THE LIVE ALBOM

On the first day of Christmas, my sports love gave to me, a wild-card spot in the NFC.

Close your eyes. Can you picture the Lions in the playoffs? Well. OK. I guess not.

I will say this. If the Lions go 9-7, I vote for Darryl Rogers as coach of the year.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my sports love gave to me, four-corners offense, three men on, two-minute warnings, and a Refrigerator in a Bear tree.

Watched Manute Bol play at the Silverdome Wednesday night. My neck is still sore.

Actually, I shudder to say it, but Bol is becoming . . . a force. Even when

he doesn’t block shots, teams have to change their strategies when he’s in there. Or up there. Whatever.

JOACKY ONE: Regular readers of this column know how fond I am of pitcher Joaquin Andujar. Now he’s been traded. To Oakland. A fourth-place team with the seventh-worst attendance in baseball. Gosh. I feel just terrible. Really awful. Heartbroken. Oh, my.

JOACKY TWO: Actually, the “official” line on the Andujar trade was that Oakland gave up catcher Mike Heath and pitcher Tim Conroy. But my sources tell me there was another undisclosed player involved. Someone who would assume Andujar’s role of leadership and decorum with the Cardinals. Here you see an exclusive picture of the player, who gave his name only as Ed.

Watch Saturday’s Bears-Jets game carefully. I figure we’ll see them again in the Super Bowl. Uh, that’s a prediction, I reckon.

I am scheduled to be on J.P. McCarthy’s Focus show on WJR radio (760-AM) at 12:15 p.m. today. His other guest? Pia Zadora. Whoo boy.

Maybe Pia will dance. She dances, doesn’t she?

On the ninth day of Christmas, my sports love gave to me, nine Tigers swinging, eight Lions blocking, seven Wings a- scoring, six Pistons dunking, fiiiive Su-per-Bowl rings, four-corner stall, three men on, two-minute warning, and some cartilage in a spare knee.

While the Lions are still a .500 team, let me say this: My hat is off to James Jones. Nobody plays harder than he down after down. Nice going.

Maybe Pia will sing. She sings, doesn’t she?

THEY’RE EXPANDABLE: There may be 12 cities vying for an expansion baseball team, but only Denver, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Washington have any real shot, it says here.

And did you notice the Pittsburgh Pirates — after all that talk about moving the team awhile back — are being sold to a Pittsburgh-based group? Once again, it shows that moving a major league baseball team is next to impossible.

WHO KNEW?: My apologies to the GMI Rental & Lease Company of Pewaukee, Wis., which rents bucket trucks (bucket trucks?). In Wednesday’s column, I listed a make-believe 800 toll-free number in an imaginary want ad for Kirk Gibson. Turns out the number is real. It belongs to GMI. The people there had more than 30 calls for Gibson. And not a single one ordered a bucket truck. That’s gotta hurt.

Speedy recovery to Sid Abel, the NHL Hall of Famer and former Red Wings star, who undergoes abdominal surgery today.

VERY VERY VINNIE: Did you see that Vinnie Johnson is third in the All-Star voting for Eastern Conference guards, behind only Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan? Do you think his shoot-out- the-lights job against Boston in the playoffs last season had anything to do with it?

Wait a minute. Hold it. We’ve seen this before. Quarterback named Joe. Wins Super Bowl. Grows Fu Manchu mustache. Wait a minute. This is old stuff. What’s going on here? Let’s have some answers right now. Jeez. What a gyp.

Is it just me, or do you sense an undercurrent of cynicism developing around the Heisman Trophy?

Maybe Pia will act. She acts, doesn’t she?

If it seems that more NFL teams are injury-plagued this year, remember they’re playing with 45 men instead of 49. Saves money for the club. Only now’s the time of year you really miss four healthy players. The owners’ attempt to get out of the red is coming up black and blue.

On the 12th day of Christmas, m–. Ah, forget it.

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