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Goose, Mallard Share a Feathery Delicacy: McNuggets a la Crow

September 20, 1986|Dave Distel

What we now have to offer is a real delicacy. Let's call it Crow McNuggets. Sound good?

Never fear. You and I won't have to eat it.

The question: "Who will? Or is?"

What we have is the end of an ornithologist's delight. A Tale of Two Beaks: Goose Gossage and Mallard Smith.

Which one of these birds has feathers on his face? Which one is choking on Crow McNuggets?

Who won?

As we recall, Goose was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season on Aug. 29, his crime being that he had honked irreverently about his superiors. Mallard, one of those superiors, announced this punishment.

Goose's Gaggle protested this treatment, and that protest was to have gone before an arbitrator Friday. Alas, it was settled oh-so-amicably Thursday.

Goose would pay $25,000 to the Ronald McDonald House, a splendid charity, and return to his roost in the Padres' bullpen. He also issued apologies to everyone from Padre owner Joan Kroc down to the fuzzy-cheeked kid who slings quarter-pounders across the counter at your neighborhood Golden Arches.

So Mallard must have won? Goose must be eating Crow McNuggets?

Not exactly. Mallard had suspended this man, who makes just a bit less than $7,000 a day, for a little more than five weeks. As a result of the settlement, Goose had a three-week vacation and ended up donating less than four days' pay to a tax-deductible charity.

I would suggest that Goose and Mallard sit down together, since all is so nice now, and swallow their McNuggets together. This foolishness ended as it should have, with both sides a bit red-faced.

However, there is a winner. His name is Lance McCullers, known hereabouts as Baby Goose, and he is now the ace of the Padre bullpen.

On Fond Wishes: Denny Stolz, San Diego State's football coach, was lamenting a dilemma that has plagued the Aztecs as they prepared for tonight's game against UCLA at the stadium.

The Bruins, it seems, have played only one football game this season, that being two weeks ago at Oklahoma. This game gave Stolz and his SDSU cronies no clues as to how UCLA might defend against the Aztecs' passing attack, the reason being that Oklahoma runs the wishbone and throws a pass with each appearance of Halley's comet.

"We really couldn't learn anything from that game," Stolz grumbled. "I really wish they would have opened with someone else."

The score being 38-3, Oklahoma, Stolz's wishes are undoubtedly seconded in Westwood.

Cups Runneth Over: By this time next year, with a little luck Down Under for Dennis Conner, the America's Cup for international yachting supremacy could be making its home in San Diego.

This would be a marvelous coincidence because the Gold Cup, emblematic of unlimited hydroplane supremacy, will be contested in Mission Bay next September.

San Diego would suddenly seem to have it all, including an unrelated event called the Super Bowl only a few months later.

Next year's Gold Cup will be of more interest than most, because Chip Hanauer will be trying to win it for a record sixth consecutive year. He now shares the record of five straight with Gar Wood, who might be called the Babe Ruth of the sport.

Hanauer tied Wood's record earlier this year in Detroit, which happened to be what Wood considered to be his home course.

"Two of my wins were in Detroit," Hanauer said. "The first and the fifth, and I consider those to be my most significant wins. Detroit to boat racing is what Yankee Stadium is to baseball players."

Hanauer is racing here this weekend, trying to hold off nemesis Jim Kropfeld in the race for the national championship. This is an event for folks who want to be able to say they saw a pennant race in 1986.

Man the Lifeboats: The mice sure abandoned ship quickly on the Chargers.

Just last week, Chargermania was back. The local heroes had dismantled Miami, 50-28, and surely would do the same to the New York Giants. The offense was perceived as unstoppable and it seemed the defense was finally all it had to be, which is to say average.

And then came that awful awakening--a 20-7 loss to the Giants, the defense playing gallantly and the offense self-destructing as only so high-powered an offense can self-destruct.

Alas, The Meltdown in the Meadowlands certainly tempered the excitement hereabouts. Two thousand tickets to Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins remained at 1 p.m. Thursday, so what we have once again is a local television blackout.

Tune in at 1 p.m. Sunday and get . . . roll the drums . . . Houston vs. Kansas City. That will cure insomnia, especially when it is considered that it follows the Rams vs. Indianapolis.

Muddy Waters: Mike Waters, a running back from San Diego State, must have failed to take a course in logic and common sense.

Now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, he had some less than enlightened observations before last week's game with the Chicago Bears. He called the Bears "pansies," and said linebacker Mike Singletary was a "big baby," and uttered a promise about personally kicking some Chicago hindquarters.

Not smart.

Buddy Ryan, his coach, was flabbergasted. This is not easy to imagine, because Ryan is not the most judicious of orators.

Ryan told Sports Illustrated: "I told him, 'What the hell are you doing? You take on Singletary, you're gonna be picking Riddell helmets out of your ribs.' "

Buddy was kind, but then he couldn't call Waters a "wasted draft pick" . . . a la William Perry . . . because Waters made the team as a free agent.

Obviously, this free agent was a believer in free speech. Anyone for Crow McNuggets?

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