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Scott Ostler

If These People Aren't Out of It, Then Nobody Is

September 23, 1986|SCOTT OSTLER

This drug testing business is getting out of hand. Mailmen? College cheerleaders? Vice presidents of the United States?

Too much, too much. However, I am compiling a list of sports figures who should be tested immediately and often, strictly for their own protection. People such as:

Eric Dickerson. All that's keeping Dickerson and the Rams out of the Super Bowl race is the lack of an adequate, ambulatory quarterback. Even Dickerson has lashed out at the team's poor passing attack. So the Rams go out and get a quarterback--young, tall and potentially great.

How does Dickerson react to this unexpected flash of front office sanity? Dickerson says: "I'm depressed."

Maybe someone should explain to Dickerson that the trade for young Jim Everett, and his imminent signing to a rich contract, signals the beginning of an era of fiscal reality and football intelligence in the Rams' front office.

It probably signals the end of that era, too, but a short era is better than no era at all. President Reagan. After the Raiders lost a heartbreak opener at Denver, the Prez told a Denver audience he had passed the Raiders' charter jet as it left town, and "It was the first time I'd ever seen an airplane cry."

Why would anyone want to cross Al Davis? I know, President Reagan is the most powerful man in the free world. But so was Pete Rozelle until he tangled with Al.

Hollywood. Pass the old drug-test beaker to whomever decides who will be honored with a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.

Rick Dees, a disc jockey, got a star last year. Chick Hearn gets one this week. Rick Dees before Chick Hearn? This is like giving Pee-wee Herman a star before Clark Gable.

Maybe they do it alphabetically.

Bert Blyleven. Bert hasn't exhibited any unusual behavior, but he is in pursuit of one of baseball's greatest records, and all record setters should be drug tested, to erase any shadow of doubt.

Blyleven has given up 45 home runs this season, a new American League record. With three more scheduled starts, Bye-Bye Bert is a shoo-in to shred the gopher ball record of 46, delivered by Robin Roberts in 1956. Al Davis. I know Davis to be a fitness fanatic who would not touch drugs. Still, any time Al Davis is out-footballed by Georgia Frontiere, or whoever is running the Rams, it's time for an investigation.

The Rams start the season with no real quarterback, having traded their best man to the San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders start the season with no real quarterback. So which team picks up a genuine quarterback first?

The Rams !

I'll scratch Al off my must-test list if he bounces back by signing either of the Rams' two garage-sale rejects--Doug Flutie or Henry Ellard.

Anyone who buys either video: "The Dodgers Way to Play Baseball," or the Raiders' "Silver and Black Attack."

Buddy Ryan. Have you ever listened to this man talk? No? Well, neither has he.

Buddy runs off at the mouth like Eric Dickerson runs off tackle, and just as subtly. If you talk like Ryan and win games, you are a folksy, quotable, eccentric genius. If you talk like Ryan and lose games, you're one step away from nurse Ratchett and the Cuckoo's Nest.

All Rose Bowl ticket lottery entrants.

The only way to buy Rose Bowl tickets is to mail a postcard and pray that it is one of the lucky 1,170 drawn. If it is, you're entitled to buy two tickets for $36 each, way behind the goal posts. You then get to fight incredible traffic, park in the mud, sit on splintery benches with other badly hung-over fans, to watch one team from two states away predictably and soundly destroy another team from two time zones away, in a game that is televised.

Billy Martin. The feisty Yankee broadcaster was quoted as saying he would fire all the current Yankee coaches. "All gone if I'm the manager."

The same week, Billy is sued by his estranged wife, who claims Billy is trying to put her out in the street, along with her mother, grandmother and son.

Really, though, this stuff has nothing to do with illegal drugs. It's all simply a bad dream. Somebody please wake Billy.

An unknown muttonhead in the shipping department of an Arkansas printing firm. This employee was supposed to mail 64,000 World Series tickets to the New York Mets. Instead, the tickets were accidentally shipped to the theater department at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.

The ducats, with a street value of $2,560,000, were returned to the ticket company and no harm was done. But the mistake could have become a terribly cruel and insensitive error. Imagine if the tickets had accidentally been shipped to the Dodgers.

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