Bob Chandler was a lightly recruited quarterback-defensive back at Whittier High School who became a star wide receiver and captain at USC. . . .
He was a seventh-round NFL draft choice in 1971 who caught 370 passes for 5,243 yards and 48 touchdowns in 12 years with the Buffalo Bills and Raiders. . . .
He underwent nine operations during his career, including six to his knees, and last rites were administered to him in the operating room in 1981 after he suffered a ruptured spleen. . . .
At 6 feet and 180 pounds, he was among football's most courageous players. . . .
Long hair flowing out of his helmet and his mini-shoulder pads barely visible, he never heard footsteps or feared running a crossing pattern into the middle of the field. . . .
Scared? Maybe once. He jumped off a cliff near Rio de Janeiro in a hang glider several years ago on the "2 On The Town" television show on CBS and considered himself lucky to be able to talk about it. . . .
He was the perennial underdog who kept beating the odds with his out-sized heart, competitive juices and smarts. . . .
He firmly believed that he would do it again when told last September that he had cancer. . . .
He continued to fulfill his duties as a color commentator on the Raider radio broadcasts and frequently visited his friend and former Trojan and Bill teammate O.J. Simpson in the L.A. County Jail. . . .
Before a late-season game at the Coliseum, Chandler, gaunt and wearing a baseball-style cap, served as honorary Raider captain and nearly burst with pride when his 17-year-old daughter Marisa sang the national anthem. . . .
For many of us in the press box that day, it was impossible to hold back tears. . . .
A couple of weeks ago, he spoke on the phone with his Raider broadcasting partner, play-by-play announcer Joel Meyers. . . .
"He was in great spirits," Meyers said. "It was typical Chandler. He talked about golf and going to Pebble Beach to play in the National Pro-Am that starts Thursday. He couldn't wait to get onto the course." . . .
Chandler, 45, died Friday, a nonsmoker who fell victim to a rare strain of lung cancer. . . .
Funeral services will be today at 2:30 p.m. at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. . . .
"Bob was a gentleman," Meyers said. "He was kind to everyone. He was a true professional. He was the perfect partner in the booth, one almost void of ego. I've lost a great friend." . . .
A lingering controversy about the non-controversial Super Bowl concerns the sportsmanship of San Francisco Coach George Seifert for putting Deion Sanders into the game at wide receiver late in the fourth quarter. . . .
I can't blame Seifert. The 49ers want Sanders back next season, and Sanders wanted to play some offense. Besides, I don't think the San Diego Chargers were offended. They might even have relished a chance to hit Neon Deion. . . .
The 49ers could afford to lose assistant coaches Mike Shanahan and Ray Rhodes a lot more than they could unrestricted free agents Sanders and Ricky Watters. . . .
Don't expect any changes in the NFL playoff system when the owners meet in March in Phoenix. The AFC might consider a seeded tournament an insult. . . .
UCLA, the nation's top-ranked men's volleyball team, will play Pepperdine Friday night at Pauley Pavilion in the 18th annual Kilgour Cup. . . .
Pauley will be a busy place over the weekend. The women's basketball team plays USC at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the men oppose Notre Dame at 12:45 p.m. Sunday. . . .
Sure to draw some of the largest galleries at the Nissan (L.A.) Open Feb. 23-26 at Riviera Country Club are defending champion Corey Pavin and John Daly. . . .
George Raveling will do commentary on the Oregon-Oregon State game Feb. 11 for Raycom and the Georgetown-Providence game Feb. 18 for the Big East network. . . .
Interim Update: Interim Nevada Las Vegas president Kenny Guinn met with interim basketball Coach Howie Landa last Saturday, and it was decided that Cle Edwards would be the new interim coach.