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K-Jack cuts a few new tracks...Madonna tries another tack...Roberts makes backboards crack


K-Jack-n-America, the debut album of Philadelphia Eagle All-Pro tight end Keith Jackson. Nine raps, written and performed by Jackson, appear on the album produced by City Block Records, based in Washington, D.C. The lyrics stress social responsibility for young people: Stay away from drugs, stay away from violence, and stay in school. "There's positive energy in my message," Jackson says.

To purchase an expansion team in the Arena Football League, disgraced New York Yankee general partner George Steinbrenner. Barred by baseball commissioner Fay Vincent from actively participating in the Yankees' day-to-day affairs, Steinbrenner put a $250,000 down payment on an Arenaball franchise that would be whelped in New York in 1993. Isn't the AFL a little leery of Steinbrenner's track record? "Not at all," said one team official. "We're very excited about having someone of his magnitude in the league."

By pop superstar Madonna, obviously on the rebound from her brief encounter with Oakland A's slugger Jose Canseco last spring, new New York Rangers captain Mark Messier. Madonna and Messier were put in touch by a mutual friend, actress Janet Jones, wife of Messier's former Edmonton teammate Wayne Gretzky. At week's end they had spoken on the phone but had yet to meet. "We'll wait and sec," Messier said. "Who knows where it'll go?"

By Orlando Magic center Stanley Roberts, both backboards, with monster jams during a team practice at the Downtown Recreational Center in Orlando, Fla. His first destructive act, an overhead mash with both hands, left a three-foot hole in a backboard. "I guess I got a little carried away," said Roberts, a 7-foot, 300-pound rookie. An hour later he made a one-handed dunk that left the other backboard spider-webbed with cracks. Magic G.M. Pat Williams quickly arranged to sell splinters from the first board for $10 apiece at the next home game.

Humanely Destroyed
The champion trotter Nihilator, 9; by lethal injection, after he contracted laminitis, an incurable hoof disease; in Kennett Square, Pa. The 1985 Harness Horse of the Year, Nihilator won 23 of 25 career starts and a record $3,225,653 in purses. Often called the Secretariat of harness racing, Nihilator suffered from the same disease that resulted in the death of that great thoroughbred in 1989.

Rough-and-tumble linebacker Hardy Brown, 67; of natural causes; in Stockton, Calif. Brown's bone-jarring tackling style-he erupted from a crouch and hit ballcarriers with his shoulder—was legendary in the NFL during the '50s. "Guys would get cornered and try to run Hardy over, but he'd just get lower and then, pop!" his San Francisco 49er teammate Hugh McElhenny once said. "He'd snap up and aim his head right under the guy's jaw, right for the neck. He ended a lot of guys' careers." Former 49er quarterback Y.A. Tittle claimed that Brown knocked 21 players unconscious in 1951.



Jackson aims for a No. 1 hit.