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Names In The Game

August 20, 1993

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) _ You name it, Vince Buck can cook it. If it’s not too spicy, that is. Buck loves to cook, but keeps his food on the plain side. Maybe that’s because he likes things so spicy on the football field.

″I love the challenge at cornerback because it’s always so hot out there,″ Buck said. ″It’s like just a shot of Tabasco sauce on every play. Spicy hot, red hot, make-you-tingle-and-your-eyes-tear-up hot.″

Buck made a dazzling debut as the New Orleans Saints starting left cornerback in 1991. In the first 13 games, he made 45 tackles, recovered three fumbles and had five interceptions.

Then on Dec. 1, Buck took a hard hit and was carried off the field on a stretcher. It turned out he had a pinched nerve in his neck that ended his season.

″That’s scary for any football player. You lie there thinking, ’Oh God, please don’t let this be bad,‴ Buck said. ″You start trying to make deals for your body.″

Buck underwent an off-season rehabilitation and strength program and returned to training camp in 1992 wearing special shoulder pads that helped protect his neck.

″It was really uncomfortable, you couldn’t turn your head or move the way you wanted to,″ Buck said.

Buck’s return ended quickly, not because of his neck, but because of a knee injury in the first game that sidelined him for the next six games.

He next played at safety in the last nine games.

″Safety is OK, but I still like the corner,″ Buck said. ″I like being out there alone against a guy. It’s like our own little war. I may get beat on a play, but I’ll be right back and stop him my share of times.″

Receiver and cornerback are not positions for the meek, Buck said.

″You have to be confident, even arrogant out there,″ Buck said. ″You have to want it as hot as it can get. I don’t eat a lot of spicy food, but I sure like the Tabasco on the field.″

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) - After four tough games on the road, Brazil comes home for a crucial World Cup qualifying game against Ecuador on Sunday in Sao Paulo. Nothing like a home field advantage, right?

Brazil isn’t so sure.

Fans are so disgruntled at the team’s lackluster play that some fear the crowd could boo the Brazilians - or even root for Ecuador.

A cartoon in the Rio daily O Globo illustrated the concern.

It showed assistant coach Mario Zagalo commenting that Brazil would play its last four qualifying games at home.

″Yeah,″ replied a worried head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. ″That means we can’t count on the support of the fans.″

The Globo television network, Brazil’s largest, is promoting the game with a call for patriotism.

″If you have a criticism, forget it,″ the announcer says. ″Let’s support our team.″

But even President Itamar Franco has criticized. Asked what he thought of the team’s play, Franco replied, ″A horror.″

Many fans hold Parreira responsible for the team’s poor play.

In recent games, the crowd has chanted ″stupid, stupid″ and ″Parreira get out.″

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Chicago Bulls center Will Perdue, who has played a part in the Bulls’ three consecutive NBA titles, is preparing for another big event - his marriage.

Perdue is to wed Jennifer McAdams in a Saturday evening ceremony to be held at Wightman Chapel on the grounds of Scarritt College.

Now a restricted free agent with the Bulls, Perdue has indicated he would like to sign a long-term deal that would enable him to finish out his career in Chicago.

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