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Scott Ostler

Dear Crabby Sits In to Explain Fights, SMU, Other Follies

March 12, 1987|SCOTT OSTLER

Today, a special guest appearance from Dear Abby's less tolerant sister . . .

Dear Crabby: What was your opinion of the Bonecrusher Smith vs. Mike Tyson fight the other night?

Fight? Gee, I tuned in late and thought it was taped highlights of Tommy Lasorda greeting Dodger home run hitters. After viewing the X-rays of Smith's ribs, the WBC (World Bonecrushing Council) is officially changing his nickname to Bonecrushee. I saw Smith driving around town yesterday. His car has a bumper sticker that says, "Have you hugged your opponent today?" But don't get me started.

Dear Crabby: After UCLA had won the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament Sunday, Reggie Miller said, "I still don't get no credit." What did he mean? He means that even after four years of study at one of the nation's finest universities, Reggie still don't get no credit for freshman English. It don't seem fair to me, or to Sparky Anderson, either, but what do we know?

Reggie couldn't have been talking about getting credit for his play on the court. He was named MVP of the tournament. What does he want, a bronze statue of him, titled "In Your Face, Baby!" in the Pauley Pavilion courtyard? But I'm supposed to be answering the questions here, not asking them, aren't I?

Dear Crabby: Are you thrilled that the Raiders got themselves a superstar wide receiver, Swervin ' Mervyn Fernandez, the 6-3, 205-pound flash from the Canadian League?

That depends. Will Swervin' be bringing his own quarterback? I know this: Thanks to the Raiders' construction work on Coliseum seats, whoever quarterbacks the team this year will get frequent standing ovations from at least 1,700 fans. By the way, is Swervin' Mervyn any relation to the former Dodger pitcher, Sulkin' Sid?

Dear Crabby: Looking at the NCAA basketball tournament pairings, I see three teams with .500 records. Do you think teams should be allowed in the tournament with .500 records?

Not without a leash. I would blame the selection committee, except there isn't one. Why, I remember when this tournament had integrity, but I'm real old. The way the teams are picked now is, the NCAA brings in the former doorman from "Studio 54," all the teams line up outside an arena, and the guy lets in the teams that have funny shoes, are personal friends of Mick Jagger, or have a coach whose sport coat sleeves fasten together behind his back. That's show biz.

Dear Crabby: How do you explain the fisherman who recently got his arm severely gashed when a big wahoo fish leaped out of the water and bit him? Just a freak occurrence?

I've been warning these fishermen for years, and now maybe they'll listen. Like yours truly, the fish are mad as hell and they're not going to take it any longer. If fishermen have any sense at all, and they don't, they'll all adopt the diet of former football player Joe Don Looney, who says he doesn't eat anything with a face. And that includes gingerbread men.

Dear Crabby: In his ring comeback earlier this week, ending 10 years of retirement, did George Foreman look like a fighter to you?

He looked like a jelly doughnut with legs. It's appropriate that this was referred to as a tune-up fight, because Foreman has the silhouette of a grand piano. Maybe I'm a too traditional, but it offends me when a fighter gets into the ring with the aid of a forklift. After the first round, Foreman's manager asked him what happened to his mouthpiece and George said, "That thing? I ate it." If Bonecrushee Smith fights Foreman, it will look like a man attacking a giant tube of toothpaste.

Dear Crabby: What do you think of the Collegiate Commissioners Assn. letting Sean Higgins out of his UCLA letter of intent?

A serious setback for the policy of "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

Dear Crabby: What's new down at SMU?

The school administration voted today to keep the letters SMU, but to change what they stand for to Systematic Misuse of a University. Fortunately, the guy who presided over the whole mess, Bill Clements, former president of the school's board of governors, has been kicked upstairs to a job where he can't do any harm. He's governor of Texas. When Dollar Bill was president of the SMU board, he told the NCAA that the school was ending payments to players, even though it wasn't doing any such thing. The other day, when asked if he had told the NCAA everything, Dollar Bill said, "This wasn't like an inaugural day. There wasn't a Bible present."

If there had been, Dollar Bill would have been the first board president to be barbecued by lightning while still in office. The Texas Legislature--which, incidentally, is expected to field a mighty good football team next season--is considering a vote to require Clements to carry a Bible at all times. In the meantime, if you run into him and he says "Nice day," grab an umbrella.

But as the leaf blower said to Larry Bird, "Don't get me started."

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