THE LIVE ALBOM:
* It’s Final Four time again. Just four schools, playing on network TV, prime time, every living soul in the free world betting on it. Your basic little college tournament, in other words.
* Duke and Arizona.
* Uh, that’s a prediction, I reckon. FINAL FOUR QUIZ I: HOW DOES THIS MAN PRONOUNCE HIS NAME? 1. Krzyzewski 2. Shushefski 3. Shuflyshoo 4. Hey bud 5. Mike
FINAL FOUR QUIZ II: WHAT PLAY IS KANSAS CALLING? 1. Clear out for God 2. Pick and rain 3. Power to the people 4. BRUUUUUUCE! 5. Alley-underarm
* I feel a little funny saying this: I have an anthology book of columns coming out Monday, April 4. It’s called “The Live Albom.” Available in bookstores everywhere. Only $6.95. And if you don’t buy it, my dog will die.
* Just kidding. He can live on one bone a week.
* Bill Frieder, a fascinating man, has nonetheless often left me scratching my head. Now he’s got me scratching so hard, my hair is falling out. Did he really call the Detroit News and tell them Texas was interested in him? Did the News really print the story claiming “sources” when the source was Frieder himself? And why didn’t anyone call Texas first? The whole thing smells.
* Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish will return to the Tigers by Opening Day.
* April fool.
* A lot of people don’t think George Foreman, 40, can lose enough weight to be a serious fighter again. Why not? He lost enough to double for Terry Mills at the NCAAs last weekend.
* Speaking of April fools, here are this month’s candidates: 1) Bob Knepper, who should know that when it comes to umpires, you never open your mouth. 2) George Steinbrenner, who should know that disputing a book only sells more copies, and, 3) The people who paid $25 to watch Wrestlemania IV on pay-cable. Don’t they know stupidity and violence come for free on TV these days?
* What if we all wore our hair like J.R. Reid?
* What if we all wore our hair like Carl Lewis?
* What’s the difference?
* Let’s see. The Pistons play the Celtics tonight, the Tigers open their season on Monday, and the Red Wings begin the playoffs on Wednesday. Just another week at the office.
* Speaking of the NCAAs and Michigan, I must say getting to know Rumeal Robinson was uplifting. When an abandoned kid who once slept in hallways can grow up and go to college — all thanks to a family who adopted him — well, I don’t know, it almost chokes you up. It did me, anyhow.
* Nice to see the cheapest ticket to the Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks fight in June will be $100. I remember when $100 got you ringside. And I’m not that old.
* Sudden flash: What if Sparky Anderson announces who made the team today, April Fools’ Day, then changes his mind tomorrow? Come to think of it, how would we know the difference?
* Word from Hollywood is that they’re working on a new movie called “La Bamba II,” in which Richie Valens comes back as baseball player Darrell Evans.
George to the hoop . . . George to the jaw.
YA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA . . . Darrell?