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Morning Briefing

Berra Again Finds Way to Eat Words

December 13, 1985

He no longer operates out of New York, but he's the same old Yogi Berra. He still has a way with words.

Berra, attending the baseball meetings in San Diego as a coach for the Houston Astros, went to lunch the other day with Milton Richman of United Press International. Richman said that Berra, after ordering a hamburger, was asked by the waitress if he wanted French fries with it.

"OK," Yogi told her. "But no potatoes. I'm on a diet."

Hubert Mizell of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Chip Hooper, while participating in a tennis tournament in Australia, was asked by the scoreboard operator, "What's your name, please?"

Hooper wheeled around and said, "Hooper, man."

So, up on the scoreboard went this pairing: Edmondson vs. Hooperman.

Trivia Time: What trophy did Jay Berwanger of Chicago win as the nation's outstanding college football player in 1935? (Answer below.)

The biggest mismatch among the college bowl games? If you believe the New York Times computer ratings, it's the Aloha Bowl. Alabama is rated 10th, USC 40th.

The Rose Bowl also has a lopsided look. Iowa is rated 7th, UCLA 27th.

The 1971-72 Lakers set still-standing NBA records of 33 straight victories and 69 wins for the season, but Pat Riley says, "This team is better. That team couldn't have been that deep--I was the sixth man."

For the Record: A recent item comparing the careers of Tony Hill and Gene Washington brought a letter from H. Melvin Swift Jr. of Los Angeles, who noted that Washington, unlike Hill, did play quarterback at Stanford as a freshman and sophomore before being moved to wide receiver.

Washington, now an announcer for Channel 7, was switched to make room for a hotshot sophomore quarterback--Jim Plunkett.

Ken Denlinger of the Washington Post, in a column on John Riggins, recalled the running back's holdout with the New York Jets in 1973, when he wired Coach Weeb Ewbank and said, "Need more green before I get mean."

Riggins finally agreed to terms, and Ewbank told reporter Paul Zimmerman: "It was the damnedest thing. He signed the contract sitting at the desk in my office. He had on leather pants, he was stripped to the waist and he was wearing a derby hat with a feather in it, covering a Mohawk haircut. It must have been what the sale of Manhattan Island was like."

Trivia Answer: The D A C Trophy. That stood for the Downtown Athletic Club, the New York club that sponsored the award. The following year, in 1936, it was named the Heisman Trophy, in honor of John Heisman, the club's athletic director who died that year.

Add Heisman: In Dave Newhouse's book, "Heisman: After the Glory," Berwanger recalled the telegram that said he'd won and would be flown to New York.

"I was more excited about the trip than the trophy because it was my first flight," he said.

He said he gave the trophy to his Aunt Gussie, who used it the next 10 years as a hat rack/doorstop.


Chuck Connors, actor and former Brooklyn Dodger, on Branch Rickey: "Rickey had both money and players. He just didn't like to see the two of them mix."

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