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MIKE PENNER

Rams Owe Fans a Favre or Two

March 06, 1994|MIKE PENNER

U nconventional wisdom of the day . . .

Brett Favre: What was that? A five-year, $20-million offer from the hold-the-dice, play-it-safe, bring-in-old-man-Moon Rams? Isn't that a kick in the stomach? Of course, it's a "conditional" offer, to quote John Shaw. Of course. Favre is a conditional quarterback, able to take you anywhere and everywhere in the course of four quarters--from hair-raising touchdown bombs to hair-pulling interceptions. Sounds a little too close to you-know-who, but also consider that Favre is only 24, has played only three seasons, has gone from Atlanta's bench to the Pro Bowl to the NFC semifinals in those three seasons and has yet to blow out a knee, ankle, elbow or shoulder. If it was my team, I'd give Favre a shot, too, under one condition: He brings Sterling Sharpe with him.

Chris Miller: He passes footballs. He passes physicals. The Rams are so excited they're prepared to give him a jersey with a red S on the chest. Memo to Rams: NFL season is 16 games long, not eight. If you bring in Miller, you better bring in Heath Shuler or Trent Dilfer, too. Someone has to play after Halloween.

Warren Moon: Can you say Joe Namath, Bert Jones, Dan Pastorini and Steve Bartkowski?

Chris Chandler, Bubby Brister, David Krieg: Three more quarterback candidates the Rams are looking at. The question is: Why? Chandler backs up the quarterback the Rams should have signed last year, Steve Beuerlein. Brister has a pending offer from New Orleans, where he stands to back up a veteran backup, Wade Wilson. Krieg, an old Chuck Knox favorite, holds the NFL record for most career fumbles. He would have been something in the same backfield with Cleveland Gary.

Jimmie Jones: Defensive tackle, played in back-to-back Super Bowls, could have been headed back for another, opts for big free-agent dollars instead, jumps to Rams. Did he consult Shane Conlan first?

Bo Jackson: The exhibition season-opening grand slam was only part of it. Bo's arrival in Anaheim is said to have helped thaw the frigid relationship between the Angels' front office and Mark Langston, who had refused to re-up until he was convinced the Angels were committed to winning something other than the Puniest Payroll In The American League sweepstakes. (And, by the way, congratulations on that, Jackie and Rich! The '94 trophy is yours!!) Then came Bo, then came Langston's signature on a three-year extension, which means the Angels can enter 1995 without a pitching rotation that reads "One day of Chuck and then we're. . . . um, not in very good shape."

Bill Bavasi: First he re-signs Langston, succeeding where Whitey Herzog could only curse and pound his fist. Then he makes his best player, Tim Salmon, rich and happy. Then he ties up his up-the-middle defense, shortstop Gary DiSarcina and center fielder Chad Curtis for the next three years. It's early, I know, but first impressions suggest that this Bavasi could be the most effective general manager the Angels have ever had. Backhanded compliment not intended.

Fay Vincent: That was some book proposal old Fay slapped together. Bud Selig is the "emblem of baseball's decline," Peter O'Malley "a nitwit," Bill White "incompetent" and George Steinbrenner "the most hated man in baseball." Now, Vincent says he's not writing the book because he's miffed that the proposal was leaked to the press. Which is a little like showing the kiddies 30 seconds of T. rex chomping on a jeep and then announcing you're canceling production on "Jurassic Park."

Pigskin Classic: In which Fresno State is cast again as the big bad wolf of college football. Really now. Nebraska fears Fresno? With no Trent Dilfer and an all-new Bulldog offensive backfield? More likely, this was Tom Osborne arm-wrestling Athletic Director Bill Byrne and pinning Byrne's wrist to the table. Fact: Osborne coveted the job Byrne now holds. Fact: AD Byrne gets the Big Red face when he reaches a verbal agreement with the Pigskin Classic, only to have his football coach pull the rug out from under him. Nebraska may not play hockey, but it knows all about major-league power plays.

West Virginia: Osborne says he put it to a team vote. Want to play West Virginia in Anaheim? Huskers do. Want to play Fresno State? Huskers don't. A matchup of last year's two unbeatens, Nebraska and West Virginia, would have looked nice on the marquee, but that's about it. How many Mountaineer fans would have loaded up the truck and moved to Kat-ell-ee? As opposed to those ever-mobile Fresno Red Wavers--30,000 strong, have RVs, will travel?

Fresno State: The plan, I hear, is to designate Fresno "Permanent Home Team" for the Pigskin Classic, the Freedom Bowl and any other college football game the OCSA decides to hold in the near or distant future.

The Big West Conference: Press release says the Big West will hold its annual post-season basketball tournament next weekend in Las Vegas. Apparently this means the Big West still plays basketball.

Michael Jordan: He's no Bo.

Scottie Pippen: He's no Michael Jordan.

Chicago Bulls: Black, white, green or blue, they're all getting booed, and deservedly so, it seems to me.

John Candy: Long before the "Uncle Buck"s and the "Cool Runnings," he was the franchise player on the most brilliant comedy show ever televised, "SCTV." (If you don't remember, rent "The Last Polka," starring Candy as legendary polka meister Yosh Schmenge.) Candy was a good friend of Bruce McNall and could have played McNall in the now-inevitable TV movie, "Where Have All The Dollars Gone?" King home games, not the happiest place on earth these days, just got a little sadder.

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