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Morning Briefing

It's Inspiration He Could Bottle

February 17, 1986

William Perry's true worth as a professional football player is still to be determined, but there's no denying that good things happen to teams that recruit him.

In his first year at Chicago, the Bears won their first Super Bowl. In his first year at Clemson, the Tigers won their only national championship.

Even in high school he was a franchise-maker, even though he played guard.

Eddie Buck, head football coach at Aiken (S.C.) High School, told the Chicago Tribune: "We made the playoffs every year he was here. We didn't win it, but we had never been in the playoffs before. And in 28 years of coaching, I never saw a team make it whose star wasn't a quarterback or running back."

Buck said Perry mostly was quiet and unassuming, but that he also knew when to take charge.

"I remember a playoff game we were losing, 16-7, at halftime," Buck said. "I was trying to think of something to fire us up. William was standing on a bench. He picked up a Coke bottle, threw it against a wall and shouted, 'I'm tired of this crap.' That was all he said, and I didn't add a word. I just looked at my coaches and said, 'Let's go to work.' We won the game, 32-16."

Trivia Time: Who is the all-time leading left-handed scorer in the NBA? (Answer below.)

Said Billy Olson, explaining why he passed up a rematch with Sergei Bubka in Chicago Sunday: "I'm saving myself for the big one in Los Angeles."

Did he mean The Times/GTE meet at the Forum?

"No," he said. "I'll be there, but the big one is Wednesday. I'm playing golf in the pro-am tournament of the Los Angeles Open."

How slow were the pitches of Geoff Zahn who retired last week?

Former New York Yankee Manager Bob Lemon once said: "Some night Zahn's going to deliver the ball, and by the time it gets there, he's going to find out the batter has been waived out of the league or traded."

Gary Player, making his debut on the Senior Tour this year, told Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post: "Out here, I'm the youngster. I played with Sam Snead last week--the man must be the greatest athlete of all time, 74 years old and shooting his age--and he says to his caddy, 'How come this boy is out-driving me on every hole?' When I was on the regular tour, they all called me 'Mr. Player.' "

How reliable are those ratings of high school football players by Parade Magazine and other publications which give you the top 100 in the country?

Writes Buddy Martin of the Denver Post: "According to research conducted by Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, not one player that finished in the top 10 in the 1985 Heisman Trophy balloting received a top 100 rating four years ago, including Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson.

"Conversely, the two top high school quarterbacks that same season were Jamie Harris, who couldn't make Georgia's team after signing to play with the Bulldogs, and Sean Salisbury, a bust at USC."

Trivia Time: Gail Goodrich with 19,181 points in a 14-year career.


Gary Player of South Africa, on Sunday's Senior Tour win at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., his second win in three tournaments: "I tell you, this Senior Tour is a bloody joy."

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