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April 19, 1999 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-19

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:16 The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 19, 1999

SO LONG, GREAT PRINCE

NEW YORK (AP) - Six-year-old Trevor
Gretzky skipped his Little League game to see the
old man off after all. Michael Jordan called during
breakfast. People rushing to Madison Square
Garden in Rangers jerseys with "99" stitched on the
back crossed against the light in Times Square with-
out getting run down.
Everybody said goodbye to Wayne Gretzky in
their own way yesterday, none more gracefully than
the game with a tough reputation and the town with
an even tougher one.
National Hockey League commissioner Gary
Bettman did so by retiring his number. Teammates
gave him a large-screen TV The Rangers gave him a
Mercedes-Benz. The crowd of 18,200 stood as one
nearly every time the puck turned up on his stick.
Everybody came bearing gifts for The Great One
it seemed, except the Pittsburgh Penguins. And even
the villains in the 1,487th and final game of
Gretzky's career were helpless to stop him from
picking up assist No. 1,963 on a nifty forehand pass
that led to the Rangers' only goal.
The Penguins did win a measure of revenge with
a 2-1 victory on a goal by Jaromir Jagr in overtime.
"Jagr said to me he didn't mean do it," Gretzky said
afterward. "That's what I used to say."
But even that couldn't take the luster off his day.
The puck had barely rippled the Rangers' net
when Jagr led his teammates in forming a receiving
line to shake The Great One's hand. Countless hugs,
three curtain calls and several tearful laps ofhthe
arena later, Gretzky left hockey the way he came in
- with his head held high and the right side of his
jersey still tucked into the corner of his pants.

Before the game the Rangers painted "99" on they
ice between the nets and the backboards on both
ends in recognition of the space Gretzky called his
"office" - where he dished out literally hundredsQ
of assists. On his third shift of the opening period, he
set up shop there and two Penguins materialized on
either side of the net, hoping to hem Gretzky in. A
He began dribbling the puck, backhand then fore-,
hand, keeping it tantalizingly out of the reach of both
players. Neither dared lunge at him, maybe because~
they had seen the same replays the rest of us hadr
hundreds of times: Gretzky threading a lethal pass
through the narrowest of openings; Gretzky deli-
cately flipping the puck over the net, off the back of
the goalkeeper, and into the net; Gretzky spotting an
onrushing teammate and caroming the puck off the
corner boards, the way a pool hustler might.4
The Penguins, as it turned out, dodged the bullet ta
that time and on another dozen opportunities like it.
Gretzky kept setting up teammates; they kept failing
to finish. But every time he did so was one more bitI
of proof that the game really does slow down for the
great ones, that they know not just where everything
would happen, but where it would happen next.
In the days before he announced his retirement,
Gretzky asked Trevor whether he planned to be on
hand for yesterday's game. The 6-year-old said, no,
he had a Little League game scheduled and he want-
ed to be there instead.
And so just this once, Trevor's old man did some-
thing he never did. He asked for special treatment. f
"They had a practice yesterday and we talked to AP PHOTO
the team, changed things around a little bit. I guess;" Wayne Gretzky may be the best hockey player ever to grace the ice, but In Canada he's a little more
Wayne Gretzky said, "I had that much pull." than that. The now-retired icer was thought of by Canadians as one of the country's greatest heroes.
Bs, las lead tpSi

NEW YORK (AP) - The quarterbacks went as quick-
ly as 1-2-3. Then the dealing began, with Ricky Williams
at the center of it all.
Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith went
to Cleveland, Philadelphia and Cincinnati in Saturday's
NFL draft - the first quarterback trifecta since 1971.
And five quarterbacks overall were taken in the top
dozn with Daunte Culpepper going to Minnesota with
the 1 Ith pick and Cade McNown to Chicago with the
next choice.
But they had to share top billing with the New Orleans
Saints and coach Mike Ditka, who did just what he said
he'd do: get Williams, the Heisman Trophy-winning run-
ning back, no matter what it took.
In turn, Ditka's deal helped out the Washington
Redskins. He made his move when Indianapolis used the
fourth overall pick to take Miami running back Edgerrin
James instead of Williams.
Ditka traded all his picks this year and his first and
third next year to Washington, a total of eight in all. It set
up the rest of the draft and it certainly set up the
Redskins.
After the deal for Williams was struck, Ditka emerged
from the Saints' war room, pumped both fists in the air,
fired up a big cigar and shouted: "The power of prayer
did it."
Colts president Bill Polian said it "basically was a tie"
between James and Williams, although James was better
at catching the football. That's important in the Colts'
offense, particularly without Marshall Faulk, who had 86
catches last season but was traded to the Rams on
Thursday.
This' was also a socially significant draft. Of the first
five quarterbacks taken, three are black: McNabb, Smith
and Culpepper.
That equals the entire number of black quarterbacks
taken in the first round since the NFL-AFL merger in
1970 - Doug Williams in 1978, Andre Ware in 1990
and Steve McNair in 1995. Oakland, then in the AFL'
chose Eldridge Dickey in the first round in 1968.
"It's about time. We have maybe five or six African-
American quarterbacks that will be going in the draft
today or tomorrow," said Smith, whose prediction came
true again in the second round when the Buccaneers took
King.
"Because of people like Doug Williams who have
paved the way, it now becomes a burden on us to pave the
way for the next generation," Smith said.

