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Jerry Sullivan

Jerry Sullivan grew up in Newport, R.I., though some would dispute the grown-up part. He is a professional skeptic, thanks to 16 years as the lead columnist on the Bills. He loves the NBA, Strat-o-Matic baseball, Tom Waits and reading novels, along with the usual periodicals.


LEAVE IT TO Jim Boeheim. Syracuse's head coach brought the No. 1-rated college basketball team to town Saturday for what amounted to a spirited scrimmage against Canisius. And sure enough, moments after his arrival, the eternal complainer found something to whine about."The day was ruined when I showed up," Boeheim said moments after the Orangemen trampled the Golden …

SO YOU want to talk about tough? Ted Marchibroda knows a thing or two about it. Press him hard enough, and you might even pry loose a few words on the subject. One thing he's discovered, in his 58 years, is that there are two kinds of tough. First you have the actors, the guys who wear their toughness like an overcoat. Then you have your quiet, seemingly innocuous typ…

I'LL HAVE to admit it. The first Big East-Atlantic Coast Conference challenge series provided the most tense and compelling basketball of the young season. Syracuse-Duke, in particular, was a hoop fan's delight, a game that possessed much of the drama of a good NCAA Tournament game in March.One thing is for certain. It was a lot more interesting watching Duke and Syra…

Marv Levy realizes he has to do it. He knows just about every semiconscious person in Western New York likes to do it. Still, win or lose, Levy insists there is nothing more distasteful about the coaching profession than talking about a football game after it's over."It is so counterproductive," Levy said Tuesday, "and very meaningless."Maybe so, but one hardly can bl…

Over the years, I've discovered that you can tell a lot about a basketball coach by the kind of shot his team gets after a timeout. Almost invariably, the good coaches make certain their teams come up with a good shot.Late in the first half Wednesday night, Niagara called time with possession of the ball. Jack Armstrong, the youngest Division I coach in the country, h…

Riddick Bowe was somewhat evasive when asked about the future course of his professional boxing career. "I'm not in a hurry," Bowe said, "but then again, I am."That was a pretty fair description of his fight against Cleveland's Art Card on the undercard at UB's Alumni Arena Tuesday night. Bowe seemed almost uninterested in the opening round, but he quickly revived him…

It's safe to say Randy Gordon left Buffalo with a good impression of local boxing promoters Dave Hickson and Joe Orlando. Gordon, chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, even bestowed a nickname on the two novices."I have a 13-year-old daughter whose favorite group is New Kids on the Block," Gordon said before Tuesday night's card at UB's Alumni Arena. "Th…

Sam Wyche was in a surprisingly cheerful mood, considering the circumstances. His Bengals had just been hammered by the Bills, 24-7. They had fallen back to the .500 mark. They were looking more and more like the descending AFC champions.Still, Cincinnati's head coach remained undaunted. Coming into the game, he had asserted that his team would win its division, and S…

JIM RITCHER didn't want to say anything foolish, so he didn't say anything at all. Not about Cincinnati, anyway. There is a big grudge match to be played at Rich Stadium today, and the last thing the Bills starting left guard wanted was for one of his remarks to wind up on the Bengals' bulletin board.He really needn't have worried. Ritcher isn't what you would call a …

I'VE BEEN asked to vote on the Heisman Trophy for the first time, and let me tell you, it's a grave and intimidating assignment. You can tell that much by reading the instructions. You're reminded that the Heisman ballot is "individual" and "confidential," and can only be "exercised by you personally."While I appreciate the circumspect nature of the exercise, I really…

ROGER NEILSON has this white Labrador. Mike is the dog's name, and he is Neilson's constant, ubiquitous home companion. He is as much a fixture in Madison Square Garden as the blue seats and the unruly fans. But when Neilson leaves for a road trip, he puts Mike out of the house and allows him to roam free. And invariably, Mike will be there waiting when Neilson return…

"I don't know how many more years I want, anyway. I'm getting too old for this stuff." -- Fred Smerlas, July, 1983.THAT WAS about six years, or more than 100 starts ago. Even back then, Fred Smerlas liked to joke about getting old. He has perfected the lines by now. After a Bills game, he'll sit there in front of his messy locker, poking fun at himself and the other v…

Let's face it. Nowadays, assembling a list of college basketball's top teams is no easy task. In fact, maybe we shouldn't even be selecting a Top 25. Considering the sordid state of affairs, it might be more appropriate to compile the NCAA's Ten Most Wanted list.It seems as if half the top teams in America are operating under a disconcerting cloud these days. A lot of…

JACK ARMSTRONG, the new head basketball coach at Niagara University, sat at the end of the bar Wednesday night, watching the college basketball season unfold on television. The folks at ESPN had been kind enough to show two of his upcoming opponents, DePaul and Loyola Marymount, in back-to-back games. It was a great time to get in some extra scouting.Meanwhile, at the op…