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B.S. on Sports

By Bill Scheft

Are we really happy here With this lonely game we play? Looking for words to say--Searching but not finding understanding anywhere, Lost in a masquerade. --Leon Russell

Pretty fancy way to start a column, huh? Seriously, though, this weekend in sports has inspired such music in me. Saturday and Sunday was literally one big athletic masquerade party, so let's look at some of the more captivating costumes that were worn.

First prize for the Best Individual Costume at the professional level goes without question to Fran Tarkenton, who looked more like a Lebanese dermatologist than a quarterback on Super Bowl Sunday. Fran had the advantage of working on his costume ahead of time, boning up for Sunday's dismal performance with a passing day in the NFC championship game two weeks earlier that was almost as bad. It was a Jekyll-Hyde job without peer.

While we're on the subject of Sunday's game, Oakland Raiders George Atkinson and Errol Mann deserve at least a pair of Spiegel gift certificates. Atkinson was a runner up to Tarkenton for Best Costume, dressing in a Spider Lockhart outfit instead of the Richard Speck-type garb that he's known and loathed for.

Mann, however, ran away with the award for Worst Individual Costume. The eight-year veteran came dressed as a hard-luck, mediocre, straight-ahead kicker, the same costume he's been pathetically wearing for eight years.

But enough lamenting over such an anti-climactic affair, whadddyasay we move to the college ranks?

Harvard's stunning 4-3 win over Brown on Saturday showed off some of the more gala costumes of the school's athletic year.

Most impressive, though, were all those guys and gals who came dressed as the Harvard Band. I mean, talk about originality! They had instruments, sheet music, a conductor, crimson jackets, the works! However, they really gave themselves away during the game; just sitting in the stands looking at the contest, making about as much music as Van Cliburn with his hands cut off.

Oh yeah, there were some occasional squeaks from the clarinets, a couple of oom-pahs from the lone tuba, but the overall observation was that those fellas in section 18 were about as useful as hemorrhoids on a race horse.

Wait a minute... You mean those people were really in the band? You mean those instruments were really their own and they knew how to play them? Well, in that case let's just say they were totally humiliated by the classy and entertaining minstrels from Brown.

There were other super outfits. Jon Garrity, Bobby Folkes, and Jackie Hughes came dressed as four-year, all-Ivy lettermen and certainly played like it, Brain Petrovek found his All-American goalie costume that he'd been missing for about a year and proved that it still fit, and Mike Clasby's two key assists showed that his brand new varsity uniform won't need any alterations.

With all this in mind, we can characterize Saturday's win as one grand masquerade by the Crimson hockey team. They cunningly used the television cameras in an attempt to convince all of New England that they are the class of the ECAC and that no ice challenge is too great for them. And the funny thing is that the masquerade worked, and will hopefully keep working, up and through the NCAA finals come April. Thanks a lot Leon, you sports prophet, you.

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