the IRS; Too Tall Jones is arrested for investigation of drunk driving; the quarterback controversy rages; and the regular season is still two weeks away.

The Raiders will be glad when the Cowboys leave Thousand Oaks and return to Dallas. It's embarrassing. America's Team is out-Raidering the Raiders.

News: Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Tom Seaver chase major baseball milestones.

Views: Why aren't these guys in the Hall of Fame? Leo Durocher once suggested that players of their stature, obvious future Hall of Fame members, shouldn't have to wait until five years after they retire to be voted in.

How about a rule that anyone who has been in the majors 15 years is eligible to be elected to the Hall immediately? If a guy hits .330 over 18 seasons, or has 525 homers, or five no-hitters, he's probably not a flash in the pan.

Let any active player voted into the Hall wear a large gold star on his uniform sleeve as a badge of honor. Why wait until he's old and fat? Salute him right now for his fabulous career, while he's still playing.

News: The Ram front office's last contact with Eric Dickerson was late in June.

Views: If Dickerson is stubborn and greedy, he has no corner on the market. Is it asking too much for the Rams to phone Eric and at least entertain the idea of some kind of compromise?

The Ram brass should remind itself that:

--The most successful teams in sports in recent years--the 49ers, Raiders, Lakers--are characterized by a willingness to pay top talent the going rate, even if it means reworking contracts.

--And that the last budding football dynasty to bite the dust after taking an unrealistic hard line toward salary equity was the Rams, about five years ago.

News: The Raiders, in response to criticism that they charge regular season prices for practice games, point out that all the other clubs in the NFL do the same.

Views: And if all the other NFL teams jumped off a bridge . . .

A gouge is a gouge is a gouge. Too bad the maverick Raiders couldn't be the team to break away from this traditional ripoff of forcing season-ticket purchasers to buy tickets for the phony games, too.

Give the Raiders credit, though. In comparison to another local team, at least the Raiders feature a first-string running back in their practice games.

News: The Pacific 10 will hold a postseason basketball tournament starting in '87, joining the national trend.

Views: All these conferences that have adopted postseason hoop tournaments; are they the same conferences that oppose a national football playoff tournament because such a tournament would cut into the classroom time of their student-athletes? Can you say hypocrisy, boys and girls?

News: Larry Bird injures his back playing golf . . . after injuring a finger in a barroom scuffle . . . after breaking a finger a few years ago playing softball . . .

Views: In friendly games and activities, sometimes Bird is just too competitive and aggressive for his own good.

There is a rumor that Bird went bowling with Eric Dickerson. They flipped a coin to see who would roll first. Bird won the toss and elected to receive.

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