Sports in the Valley brought some wonderful surprises in 1986. And some not-so-wonderful surprises. Some athletes rose to the pinnacle. Others tumbled. Some coaches emerged as brilliant strategists and motivators. Others said things they wish they could reel back in. Now that the year has raced by, it's time to take a not-so-serious look at the way they were. JANUARY
Dude, Like Gag Me With a Tank
Steve Armstrong of Agoura quits the U.S. Military Academy because he was cut from the football team and doesn't like the regimentation. "It just wasn't for me," he said. Steve said he planned to transfer to UC Santa Barbara because, "It's close and it's on the beach. I'm kind of laid back."
The Dean May Want to Hear It
ABC announcer Keith Jackson, of Sherman Oaks: "When you turn the TV to a college game, I bet you don't want to hear that the running back is getting $38 more a month than the right tackle, or that he's shacking up with the dean of the English department's daughter."
The Cats Die 67.3% of the Time
Bud Goode of North Hollywood, who provides detailed computer statistical analysis for six NFL teams: "Mistakes kill a team. I hate mistakes. When two of my teams are playing each other and one team makes a mistake, I throw my cat at the TV."
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday January 7, 1987 Valley Edition Sports Part 3 Page 14 Column 5 Zones Desk 2 inches; 52 words Type of Material: Correction
In the Year in Review article that ran in the Jan. 1 edition of The Times, Kennedy High School girls basketball Coach Craig Raub was quoted as telling a reporter, "If you want to talk to one of my players, talk to me. You don't talk to a 16-year-old girl."
Raub's statement was not directed at a reporter. He was recalling what he told a parent who had shouted at one of his players.
Maybe a Squirrel Bit Through
the Phone Line, or Maybe . . .
Heavyweight boxer Dee Collier, complaining about his lack of recognition even after knocking down Randy (Tex) Cobb five times at The Country Club in Reseda for a first-round knockout: "I thought I would hear from more people by now. I thought I would hear from some big promoters like Don King. I hope there will be more calls by the end of the month. I guess maybe it's because of the holiday season."
But Spiritual Nonetheless
Steve Seagal, a martial arts expert from Hollywood: "The martial arts have to be an endeavor in which you're trying to develop the physical man and perfect the spiritual self at the same time."
On his devotion to the sport: "I'm a stubborn, maniacal idiot."
The $40,000 Secret
A 10-month dispute between CSUN and fired track and field Coach Bill Webb ends in a $40,000 settlement for Webb. CSUN officials again refuse to give any reason for Webb's firing.
Make Him Play Hockey
Valley College basketball Coach Virgil Watson, on Mario Lopez, who fouled out of 11 of the team's first 17 games: "What am I going to do, put him on the bench? He's going to end up there anyway. It's like making a guy on the track team run a lap. He runs anyway, so what would that do?"
Our Father, Who Art
Above the Rim . . .
Randy Stem, basketball coach at The Master's College, a Christian school: "Right now I'm looking for a 6-9 athlete who believes in God and can handle the ball."
Now Cover Your Right Eye
and Read the Fourth Line
"How do you spell the coach's name?" a reporter asked after Santa Clara High had beaten Calabasas in a basketball game. Two people in the Santa Clara coach's office replied quickly, "C-v-i-j-a-n-o-v-i-c-h . . . If you can't spell the coach's name around here, it's a sin."
Oh Gosh, Who Could It Be ?
A few days before CSUN introduced its new football coach, the school said it had narrowed the choice to three finalists but absolutely, positively would not release any more information.
Two of the finalists said CSUN had told them the job had been offered to somebody else. At Cal State Fullerton, where the third finalist--Bob Burt--was an assistant coach, the athletic director said: "We're disappointed to see him leave, but we wish him well. He will do a great job at Northridge. It's a great opportunity for him."
CSUN kept the secret for another day or two before announcing that Burt was its new coach.
Like Playing the 2nd Half With
Their Sneakers Tied Together
Agoura High girls basketball Coach Kathy Pudelko, angered after her team's 113-6 loss to Santa Clara: "We've played some good teams that could have done the same thing, but not one of them chose to do so. Instead, they decided to work on some other things."
Moe, Larry and Curly
Were Not Available
Tom Keele had a 31-42-1 record in seven years at CSUN, producing only two winning football teams in seven years. He was fired in part because he held an illegal tryout for kickers and the NCAA was investigating. After he was hired as an assistant at Weber State, that school's athletic director had this to say: "We're happy to pick up a guy with experience like that."
Now That's a Switch
CSUN basketball Coach Pete Cassidy, after a loss to Chapman College: "We turned off our brains and turned on the stupidity."
Or Maybe a Motor Scooter
Jim Biby, co-owner of the Ventura County Gulls: "During the summer we'll attract a lot of kids. We're trying to work out a bus schedule for them . . . bring them in on buses."
The Gulls averaged 540 fans per game.
Oohh Say Can You . . . Duck ?