AT 5:04 p.m. TODAY the San Francisco Earthquake of 1989 will mark its first anniversary. Since the earthquake hit just prior to the start of Game 3 of the '89 World Series, nearly 60,000 Bay Area baseball fans will forever remember the quake from their seats in
Candlestick Park.Consequently, officials at Candlestick Park are expecting a number of fans to conduct pilgrimmages of sorts to the stadium tonight. Just exactly how many, they're not sure.
"Nothing official is planned, but probably a lot of people will come out," said Jim Moorehead of the media relations department of the San Francisco Giants. "If you figure a lot of those who were here last year are baseball fans, then they might stay home so they won't miss any of this year's World Series. Those who do come out will probably just mill around and then go home; there won't be any game. Just like last year, I guess."
GETTING ORIENTED: Pausing before playing the Jazz in exhibition last night, Phoenix Suns Coach
Cotton Fitzsimmons said he's happy about the prospects of opening the NBA season Nov. 2-3 with two games against the Jazz in Tokyo.
"I'm not a negative person, I look at the positive side," said Fitzsimmons. "It's an honor to be going. This is trail blazing. In years to come they'll look back and say the first two teams to play internationally were the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz."
ADD COTTON: Looking at the unique two-game Tokyo set against the Jazz, Fitzsimmons said, "If we win two, great. If we go over and split, well, we kissed our sister. If we lose, it will be a long ride home over the Pacific."
Just how long of a ride will not be lost on the Suns.
"I took a team of All-Stars to Tokyo six or seven years ago," he said. "We had Kareem, Moses, Jack Sikma, John Lucas . . . a real good team." We played another All-Star team in a three-game series and we won the first game but lost the second. Well, after that second game the team we lost to did a lot of talking. Before the third game I told my team, `You all know it's a long way across the Pacific, and if we lose we'll have to hear a lot of jabbering.' Kareem said, `Don't worry, coach, we'll take care of it.' And they did."
WOMEN HUNTING: Southern Utah State plays St. Mary's of California in Cedar City this Saturday. Since this Saturday also marks the start of the deer hunt - a virtual holiday in Southern Utah - it figures that a lot of the T-Bird's usual football fans won't be around.
So the Thunderbirds have decided to go after those who are left at home. Namely, the women.The game has been called the Doe Bowl. Women will get discounted prices on tickets. There will be a Football Appreciation lecture given free of charge on Friday night. There will be a fashion show and buffet Saturday morning, and every woman entering the stadium will be given a free t-shirt with a picture of a deer in a football uniform.
SUSC Head Coach Jack Bishop is excited, chiefly because a similar promotion last year produced one of the largest crowds of the season and, he believes, was a catalyst for the T-Bird's upset victory over Portland State.
"Of course you're going to play better in front of a stadium full of women," says the coach, who figures the T-Birds can have their game and their deer hunt too. "We'll give the team Monday off, with no practice until Monday night," he says. "Most all of the players hunt too."
STUDENT OF THE GAME: When his team had last Saturday off, University of Utah football coach Ron McBride went to San Jose State to study how the Spartans' generate considerable points and yardage with primarily the same offense used by the Utes. He hopes he saw some things that will help in this Saturday's homecoming game against UTEP.
"You go there with the question, `Why are they doing it better than you're doing it?"' said the first-year coach.
Last year, when McBride was an assistant coach at Arizona, he said he went to Colorado during a bye week to watch the Buffs practice their offense, which was similar to Arizona's. He said that trip educated him how helpful it can be to watch others.
The next Saturday, Arizona hosted UCLA and won 47-7.QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Utah State Coach Chuck Shelton, when asked about the importance of Saturday's game against San Jose State in relation to his five-year era with the Aggies, "I don't know how important it is in terms of the last five years; I know it's very important in terms of my next five years."