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Morning Briefing

Tickets Convert Minister

December 18, 1985

CBS football announcer Verne Lundquist, son of a minister in Austin, Tex., attended Texas Lutheran, where he started out to be a minister.

"I was imbued with the idea of saving mankind until I began doing radio work," he told Stan Isaacs of Newsday. "That's when I decided to give up the ministry."

What did his father think?

"When he found out I got four free tickets to the University of Texas games, he didn't mind," Lundquist said.

Mychal Thompson of the Portland Trail Blazers, on 7-foot 7-inch Manute Bol of the Washington Bullets: "I don't know why NASA spends all that money on the shuttle. All they've got to do is give Manute some tools and let him reach up and fix things."

Trivia Time: When Roger Maris hit his 61st home run off Boston's Tracy Stallard in the last game of the 1961 season, how did it figure in the outcome of the game? (Answer below.)

Add Maris: In his hometown of Fargo, N.D., he is remembered more as a football and basketball star, since high schools in the state didn't play baseball.

In 1951 at Shanley High School, he set a national high school record by returning four kickoffs for touchdowns in a game. In another game, he scored five touchdowns on runs of 90, 88, 45, 32 and 25 yards and kicked two extra points for a total of 32 points as Shanley won, 33-20.

He was offered a football scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, but after a week on campus, he left to sign with the Cleveland Indians.

"I enjoyed football, but I wasn't crazy about going to school," he said.

Of UCLA's 1-0 victory over American University in eight overtimes to win the NCAA soccer title, Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post said, "It lasted only slightly longer than the Industrial Revolution."

He added: "A friend of mine gathered his wife and his three sons to watch the game on TV. When it ended, the only ones left in the room were my friend and his wife's divorce lawyer."

From a column by Frank Luksa of the Dallas Times Herald, recalling some of his favorite quotes:

Former Cleveland Brown backup quarterback George Ratterman to Paul Brown after the latter had called three consecutive timeouts when starter Otto Graham had been knocked dizzy: "Do you want to put me in or forfeit?"

Bum Phillips, reflecting upon his days in the Marine Corps: "I thought we couldn't win the war without me. After I joined, I began to think we couldn't win with me. I never joined anything again."

Just Asking: If the Rams checked the record, would they still want the home field advantage in the playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys?

They've played Dallas twice here in playoffs, losing 37-7 in 1975 and 28-0 in 1978. In five playoff games against the Cowboys at Dallas, they've won three of them, including a 24-17 win in 1983.

Coach Bill Walsh, on the adjustment wide receiver Jerry Rice has had to make as a rookie at San Francisco: "Jerry's problem, if anything, at Mississippi Valley was when he caught the ball, he figured the next thing he would be doing would be spiking it."

Trivia Answer: It won the game for the New York Yankees, 1-0.


Mark Kram of the Detroit Free Press, on the football coaching job at Notre Dame: "Ideally, the coach should be a cross between Billy and Otto Graham--divinely inspired with an eye on the end zone."

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