LIBERTY? REMEMBERIT’S A TWO-WAY STREET

THE LIVE ALBOM

* When this war is over, Marco Lokar may be one of its ugliest non-combat stories.

* Lokar is a native Italian; he comes here to play college basketball, at Seton Hall. The war breaks out, and his team decides to wear American flags on their jerseys. Lokar declines. Says its a personal thing, that’s all, a religious thing. For this, the crazies in Madison Square Garden boo him every time he touches the ball. For this, some demented fools call his home and threaten his pregnant wife.

* Eventually, he quits and goes home to Italy.

* For what? Since when do we tell people what they must believe in this country? Isn’t that the kind of liberty we’re fighting to protect?

* Sorry. What they did to Lokar was not patriotism. It was harassment.

* One of the year’s nicest sports moments was when Buffalo fans gave Scott Norwood a standing ovation after he blew the Super Bowl. Still, Norwood isn’t taking any chances. In case he gets cut, he’s already begun rehearsing his new role, as the understudy to Doogie Howser, M.D.
* John Salley is sure a Pistons trade will come before the deadline — and he’ll be part of it.

* Salley goes through this every year. He’s just one of those trade-bait players: good enough to attract attention, cheap enough to acquire.

* Know this: If Salley leaves, there goes the last Detroit Piston to actually live in Detroit.

* Did you catch this week’s Sports Illustrated cover with a “projected” 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team — Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley?

* Forget the medals. The other countries will be lining up for autographs.

* So Buddy Ryan gets fired, and no one sees him for a while, and a few weeks later, I turn on my TV, to CNN, and I see this guy named Lt. Tom Kelly, and he’s giving a press conference on the Persian Gulf war, and I say, “Hey. Wait a minute. . . .”

* Only 15 days until the Iditarod.
* While we’re on the subject, my favorite Valentine’s Day story is about a recent dog sled race in Minnesota, where the lead driver made a wrong turn, stopped the sled, and suddenly two of her dogs, one male, one female, began to

do what male and female dogs will do when they have a spare moment.

* And the driver politely waited until they were finished — which caused her to finish fourth.
* Ah, love.
* Has any Detroit coach in the last decade kept a lower profile than Bryan Murray? Think about it.

* I miss Jack Norris already.

* Sorry. Morris.

* So Roger Clemens acts like the world’s biggest punk, and his
“punishment” is a five-year contract worth more than $25 million.

* And you wonder why our kids don’t take manners seriously.

* Charles Barkley, the MVP of the All-Star Game, originally planned on skipping the event. That’s because he had an appointment in Hollywood, playing the Yul Brenner role in the remake of “The Ten Commandments.”

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