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The Sun Devils Had No Clothes
Arizona State University's zeal to sign a contract requiring Nike to provide gear to all ASU sports teams left the men's baseball team scrambling for equipment at the beginning of the season.

ASU records indicate that Adidas abruptly stopped supplying gear to the baseball team in the fall after Adidas learned that ASU was negotiating a contract with Nike.

As the baseball team began play in January, a draft long-term contract with Nike remained unsigned and the baseball team unclothed. In late January, ASU asked Nike to provide gear this season as negotiations continued.

Nike stepped up, but ASU players lost out.
Instead of receiving the $32,000 worth of equipment the team was getting from Adidas, Nike agreed to provide $25,000 worth of goods.

ASU baseball coach Pat Murphy came out better than his players. Murphy received a $15,000 stipend from Nike, the same amount he collected from Adidas last year.

The Nike-ASU contract negotiations for all sports are expected to conclude within the next 30 days. A December 1997 draft contract calls for ASU to receive about $5.4 million worth of equipment and cash over nine years from Nike in exchange for the university using Nike brands for all its athletic teams.

Pete's Sweet Meat Feat
Big Pete Pearson, Arizona's reigning blues monarch, was seen last week in the Chicago Cubs clubhouse serving up barbecue to the players and coaches before a recent spring-training game.

In addition to crooning the blues several nights a week, Pearson runs a barbecue biz on the side. Pearson, who is retiring in May to move to Maine, served mounds of pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken, slaw and gumbo to the hungry Cubbies before they tangled with the Angels.

Among the first in line for the feast were shortstop Jeff Blauser and first baseman Mark Grace. Before devouring his barbecued chicken, Sammy Sosa swapped hats with Pearson. Sosa looked quite dapper in Pearson's fedora. Big Pete, on the other hand, should stay away from baseball caps.

By the time pitching coach Phil Regan and manager Jim Riggleman made it to the table, a few scraps remained.

Those that missed out on the pig-out were the pitchers scheduled to throw that day. Closer Rod Beck, who got a rare start, kept pacing through the kitchen and drooling over the pot of steaming gumbo. The other pitchers dined on protein drinks garnished with kiwi, banana and yogurt.

So popular was the barbecue that the Cubs invited Big Pete to return before the end of spring training.

Moore's The Big One
"Right to work" status notwithstanding, Arizona gave a warm reception to filmmaker Michael Moore (Roger & Me) at Harkins Christown last week.

Flint, Michigan's favorite son showed his upcoming film The Big One to local union activists, among them Teamster Pat Sinderling--ousted from her job at St. Joseph's Hospital after trying to organize the RNs--and Bill McGlashen, vice president of Council 66 of the Association of Flight Attendants (the screening was a benefit for the local labor coalition Jobs for Justice).

Moore noted that everyone in the country knows how to pronounce "Maricopa" kudos the antics of Sheriff Joke Arpaio.

He was asked who he would support in the next presidential election; he happily replied, "Fife Symington." Moore noted, however, that the Fifester may be too busy with a new career to run: In reference to the prison telemarketing labor depicted in his new film, the director quipped, "He may be taking reservations for TWA."

C'mon, He's Not That Rustic
The publishers of the 150-year-old Merriam-Webster Dictionary revealed last week that after Indiana University won the NCAA basketball championship in 1987, then-U.S. senator Dan Quayle of Indiana was outraged by an entry in Merriam-Webster's unabridged dictionary that defined "Hoosier" as "an ignorant rustic."

Quayle protested to Merriam-Webster and introduced a Senate resolution insisting that the basketball team had demonstrated the real meaning of the word "Hoosier"--"someone who is quick, smart, resourceful, skillful, a winner."

Which might explain why Quayle is now an Arizonan.
Merriam-Webster did not change its entry.

Ukrainian Damage
Looks like Senator John McCain has won a round in his fight to convince the public that extreme fighting is unsafe. Fans of the sport can no longer claim a perfect track record when it comes to fatalities in the ring.

Fighter Douglas Dedge died March 18 in Kiev, Ukraine, reportedly from severe brain injuries sustained in a fight two days earlier at the "World Super Challenge."

Dedge was the head instructor at the Reality Martial Arts Academy in Enterprise, Alabama; the school taught Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing and karate.

The event in Kiev was not associated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which produces popular pay-per-view segments shown in the U.S. The sport's proponents say Dedge was unprepared to fight, and that safety standards at the Kiev event were subpar.

In any event, be sure McCain and other extreme-fighting opponents will beat everyone over the head with Dedge's death as an excuse to get rid of extreme fighting--even though one casualty is slight compared with the number of deaths by wrestling and boxing each year.

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