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From the Sidelines

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 25, 1998

As we sit down for Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, a few thoughts on what those in the sports world may be giving thanks for.

New Orleans Saints fans, a team that does not have the best talent in the NFL but one that gives its all for 60 minutes. There may be no coach in theleague who gets the most out of a team’s ability than Mike Ditka.

Tulane football fans, the real ones that actually attend the games, a team that is exciting to watch and one that is rapidly becoming one of the top programs in the country. Now, if it only could find another year ofeligibility for Shaun King and have Tommy Bowden stick around for the next decade.

LSU football fans, that the 1998 season will mercifully come to an end Friday. Few Tiger teams have experienced such disappointment. Tiger fansshould also be thankful for players like Kevin Faulk and Herb Tyler who made even the losses exciting.

College football fans, that there are not more irrational ideas like the Bowl Champ-ionship Series on the horizon. Heading into the final weeks ofthe season, there appears to still be arguments over who is No. 1. Forthose in charge of such items, get a playoff system soon, please.

New Orleans Zephyrs fans, an organization that believes in catering to its fans and for giving the city its first professional championship in 60 years.

Fans of the New Orleans Brass, for another organization that believes in its fans and for putting on a show.

Baseball fans, a season that perhaps was the greatest ever and one that will not soon be forgotten. And for players like Mark McGwire, SammySosa and David Wells, all of whom defined the word “professionals”.

Baseball players, for the fans who came back to the game after the 1994 strike. Of course, it could be said that with their performances this year,they have already done so.

LSU baseball fans, that it appears that Skip Bertman will be around for a couple more years.

NBA players and owners, that college and pro football are getting all the attention right now. Soon, you will be the ones back in the spotlight andall you have to show for right now is a month’s worth of canceled games.

Kerry Collins, that the Saints organization has been willing to give him a second and a third chance.

The Saints, that their faith in Collins appears to be paying off.

Mike Tyson, that boxing is giving him another chance, one that many do not feel he deserves.

Local golf fans, that the PGA Tour event in New Orleans is alive and well and in a better place on the schedule in 1999.

River Parishes sports fans, for the young men and women who have given us all a year to remember. Three state champions in 1998 and six footballteams still alive in the playoffs.

Louisiana sportsmen and sportswomen, a state that is teeming with wildlife. Let us also try to preserve it for generations to come.

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