TEN QUESTIONS--AND SOME ANSWERS

8. If you're six-eleven, why can't you see anything? It's growing ever clearer that players in the National Basketball Association have learned very little from the disastrous labor strikes of their brethren in baseball and hockey. After nearly two months of trash talk concerning the fate of their union, the players will vote on its future at the end of this month or in early September. If the union is dissolved by a majority vote of the 422 players, the entire 1995-96 season will also be in jeopardy, which wouldn't bode well for the Houston Rockets' chances for a title threepeat. On the other hand, Nuggets fans might not have to be disappointed again, and Michael Jordan might get another swing-and-a-miss in minor-league baseball. If the NBA does go down, look for one helluva flagrant foul from angry fans.

9. Now, mein Englisher friend. How about a second look at World War II in the replay booth? Last week computer experts at Oxford University determined that the goal that gave England a win over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup never crossed the goal line. According to computer video analysis that provided new angles of view, Geoff Hurst's shot hit the crossbar in the twelfth minute of extra time but never entered the goal's mouth and should have been disallowed. The importance of the conclusion remains a mystery to all but soccer fans--including eleven Americans.

10. How does 2 million sound to do The Dating Game? Arthritic knees or not, you can bet O.J. will run a ten-flat on the way out of Ito's courtroom when the acquittal comes. The bloody gloves don't fit. No one knows when the dog barked. Mark Fuhrman has been cast as some kind of Klansman. Johnnie and F. Lee and Robert and the rest of the Juice's linebacking crew have shredded Marcia and the Vandellas. And that adds up to reasonable doubt, don't you think? Meanwhile, the nagging questions remain. Can a black man get a fair trial in our country? Clearly, many African-Americans don't think so. Can the state make a strong case against a beloved black celebrity? Just as clearly, many white Americans don't think so. What is the nature of race relations in the U.S.? Whatever the verdict, it's bound to be divisive.

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