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Scott Ostler

A True Cornucopia of Great Gifts From the Bottomless Bag

December 24, 1985|SCOTT OSTLER

What will I give as Christmas gifts this year? If you promise not to tell, here's my list . . .

For the Angels: Either a gift-wrapped Donnie Moore, or a season's supply of rain-shortened, five-inning ballgames.

For Terry Donahue: An assortment of new job rumors, to keep his life exciting and his UCLA salary high.

For Donahue's Bruins: From Pep Boys, a set of back-up lights for the Bruins' Rose Bowl bandwagon.

For Pete (Perry Mason) Rozelle: A black eye-patch, to make it easier to wink at the NFL owners when they ask Pete how the heck he managed to blow the league's profits for the last decade on court battles against the West Coast Raiders.

For the sport of basketball: New 11-foot-high rims to replace the outdated 10-foot models. When 320-pound William (The Refrigerator) Perry and 5-6 Spud Webb can execute acrobatic dunks, the thrill is gone from the old slameroo and it's time to raise the iron.

For the Dodgers, Cardinals, Rams and all the other weepy teams that didn't get no respect from the media and fans: Shoulder chips.

For Pete Rose's kid, Don Shula's kid, Jack Kemp's kid, Ducky Schofield's kid: Chips off the old block.

For every jock who stiffed me for an interview, or yawned and inspected his fingernails during my most provocative questions: Buffalo chips.

For English soccer fans: Cages.

For Manute Bol: An embroidered sampler of the greatest one-liners about his height, like Darryl Dawkins' "If he falls down, he's halfway home." Also, a moratorium on word-plays on his name, like: "Manute was called for Bol tending," and "The experts said his chances of making it in the NBA were Manute."

For Tom Lasorda: None of those mean-spirited gifts others are suggesting, gifts to remind Lasorda of the horrible ending to an otherwise exciting season. Instead, I'll get him something sweet for dessert--some Cracker Jack and a box of Clark candy bars.

For all the football teams who play their games in sissy domed stadiums: Film clips of the Dec. 1 game, Tampa Bay at Green Bay, so they can see how real men play football.

For Hulk Hogan and Mary Lou Retton: A blind date, because I think the two brightest new personalities in the sports world should get to know one another. Why, you ask, would I set up Mary Lou Retton with Hulk Hogan? Because William Perry is already married.

For John Robinson: Sid Gillman.

For World B. Free: A nickname. Everybody in the NBA has a nickname but World.

For Howie Long: A nickname, the lack of which is all that's keeping him from being elevated from mere stardom to the ranks of the all-time defensive greats, like Big Daddy, Too Tall, Night Train and Deacon.

For the Kings: A ringer for their upcoming meeting with the Soviet Army team. I have arranged for Sly Stallone, the master Commie blaster, to skate for the Kings. Stallone, however, insists that the game be played shirts and skins.

For Mike Scioscia: A co-starring role as the villain in the next Stallone thriller, "Rambo Steals Home."

For Ted Tollner: A new ticket manager. Somebody at USC must be smart enough to keep track of the football players' comp tickets.

For Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: A name for his new shot, which is a higher-arcing version of the old sky hook, modified to loop over the long arms of Manute Bol.

For Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in case he doesn't like the first gift: A gold watch, in honor of him reaching the halfway point in his career.

For Reggie Jackson, and all other Angels over 35 years old: A scholarship to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar School of Physical Fitness. Known around the NBA as Kareem U.

For Gary Pettis and Dick Schofield: A set of matching .280 swings. One Reggie Jackson swing per team is plenty.

For the Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount basketball teams: An annual tournament with USC and UCLA, now that the little schools are achieving hoop parity. The Trojans and Bruins, who once feared embarrassment if they played the local little people, now have nothing to lose but their empty seats.

For Stan Morrison: A new job coaching an ice show, so he can finally have a team that gets priority scheduling in its home arena.

For Cheryl Miller: For the woman who has everything else--a dunk.

For Sonny (Miami Vice) Crockett: Marcus Allen's hand-me-down clothes and cars.

For Eric Dickerson: Marcus Allen's hand-me down moves.

For Ron Brown: What difference does it make what I give him? He'll just return it.

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