In a guest column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, former sportswriter Myron Cope, now a radio-TV personality in Pittsburgh, recalled with fondness his memories of going to camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Just last year, in the company of eight or nine camp types, I descended into a rathskeller in the nearby village of Youngstown, Pa.," Cope wrote. "Pounding music and shoulder-to-shoulder bodies told me the evening would be eventful. We claimed a large table and put a couple of pitchers upon it. A beery man in his mid-30s . . . approached.
" 'You're Myron Cope, aren't you?'
" 'Yeah, I'm guilty.'
" 'I got your autograph 17 years ago.'
" 'Exactly 17 years ago?'
" 'Yeah. If you'da died, it might be worth something.'
"Well, anything is possible, so I said, 'I apologize for having disappointed you.'
"The man reflected a moment and then said, 'Damn you.' "
Trivia time: What school has produced more 1,000-yard rushers than any other?
Good news, bad news: Said Manager Jim Leyland of the Pittsburgh Pirates, describing his mixed emotions over the loss of valued third base coach Gene Lamont, who was hired as manager of the Chicago White Sox: "I'm thrilled and sad. It's like watching your mother-in-law drive over the cliff in your new Cadillac."
Ten years ago: On Dec. 2, 1981, Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers was named rookie of the year in the National League.
Earlier, he won another award.
"It's a great honor to win this award just as it was a great honor to win . . . what's his name?" Valenzuela asked, turning to his interpreter, Jaime Jarrin.
"The Cy Young Award," Jarrin said, finishing the sentence.
Doping station: At the Southeast Asian Games in Manila last week, Vietnamese volleyball Coach Dao Huu Uyen was hospitalized after an unexpected encounter with the Philippine underworld.
Picked up by three men in a car outside Rizal Memorial Stadium, the main games venue, he was robbed and knocked over the head by suspected members of the "Ativan Gang," confidence men who befriend foreigners and knock them senseless with powerful sedatives.
When he regained consciousness, he found himself poorer by $1,900, a wristwatch and a gold ring.
Counting his chickens: Among those who expect Desmond Howard of Michigan to win the Heisman Trophy, apparently, is none other than Howard himself.
Upon being awarded the Walter Camp Trophy as college football's player of the year last week, Howard said: "I'm glad my family was here to see this because this is the most prestigious award I've won--thus far."
The Heisman winner will be announced Dec. 14.
Trivia answer: North Carolina. Sophomore Natrone Means became the Tar Heels' 20th this season, breaking a tie with USC, which has had 19.
Quotebook: Coach Bob Weiss of the Atlanta Hawks, on rookie forward Stacey Augmon from Nevada Las Vegas: "Stacey was a bit disturbed by the salary cap when he came here. We had to explain it to him. They don't have that at UNLV."