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Scott Ostler

How About Giving Heisman Trophy to the Hobbyist?

December 03, 1987|Scott Ostler

Dear Answer Man . . .

Who, in your expert and revered opinion, should win the Heisman Trophy this year?

That depends on how nit-picky the Heisman committee wants to be. Is an NFL player eligible to win the Heisman, as long as he's only playing the game as a hobby?

For a so-called answer man, you seem to have an irritating habit of answering questions with questions. Why is that?

Why don't you go bother Ann Landers?

The Angels picking up Chili Davis as a free agent--is that a sign the club is making a strong drive to improve itself?

The Angels definitely are searching for a winning recipe. My sources say they're trying to land former Angel third baseman Carney Lansford. Gene Mauch believes that the Angels would spice up their attack with a lineup featuring Davis and Lansford. Or, as our Spanish-speaking amigos would say, Chili con Carney.

Should Gordy Lockbaum be given strong consideration for the Heisman, even though he played small-school football?

Should Larry Holmes be crowned heavyweight champion of the world if he knocks out Macho Camacho? Should the winner of the Greater Poughkeepsie Open be golfer of the year? Lockbaum is a real nice kid, but the Heisman is for he-man football.

Eavesdropping on a sports conversation the other day, I heard someone talking about "Ickey Woods." What the heck is that?

It's either the name of the record-breaking running back for UNLV, or the excuse given by Arnold Palmer after being skunked in the Skins Game.

I was saddened to hear of the two Nebraska football players who bought VCRs for $60 each from some guy in an alley. When the fleeced Cornhuskers got home , they discovered that the boxes contained bricks. Can anything be done to help these lads?

Not unless you know how to wire a brick so it can play videos and pick up the Disney Channel. Hey, it's the old story: caveat emptor, which means, "If you're too eager to watch Dick Cavett, you might come up empty."

However, as disappointed as these two gullible gridders were, I think you can take some consolation in imagining the joyous surprise of two people somewhere in Nebraska who bought packages of bricks and found VCRs inside.

Have you come out yet with your college basketball all-name team, Answer Man?

You must be a new reader, friend. The Answer Man deals in matters of social and moral import, rather than frivolity, such as making fun of people's names.

I do, however, have an all-aggressive defense team, to wit: Chris Blocker of UTEP, Tom Savage of Rutgers, Andrew Fowler of Texas, Melvin Cheatum of Alabama, and Demetreus Gore of Pitt.

Really, all the great, colorful names such as Fennis Dembo have already been snapped up by quicker-witted columnists for their all-name teams. All I can offer is my best-of-what's-left all-name team.

Here it is: Mike Jones of Auburn, Robert Johnson of Iowa State, John White of Southern Mississippi, Mike Smith of BYU and Phil Henderson of Duke. Honorable mention: Jeff Harris of Illinois State.

The war is on, and network television will never be the same. I'm referring to Burgergate, the incident in which CBS sports announcer Brent Musburger, on a Sunday morning sports report, gave the results of the Skins Game, played that morning but taped for later viewing on rival NBC. NBC saw this as pure ratings sabotage. Will NBC retaliate?

Will Santa pick up frequent-flier miles Christmas Eve? My sources inform me that NBC, as a viewer service, will institute election-type projections of sports events featured on CBS. NBC announcers will break into programming with regular updates, something like:

"Early figures are coming in on that big Giant-Redskin game on CBS. Five minutes into the first quarter, the Redskins lead, 3-0. Our NBC computers are projecting a cinch, and frankly rather boring, Redskin win in that one, so don't even waste your time."

Despite the bad blood between the networks, however, an NBC spokesman assures me that it was not petty retaliation, but basic news judgment, that caused NBC to break into its programming this morning with a bulletin that Brent Musburger's wife is throwing him a surprise birthday party.

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