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Scott Ostler

This Guy Could Go a Long Way to Help Dickerson Go On

September 11, 1986|SCOTT OSTLER

If Eric Dickerson maintains his current pace, he'll rush for 3,088 yards during the regular season. That would be roughly equivalent to hitting 90 home runs in a baseball season. A nice feat.

Should Eric slack off to a mere 2,500-yard pace, however, the Rams will be in real trouble. The team's passing attack--and I use that term loosely--needs help. And Henry Ellard sits home in Fresno.

Ellard, according to the Rams' media guide, is "a gazelle-style player, who combines speed, grace and cat-quick moves." But the Rams want to pay Henry mule wages. He's asking $400,000, they're offering $300,000.

Football salaries are generally based on the player's value to his team. Here's what some other NFL receivers are making this season: James Lofton $835,000, Steve Largent $700,000, Steve Watson $600,000, Dwight Clark $600,000, Roy Green $525,000, Cris Collinsworth $500,000, Kevin House $400,000. . . .

The Rams' salary negotiator is Vice President John (Pic 'N' Save) Shaw. He is the toughest in the league. Shaw brought in Eric Dickerson for a bargain price and gave the team's No. 1 draft pick the smallest contract of all the NFL's first-rounders.

And now Shaw has Ellard in a chokehold. If the Rams don't make it to the Super Bowl, they should send Shaw anyway. He's had a great season.

Free advice to the L.A. Clippers: Sign Michael Cooper to an offer sheet.

If you get Cooper, you steal away the hearts of thousands of Laker fans. Next to Magic, Cooper is the most popular Laker, on the court and in the community.

If the Lakers match your offer and keep Coop, you cagey Clippers have forced Jerry Buss to spend more money than he would have had to had you not butted in.

What say? You can't afford a big salary for Cooper? No problem. Just jack up your Sports Arena parking prices.

The NFL has some kinks to work out in its instant replay system. Sunday, a Cleveland player scooped up a loose ball as he was sliding out of the end zone. Touchdown? The officials on the field made no call at all, leaving it up to the replay judge in the press box. So basically what you had was 65,000 fans turning to the press box to see if the man upstairs would raise his hands to signal touchdown.

This is a dangerous system. What if the ref in the booth rules no touchdown, but someone in the same booth happens to be yawning and stretching?

The NFL had better bring in some USFL people and find out how this is done.

Back when the economy-minded Fred Schaus was general manager of the Lakers, the team had a complimentary ticket policy that the NCAA would love. Schaus informed the players that free passes were available only to close family.

"How about my sister?" asked one Laker.

Said Schaus: "Not close enough."

Add Rams' media guide, on Henry Ellard: "As a wide receiver and punt returner he's among the most dangerous players in the NFL."

And even more dangerous when in uniform.

What a disappointment! Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth apologizing to the UCLA Bruins for his postgame remarks, his references to the Bruins as a girls' football team and "a legitimate doormat," really cute and lively stuff.

Now, the Boz says he's sorry. He also says the sportswriters shafted him by failing to quote his "just kidding" disclaimers. Hey, he didn't mean to offend anyone.

Can this repentant young man be the same Brian Bosworth who told Sports Illustrated, "I like to spit a loogie in a guy's face after I tackle him"?

It's sad. Suddenly, the Boz has turned into a groveling, sniveling wimp.

No offense, Brian.

Maybe we need a new word here. Dan Marino signed a contract for a fully guaranteed $9 million over six years. In addition, he has incentive clauses that could net him another $100,000 a year.

Remember the old days when a $1.5-million annual salary and a chance to pick up another $50,000 or so and a 10-pound diamond ring in the Super Bowl were all the incentive a guy needed?

Chicago Bears Otis Wilson and Mark Bortz are among the 51 players fined for fighting in a Bear-Cardinal exhibition game.

Said Wilson: "If I knew I'd get fined, I'd have hit somebody."

Said Bortz: "Next time I'll try to hurt the guy I'm fighting more."

Spoken like true champions.

What could be more ridiculous?

Try this: LSU basketball Coach Dale Brown is complaining that the arrest of U.S. reporter Nicholas Daniloff in the Soviet Union hasn't helped Brown's efforts to recruit Soviet hoop star Arvidas Sabonis.

Boz, would you kindly step up to present this week's Golden Loogie Award?

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