Lose Bruce: Any new converts, after the Bucs' double Dallas debacle, for my 15-year "Kill Bucco Bruce" crusade? If so, write to encourage Hugh Culverhouse and Ray Perkins. An altered image is desperately needed. How much more painful proof is needed to prove that Tampa Bay's pro football team will never win consistently as long as Bucs helmets bear that winking wimp? Whatever happened to Ron McDole?
Sweet vibes: Surveying every available baseball official and savvy media source at the World Series, I found unanimous agreement that Tampa Bay is No. 1 in the National League expansion chase.
'enver Nuggets: It's a team with no "D." Paul Westhead returns to the NBA, and his Nuggets will be the highest-scoring losers ever. Run-run-gun-gun coaching schemes that worked at Loyola Marymount will be suicide over the pros' 82-game grind. 'enver is scoring 143 points per exhibition, but allowing 172, including a 194-166 blowout against Atlanta. Two hundred is coming.
Rug-bugged: Alabama lost tailback Siran Stacy on artificial turf at Birmingham one week and receiver Craig Sanderson on Tuscaloosa carpet the next Saturday, so Tide coach Gene Stallings is campaigning for replanting real grass.
Near-tempting: If I was apt to sway from anti-boxing feelings, the Evander Holyfield-Buster Douglas fight would do it. Two good guys and intriguing talents. But, no, the punch-to-maim goals of boxing are still there, and big fights continue to be staged in gambling-town shadows.
Hilltopper: Ah, a sensible word from Capitol Hill, with Maryland congressman Tom McMillen, a 6-foot-11 former pro basketball player, saying,"Glorification of athletes is distorting our priorities."
Shopping: Millions were wasted in 1990 on baseball free agents Mark Davis, Mark Langston, Nick Esasky and Storm Davis, but there will be new hookings this winter from among 99 eligibles including Bob Welch, Ted Higuera, Tom Browning, Mike Boddicker, Darryl Strawberry, Zane Smith, Bud Black, Danny Jackson and Dave Righetti.
Locker-room coverage: I'm not an X's-and-O's Einstein and I'd have some difficulty hitting Barbara Bush's pitching, but I do know a lot about locker rooms, and their journalistic role. There would be no furor, if coaches would sensibly advise athletes, and if players exercised the option of simple towel wraps, and if professionals from both camps would behave professionally.
Ayatollah athletics? In case you've forgotten, with Atlanta winning a bidding scrimmage for the 1996 Olympics, after Montreal blew $200-million on the 1976 Summer Games, the only bidders for 1984 were Los Angeles and Tehran. Lucky for the world, Iran was silver medalist.
Book 'em, Bob-O: FSU's post-season fate is undecided but 'Noles coach Bobby Bowden has personal plans. He'll be Honolulu-bound to coach the East in the Hula Bowl along with Tennessee's Johnny Majors and Michigan State's George Perles. Helping boss the West will be a rookie, George Allen of Long Beach State.
Trick trivia: Gary Hollings-worth becomes the fifth Alabama quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards, but if somebody asks you to name the other four, do not make the mistake of including either Ken Stabler or Joe Namath. Famous as they became with the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, ol' Snake and Broadway never did heave for 3,000 at 'Bama.
Attitude: It's close to what Steve Spurrier keeps saying at Florida, a school twice-burned by NCAA football violations, but it's good to also hear SMU alumnus-turned-coach Forrest Gregg vowing, "I owe SMU a lot. I love my school and don't like to see it hurt. If I catch anyone cheating, they'll have to answer to me."
pened to Lemar Parrish?