The Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 28-21 on Sunday in G�teborg, Sweden. Unaware that William (Refrigerator) Perry had checked into a fat farm and would not be making the trip, Swedish flacks described him in promotional fliers as "a highly explosive package of muscle who is fast enough to qualify for a 100-meter Swedish championship sprint."
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
In June 1987, Pitt defensive back Teryl Austin confessed to having accepted $2,500 from agent Norby Walters. The NCAA suspended him immediately. Two months later, having extracted from Austin a promise to repay Walters, it reduced the suspension to two games. Last May, Michigan State lineman Tony Mandarich applied for the NFL's supplemental draft but a month later changed his mind and withdrew his name. Too late! The NCAA ruled him ineligible for the upcoming season.
Michigan State objected, saying that unlike Austin, Mandarich had retained no agent and taken no money. And so, last week, the sages of the NCAA's eligibility committee put their heads together and decided to reduce Mandarich's suspension to...three games. Go figure.
First-year pros Tim Perry and Dan Majerle and free agent Tom Chambers won't be the only new faces around the Phoenix Suns this season: The gorilla is a rookie. When eight-year veteran ape Henry Rojas retired after last season—the club sent him off with a rocking chair and a half ton of bananas—the front office put the word out that it was looking for a successor. Overwhelmed by the 500-plus applications they received from primate wannabes as far away as Pennsylvania and Wyoming, the Suns invited applicants to send videos of themselves aping it up. They got 110 tapes. Nineteen finalists were called to audition at the Suns' practice court last month. "We had gorillas on skateboards, a gorilla on stilts; we had a gorilla play a five-minute classical piece on a piano," says Sun p.r. man Barry Ringel. Local costume merchants reported a run on ape suits.
One gorilla, the unanimous winner, clearly outshone all the others. He did cartwheels and back handsprings, he walked on his hands, he used a trampoline to dunk basketballs, he stood on the rim and flipped off of it. "He just moved like a gorilla," recalls Ringel. "He was an absolute natural." The new ape is 5'8", 150 pounds and has a gymnastics background. He will earn $20,000 to $25,000 his rookie year and has incentive clauses in his contract for appearances at outside functions. The club figures it's a contract well deserved. "Five hundred to one," marvels Ringel. "He'd probably have had an easier time making the team."
ONE MAN, ONE VOTE, 34 SEATS
Miller Dawkins, a Miami city commissioner, might not have much shame, but his timing is excellent. The Miami Herald reports that during a commission meeting last June at which the $16 million refurbishing of the Orange Bowl was being debated, Dawkins complained, "How come I got such bad seats for the Orange Bowl? I need to know how I can get some adequate seats.... Friends, colleagues and visiting dignitaries want to come and go to the Orange Bowl, and I can't take care of them." In soothing tones, Orange Bowl Committee president Jim Barker said, "I will be more than happy to sit down and work something out."
"If you want my vote, you'll work it out now," Dawkins said.