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THE WRITING ON (AND OFF) THE WALL `WILL SCORE FOR FAST FOOD' FLOPS.

Byline: TOM HOFFARTH

Drop the chalupa gimmick. Just put it down and back away, and no more players will get hurt.

Nobody sitting in a $125 Staples Center seat actually needs a coupon for a free $1.19 soggy, taco-shaped thing with fake nacho cheese if the Lakers happen to run up the score to 110 points.

Come to think of it, nobody sitting in the same Staples seat actually needs a coupon for a free frozen, swirly cup of mush if the Kings score a goal in the final minute of the first or second periods.

And finally, nobody sitting in a Pauley Pavilion seat actually needs a coupon for a couple of overhyped, glaze-covered doughnuts if UCLA bakes up 100 points.

These pie-hole-shoving promotions musta sounded real neato in the marketing department meetings. Now, for some stale reason, corporate America's desire to give back to the community is creating a mixed message.

The ugly scene in Dallas the other night, when the Mavs ran three plays at the end of the game to get their 100th point and send the fans home with the T-Bell grub, sparked a brawl when Cavs players thought they were getting dissed. Then Mark Cuban was booted for overreacting to the mess.

That was only a matter of time.

Teams have to support the promotion, but stop saying it ``gives more value'' to the ticket purchase. There are better solutions.

Either give out something a little more useful - knock a buck off the next purchase of a game ticket. Or make a donation of all that free grub to a homeless shelter.

We'd cheer for that. . . .

--Shaq has the deluxe arches, but Kobe snags the latest Mickey D's endorsement deal. . . .

--If John Wooden had the Pyramid of Success, Steve Lavin has the Wheel of Fortune. . . .

--As if the NASDAQ ticker and the NASCAR ticker could not measure more opposite ends of the spectrum. . . .

--Best thing that can be said about the XFL is the parody. They're all equally bad. Which is why oddsmakers in Vegas are having a tough time the last three weeks trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble. . . .

--How nuts will the state of Kentucky go if Louisville dumps Denny Crum - and replaces him with Rick Pitino? . . .

--If Tiger Woods' average score through seven tournaments this season is 68.88, and his average score through seven tournaments last season was 68.88, we see no evidence of a slump. Just more mathematical proof that he's a freak of nature. . . .

--The Food Channel should sponsor Willie T. Ribbs' NASCAR ride. . . .

--When the Blue Jays finally figure out they also got the bad end of the Raul Mondesi-for-Shawn Green trade, will they ask the commissioner to void that one, too? . . .

--Rickey Henderson, a player without a team, might not be able to pad his Hall of Fame stats any longer. . . .

--No, the --Anna Kournikova virus is not covered by most company health-care plans, but there's probably some insurance company willing to accept your premiums. . . .

--If the Vancouver Grizzles moved to Anaheim, and no one noticed, would they really be there? . . .

--A-Rod probably doesn't even bother watching ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire'' anymore. . . .

--The programming on the USA Network between the annual Westminster Dog Show coverage is just filler and byproduct.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 19, 2001
Words:551
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