NFL Draft on tap
First Round picks

Women's
golf takes
sixth place
By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
Four freshmen and two sophomores
on the Michigan women's golf team
almost grabbed some limelight from
their hosts this past weekend.
The Wolverines finished sixth, a few
strokes away from tournament holder
Iowa, at the Hawkeye Invitational. In its
final regular season tournament this past
weekend, Michigan coach Kathy
Teichert sent a young group to compete
for the Wolverines, while resting her
upperclassmen for the Big Ten
Championships that begin April 30.
"It's really exciting to see what our
future will be like' Teichert said. "We
showed that we're going the right way"
After a lackluster 331 Saturday out-
ing, Michigan finished strong on
Sunday, lowering its score to 324 to fin-
ish with a 657 total for the weekend.
Led by freshman Bess Bowers (80-80,
11th) and sophomores Amy Talbot (83-
82. 25th) and LeAnna Wicks (84-79
19th), Michigan finished to a tune that
Teichert thought would elevate her team
above the fifth-place Hawkeyes. But as
the afternoon ended, the Wolverines fell
short by four strokes.
Sophomore Trish Watkins, who com-
peted as:Michigan's individual and there-
fore was a non-scorer, couldn't con-
tribute her 83-81, two-day performance.
"Had we been able to use Trish's
score, we would have beaten Iowa and
taken fifth," Teichert said.
Men grab
fifth place
at tourney
By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
All season long the Michigan men's
golf team has been puzzled.
Who are the top five players?
Week in and week out, the Wolverines
have been varying the lineup to try and
answer the question. And still no answers
have appeared as various players have
led the team on various occasions.
But this past weekend at the Robert
Kepler Intercollegiate in Columbus, the
picture cleared up a little.
Under poor conditions which
Michigan coach Jim Carras described as
his fifth-worst day on the golf course,
the team had one of its most successful
outings.
The tournament was composed of 15
teams that created one of the strongest
fields the Wolverines have faced this
year. Regardless of the bad conditions,
the team finished fifth with a score of
915 that was only eight strokes out of
second place.
"The weather won the war,' Carras
said. "It was a good tournament for us."
Michigan was paced by junior Mike
Harris and sophomore Scott Hayes. The
two both shot 228 for the tournament.
Andrew Chapman, Andy Matthews and
Brian Siepke composed the remainder
of the five-man squad. _

Pos
1 Tim Couch QB
2. Donovan McNabb QB
3. Akili Smth QB
4. Edgerin James RB
5. Ricky Williams RB
6. Torry Holt WR
7. Champ Bailey DB
8. David Boston WR
9. Chris Claiborne LB
10. Chris McAlister DB
11. Daunte Culpepper QB
12. Cade McNown QB
13. Troy Edwards WR
14. John Tait OL
15. Anthony McFarland DL
16.Jevon Kearse LB
17. Damien Woody OL
18. Matt Stinchcomb OL
19. Luke Petitgout OL
20. Ebenezer Ekuban DL
21. U. Shelton OL
22. Lamar King DL
23. Antoine Winfield DB
24. Reggie McGrew DL
25. Antuan Edwards DB
26. Fernando Bryant DB
27. Aaron Gibson OL
28. Andy KatzenmoyerLB
29. D. Underwood DL
30. Patrick Kerney DL
31. Al Wilson LB

Kentucky
Syracuse
Oregon
Miami (Fla.)
Texas
N. Carolina St.
Georgia
Ohio State-
USC
Arizona
Central Florida
UCLA
Louisiana Tech
Brigham Young
Louisiana St.
Florida
Boston College
Georgia
Notre Dame
North Carolina
Eastern Mich.
Saginaw Valley
Ohio State
Florida
Clemson
Alabama
Wisconsin
Ohio State
Michigan State
Virginia
Tennessee
rs in the di
6
3
2
6 361

NFL Team
Cleveland
Philadelphia
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
New Orleans
St. Louis
Washington
Arizona
Detroit
Baltimore
Minnesota
Chicago
Pittsburgh
Kansas City
Tampa Bay
Tennessee
New England
Oakland
NY Giants
Dallas
Arizona
Seattle,
Buffalo
San Francisco
Green Bay
Jacksonville
Detroit
New England
Minnesota
Atlanta
Denver
raft
Tem
Washington
Pittsburgh
San Francisco
NY Giants

Indianapolis' snub might have surprised him, but Heisman Trophy winner Ricky
Williams Is all smiles here after being selected by New Orleans with the fifth pick.

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Prospects Marcus Ray and Sam Sword were not drafted.
The Browns' pick was preordained after the new team
signed the Kentucky junior before the draft. So was
Philadelphia's selection of McNabb, the Syracuse quar-
terback, although Eagles fans wanted Williams so badly
that a group seated in the gallery booed and shouted "We
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