SI Vault
Edited by Jack McCallum
December 06, 1993
No Tears for Tigers
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December 06, 1993


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Odds Against U.S.




First Cup appearance. An early elimination is a "feta accompli."



Another newcomer from Asia, where soccer is still developing. It's unlikely, though, that summer heat will bother the Saudis.



First Cup appearance since 1950. U.S. tied the tin men 0-0 earlier this year.



Has never won a Cup game in three previous appearances. Very quick style, but U.S. could intimidate this team.



A tough, talented team, but perhaps its youth will hurt. They're called the Green Eagles-does anyone know why?



Inconsistent team that upset France to qualify. It has a 0-10-6 record in five previous Cup appearances.



The team has talent but lacks aggressiveness. It had a tough time for the first 20 minutes of its qualifying game against Estonia.

No Tears for Tigers

Anyone out there in college football land feeling sorry for 11-0 Auburn's plight (the Tigers can't play in a bowl game and, in effect, can't compete for the mythical national championship), should remember one thing: The Tigers will be spectators on New Year's Day because people in their program cheated.

The charges made two years ago by former defensive back Eric Ramsey, still the most hated man on campus even though he has graduated, resulted in NCAA sanctions that penalize Auburn with no postseason play in 1993-94 and 1994-95. According to Ramsey, he received illegal payments from Larry Blakeney (an assistant coach in the besmirched regime of Pat Dye) funneled through Auburn alum Don Kirkpatrick, from ex-recruiting coordinator Frank Young, and from another booster, Bill (Corky) Frost.

We feel badly for the Auburn players and coaches who played by the rules. And we can only hope that their TV reception on Jan. 1 is good.

A Giant Risk

Lawrence Taylor's fledgling company, All-Pro Products, has done so well so quickly that there has been talk of LT's retiring at the end of this season and forsaking the final year of his contract with the New York Giants (worth $2.525 million). We wish LT nothing but the best with All-Pro, but our advice is that he shouldn't quit his day job just yet.

True, All-Pro got off to a great start on Nov. 9, when it first went public at $5 a share. The price soared to $11.87 the first day of trading on the NASDAQ market and closed Nov. 26 at $15.50, making it one of the hottest new stock offerings of 1993. But start-ups are as unpredictable as scrambling quarterbacks, and All-Pro could crash as easily as it has risen.

The company currently has only one product, a sports beverage called Metro-Pro. Word around the Giant locker room last season was that Metro-Pro (marketed as "an urban drink for males") had a, well, less than pleasing taste, so it was no surprise when Taylor and his associates changed the formula. Then, too, All-Pro is so small that the company has been operating out of LT's New Jersey home and has a one-person sales staff. It has reported total revenues of only $36,220 since its founding in early 1992 and has accumulated losses of more than $900,000.

The company plans to expand into new businesses soon and has a contract to develop a virtual-reality home entertainment system. But the prospects for that venture are uncertain, given that no one connected with All-Pro has experience in developing that media.

Playing linebacker in the NFL is a tough way to make a living. Counting on a start-up like All-Pro may be even tougher.

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