Sports And Politics 

As If There's Any Difference These Days.

NOT LONG AGO I swore that in the New Millennium I would no longer do columns consisting of a collection of unrelated items. Fortunately, I still have 10 months to rid myself of my reliance on this particular device.

THE WORLD WRESTLING Federation (WWF) has announced that it will be starting its own professional football league, with games starting the week after next season's Super Bowl. The league, dubbed the XFL, will start play with six teams.

WWF honcho Vince McMahon says that the National Football League has become stodgy and predictable, adding that "NFL" stands for "No Fun League." McMahon says that the XFL will be the "Extra Fun League," with a return to smash-mouth football.

(I don't even want to think about what the cheerleaders are going to look like.)

When asked whether the association with the WWF would hurt the XFL's image, McMahon said that the football league would be run with the "utmost integrity."

In a separate press release, the WWF announced the score from next February's first weekend of games. Cleveland will beat Pittsburgh, 24-14; Chicago will hammer Los Angeles, 42-7; and New York will beat Houston, 27-24, in overtime. And two refs will get hit with chairs.

FOR THE UMPTEENTH year in a row, the Arizona Interscholastic Association gave an upward thrust of the middle finger to all of the Class 4A schools in the state by insisting that the entire 4A state basketball tournament be completed in one week. For some schools this meant playing five games in six days, a schedule which wreaks havoc on school work, raises the risk of fatigue-related injuries, prevents schools and students from enjoying the building excitement as they advance in a two- or three-week-long tournament, and obliterates the quality of basketball being played as the week wears on.

Tucson's Pueblo High School had to travel to Phoenix on four consecutive nights to play. (The AIA doesn't allow Tucson 4A teams to stay overnight in Phoenix during the tournament.) On the fourth of those nights, the Warriors had to travel to Phoenix to play Tucson Palo Verde!

The Nogales girls team had to make back-to-back trips to Phoenix, the second night to play Page. I guess Nogales should be grateful they didn't have to go to Page for that one. Or Yuma, for that matter.

This is all done so that the finals can be played at vastly overrated America West Arena, and so that the Class 5A (and, oddly, the Class 2A) tournaments can be stretched over two weeks.

Forevermore, AIA stands for Autocrats In Action.

AH, POLITICS. Some guy announced he was running for the Scottsdale, Ariz., City Council. When questioned about conflicting bio info he had provided the media, he said he was dropping out of the race because he had leukemia. That, too, turned out to be false. Now, it has been learned that he is actually a fugitive from a felony conviction stemming from the tossing of a cherry bomb at firefighters during an anti-Vietnam War protest 30 years ago.

The guy's brother is reportedly going to ask President Clinton to pardon the guy.

Apparently, living in Scottsdale for 13 years is punishment enough.

SAFELY ENSCONCED IN the county, I watch with unabashed giddiness the political battles waged in the city. I make it a point never to root for Don Diamond nor his legions of soulless developer wannabes. But I also have trouble cheering for people who live in value-inflated houses and then complain about that which has helped to inflate the value.

It's like those people in the Sam Hughes neighborhood whose homes are doubled or trebled in market value due to the proximity to the University of Arizona who bitch about parking problems during UA home football games six nights out of the year!!

The El Con businesses and owners want to do mega-business, while the neighbors don't want the businesses to do any business. I say the heck with all of them.

Except Linda Ronstadt, whom I adore.


That means only about a month and a half until the Yankees clinch the pennant, the Cubs are mathematically eliminated, and the Diamondbacks announce another ticket price hike to cover the cost of Randy Johnson's hair-dressing expenses.

ONE STARTLING BIT of info which came out during the preliminary investigation of the double stabbing murders attributed to Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is that Lewis paid $16,500 for the use of the limousine that he and his posse were riding around in that night.

If true, that's probably why a knife was used. He and his homies had to hock their Uzis to pay for the limo.

SOMEBODY THREW A hot dog onto the McKale Court during last week's UA men's game with USC.

But since he hadn't reported to the scorer's table, Josh Pastner didn't get credited with any minutes played.

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