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Manning's Decision Deserves Closer Study

March 09, 1997|BILL PLASCHKE

Scene and heard . . .

Everybody talking about Peyton Manning as if he's a real saint, staying at Tennessee one more year instead of becoming an NFL quarterback, makes me wonder. . . .

He graduated, right? He's staying in school not to get a master's degree, but to play one more year for the Volunteers, right? . . .

So tell me this. Why is somebody who stays in school after his studies are completed--just to play football--any more honorable than somebody who leaves school early for the same reason? . . .

They are both using the classroom as a prop, if you ask me. . . .

Manning must want a Heisman Trophy, or a national championship, or to be as far away from Bill Parcells as possible. . . .

*

It was a hoot while it lasted, but Henry Bibby's guys will not make the NCAA tournament, nor do they deserve to. . . .

Bibby has done wonders around here, taking USC far beyond expectations before losing what amounted to a first-round tournament game Saturday in Washington. . . .

But back in December, you lose to Tennessee and Nevada Las Vegas while beating, who, UC Irvine? Even as Bibby predicted early in his first full season, this team did not start overachieving quickly enough. . . .

Next season he'll be more relaxed, more of his players will reflect his intensity, they will not have that problem. And only Stais Boseman will be difficult to replace. . . .

These people with Eastern accents are always saying the real college basketball season starts each January. . . .

That being the case, the real Wooden Award winner should be Charles O'Bannon. . . .

Yeah, yeah, Tim Duncan, yeah, yeah. O'Bannon is a player of the year like Kirk Gibson was a most valuable player. . . .

Carnage alert in Anaheim, where thousands will soon be jumping on the Mighty Ducks' bandwagon. . . .

One reason is that Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya are worth the price again. . . .

Another reason for the stampede is, face it, nobody north of Fullerton has cared one whit about Ducks until now. . . .

The franchise had its chance to capture this town's hockey fans after the slow start of the Kings. It blew it by refusing to spend big off-season bucks, leading to its slow start. . . .

This season has proven that the Kings, even at their worst, still arouse a little passion. . . .

The Ducks, despite their large Orange County following, still breed mostly curiosity. . . .

Not that I won't be lining up for that first postseason game. Hockey playoffs are still hockey playoffs, dude.

Here's a tip on how to handle the recent spate of Laker pouting and finger-pointing. Ignore it. Doesn't matter. This is basketball on a pause button. . . .

The Lakers will end the season in fourth place in the West, no matter what they do, then Shaquille O'Neal will come back and everything can start again. Hide your eyes until April. . . .

News out of Green Bay last week was that longtime Packer tackle Ken Ruettgers, who nobly retired because of injuries in November rather than try to hang on for the money, was left off the Super Bowl ring list. . . .

Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren made up that list. Two football executives known as "character" guys.

Good news is that Packer President Bob Harlan is still the boss, still has the final say, and we're betting former USC star Ruettgers gets his well-deserved ring. . . . .

That, or Titletown suddenly smells just like everywhere else. . . .

I'll start believing the Coliseum can work as an NFL stadium when its advocates start working anonymously. . . .

The NFL owners will be dodging those Coliseum folks like tumbleweeds this week at the league's annual meetings at the Marriott Desert Springs. . . .

While still hoping to bump into Peter O'Malley. . . .

You do realize how the owners can keep an NFL presence in Los Angeles without ever wasting a team on us, don't you? . . .

Give us the conference championship games. Permanent-like. Put them in the Rose Bowl, second week in January, one on Saturday, one on Sunday. . . .

Unfair to make the best teams give up home-field advantage? Unfair to home fans who can't afford to travel to both championship games and the Super Bowl? You'd be surprised how many home fans everywhere would secretly rather watch the NFL on TV anyway. . . .

They tell me that Monday morning in Los Angeles, for the first time ever, I'm going to hear a real local sports talk radio station. . . .

Then they tell me that XTRA 1150 is not running all four hours of our own Jim Rome? . . .

Then they tell me Joe McDonnell is not going to be on the air, but Pete Rose might be? . . .

I'm asking them, what local sports talk radio station? . . .

These new people are kissing off our latest sports talk adventure before it starts. . . .

By the way, if you didn't think Big Joe was the most intimidating radio sports voice in this town, now you know. The Dodgers weren't this frightened of the Braves. . . .

And just what about funny cars is so hilarious?

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