EXCUSES? BRONCOS HAVE ‘EM TO SPARE

THE LIVE ALBOM

* Ever since I returned from the Super Bowl, people have been asking me, “How did you like the game?”

* And I say, “Fine. How did you like the Grenada Invasion?”
* Excuses The Broncos Can Use This Summer:

1. “Can you believe those refs?”

2. ” . . . and the next thing I know, this guy has stolen my uniform and is out there screwing up–“

3. “What game?”
* By the way, as you can see here, John Elway has already decided on his off-season disguise.
* Actually, I feel sorry for Elway. He tried his best. Besides, he did pull off the nearly impossible: He made Terry Bradshaw look smart.
* Did you catch the NHL salary list that came out this week? Now I see why hockey players are so nice. Some of them can’t even afford a butler.
* Speaking of salaries, Steve Yzerman, at a listed income of $700,000 is — and I swallow when I say this — grossly underpaid. Even if bonuses bring him over a million. Why should Gretzky and Lemiuex almost double what he makes? Or didn’t you watch him play Wednesday night?
* More Denver Excuses:

4. “My sick aunt had San Fran giving 46.”

5. ” . . . and just as we kick off, that crawfish I ate starts coming up on me. And I say whuhh-oh–“

6. “They had the wind.”
* The college basketball season is halfway finished, and fans have already noticed a change in UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian. He seems shorter, walks with a cane, and says things like “When you dribble . . . the force, with you she must be.”
* Well. This is interesting. Mark Aguirre is now a sub and wants to keep it that way. Dennis Rodman, now a starter, would prefer his old role back as sub. Amazing. This may be the first time two NBA players fight for bench time.
* INSENSITIVE JERKS OF THE MONTH AWARD: To the Charlotte Hornets, who fired coach Dick Harter the same day his brother, John, died of cancer. Jeez, Charlotte. Did you tell him to get out of town by sunrise, too?
* After watching Michigan lose to Purdue Wednesday, I thought winning the Big Ten would be nearly impossible for the Wolverines. Now, with Sean Higgins out three to four weeks, “nearly impossible” may be optimistic.
* I, for one, plan to watch the Pro Bowl this weekend. Just to see Barry Sanders.
* A farewell to jockey Bill Shoemaker, who rides for the last time Saturday afternoon. The man has ridden in over 40,000 horse races. And he still walks straight. I can’t believe it.
* This is my least favorite time of the year for college football. Recruiting. Many coaches do it cleanly. Some do not. Therefore, this simple translation guide for the recruit: 1. “Academics is our No. 1 priority, son.”
(If you can find time to study, good for you.) 2. “I see you starting as a freshman, son.”
(I can’t even remember your name right now.) 3. “Son, your mama sure can cook.”
(My Golden Retriever wouldn’t eat this food.)
* I don’t pretend to be an expert on television. But isn’t it funny how juicy stories like barroom brawls come out on the first day of ratings periods?
* Chuck Noll did a great coaching job with the Steelers this season, and seems to be regaining the popularity he lost two years ago when he approved the JOA under his stage name, Ed Meese. Mitch Albom’s sports talk show, “The Sunday Sports Albom,” airs Sunday from 9 to 11 p.m. on WLLLZ-FM (98.7). Guests: Joe Dumars, Lee Norwood.

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