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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

Here's a Vote for History in NFL Expansion Race

October 28, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

Driving along Martin Luther King Blvd. on one side of the Coliseum, you can't miss Pepsi's "Pop for Hip Hop" billboard. Driving along Figueroa on the other side, you can't miss the billboard with a Chivas Regal advertisement written entirely in Spanish.

It's a terrible mix. The Pepsi and Chivas, I mean.

As for the neighborhood, diversity is one of Los Angeles' selling points.

So is the Coliseum.

I'm glad Ed Roski and his partners, who met with NFL owners Tuesday in Kansas City to discuss their $357-million plan to build a new stadium within the walls of the Coliseum, seem to have made some progress in selling it.

If Michael Ovitz and his $623-million stadium-mall project in Carson are what it takes for the NFL eventually to award its 32nd franchise to the L.A. area instead of Houston, then his Hacienda is my Hacienda.

But when I think of football here, I think of the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl. They are living history.

*

UCLA obviously is a superb team or it wouldn't be No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. . . .

But I don't think this year's Bruins could beat last year's. . . .

Their defense definitely is not as good at this point, and Cade McNown is having to carry more of the load offensively without Skip Hicks and Jim McElroy. . . .

If UCLA finishes the regular season unbeaten, McNown deserves the Heisman Trophy. . . .

If Texas' Ricky Williams becomes the Division I-A career rushing leader, he deserves the Heisman Trophy. . . .

Maybe that conflict will be resolved before Heisman voters have to choose. . . .

Williams needs only 443 yards in the last four games to break Tony Dorsett's record, but three of those games are against Nebraska, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. . . .

Paul Hackett should have gone for a touchdown with 4:18 remaining instead of the 25-yard field goal that brought USC within 17-13 of Oregon. . . .

Even if the Trojans had gotten the ball back, they still needed a touchdown. . . .

Hackett should have opted for the three points only if that gave them an opportunity to win or tie with another field goal. . . .

It won't come as a surprise to anyone who has seen the photograph at the top of this column, but I am unimpressed with Davey Johnson's ban on facial hair. . . .

I guess that means Mark McGwire and his red goatee wouldn't be welcome in the Dodger clubhouse. . . .

Davey, this hair thing was a battle for the '60s, not the '90s. . . .

It just goes to show that you can take the boy out of Texas A&M, but you can't take the Texas A&M out of the boy. . . .

When Mike Piazza rejected a six-year, $79-million offer from the Dodgers, some team executives predicted he would be remembered as another Jody Reed. . . .

Reed, you might recall, is the former Dodger second baseman who turned down a three-year, $7.8-million offer from the team, only to end up signing with Milwaukee for $350,000 a year. . . .

But those Dodger executives were less smug after Piazza received $91 million from the Mets. . . .

Dan Lozano, Piazza's contract negotiator, should be a candidate for agent of the year, although he probably won't finish ahead of Mike Barnett. . . .

Lozano can only hope he doesn't meet the same fate as Barnett. . . .

The IMG agent was fired by Sergei Federov a couple of months after negotiating a deal that paid the Detroit Red Wing center

$28 million for 21 regular-season games and the playoffs last season. . . .

With Tiger Woods firing Hughes Norton, it's been a hard year for agents. . . .

At least HBO has decided to renew "Arli$$." . . .

The Mets must now move catcher Todd Hundley. . . .

Fred Wilpon, Met co-owner, said it probably would be to a team in a league starting with the letter A. . . .

Don't look, however, for it to be to a team starting with the letter A, Anaheim for instance. . . .

Hundley has the contractual right to reject a trade to 12 teams, among them the Angels. . . .

KDOC's "Perry Mason" episode Monday night revolved around a prestigious horse race in which the favorite was doped. . . .

In an unfortunate advertising buy, actor Joseph Campanella appeared in the first commercial after the fix was revealed to pitch Saturday's California Cup Classic at Santa Anita. . . .

Tip: Don't bet on Bright Magic.

*

While wondering what took so long for someone in Mile High Stadium to kick a mile-long field goal, I was thinking: Terry Bowden didn't think the family business would be this hard, Ziggy Palffy could provide the kind of stardust the Kings need, Karl Malone never figured he'd be getting fed by Vic the Brick instead of John Stockton.

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