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Morning Briefing

Boz Confession: Bolt Out of Blue

October 16, 1986

Speaking of loose bolts, Brian Bosworth, the University of Oklahoma's dyed-in-the-hair linebacker, has taken back his statement that he put stray bolts in General Motors cars more than a year ago, remarks that stirred protests from his former co-workers.

Bosworth was quoted in Sports Illustrated's fall football issue as saying that while on a summer job at GM's Oklahoma City plant, co-workers taught him how to insert the bolts in hard-to-reach places so they would rattle.

"If you own a Celebrity or a Century made in 1985 in Oklahoma City, that car is (bleeped) up if I had anything to do with it," Bosworth told the magazine.

He said each bolt carried a note that said: "Aha! You found me!"

Bosworth told the magazine: "I love the thought of people going absolutely crazy, saying, 'Where is that . . . rattle coming from?' "

After protests from some of Bosworth's former co-workers and plant management, the president of the university, Dr. Frank Horton, talked to Bosworth, who denied putting the loose bolts in the cars.

Nevertheless, Horton issued an apology on behalf of the Sooners.

"It was a flippant remark (by Bosworth)," a university spokesman said. "He's learning as a young boy that he's got to mean what he says."

Trivia Time: When the Atlanta Braves finished last in the National League West, Chuck Tanner had managed three straight last-place teams--Pittsburgh in 1984 and 1985 and Atlanta in 1986. Who was the last major league manager to see his teams finish last in three consecutive seasons?

(Answer in column 2.)

Wall-to-wall: Next season will mark the 75th anniversary of Fenway Park and its fabled Green Monster. The Red Sox played their first game there April 15, 1912, a date perhaps better remembered as the day the Titanic sank.

Through the years, the wall has contributed its share to history, too.

"It used to be made of wood," Joe Mooney, Fenway Park's 54-year-old grounds superintendent recently told Newsday's Jerry Sullivan. "Then it was tin. Ten years ago, they put up the new fiberglass. The old one was pretty beat up. You should have seen all the dents in it."

Add Fenway: The Green Monster might be a problem, but Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans said the rest of the outfield boundary is no picnic, either.

"There are nooks and crannies in this park I haven't even discovered," Evans said. "And I've been here 15 years. I guess you could say it has a piece of me. Whether it's my heart, I don't know. There are so many angles in right field to contend with. It can do a number on you. I've seen some good outfielders look bad out there."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 1-5, but offensive tackle Marvin Powell thinks they could be a better team than their record indicates.

All the Buccaneers need, Powell told the Orlando Sentinel's Jerry Greene recently, is a jolt from above.

"Everything in Tampa Bay is like it was thousands of years ago when life began on earth," Powell said. "You have this pool of amino acids. All it needs to come to life is a lightning bolt."

Trivia Answer: Preston Gomez's San Diego Padres finished last in 1969, 1970 and 1971.

Quotebook

Told that his predecessor, Stan Morrison, once jumped off the roof of a restaurant into a swimming pool when the USC basketball team qualified for the NCAA tournament, Coach George Raveling said: "The last time I jumped off a roof was during the riots, and I was carrying a TV set at the time."

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