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Morning Briefing

Solemn-Sounding Event Produces Nice Laughs

November 25, 1986

Sports columnists Jim Murray and Melvin Durslag, who won awards, and USC basketball Coach George Raveling, one of the presenters, came up with some good lines Sunday night at the Sports and the Law Dinner at the Amateur Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame.

Murray: "I became a sportswriter because, back in my days at Time magazine, I was the only one in the building who could spell Yastrzemski."

Durslag, receiving his award from Al Davis: "I am flattered to have him here. You have to get Al Davis on either Saturday or Sunday. The other five days of the week he is in court."

Raveling: "I'm happy to be here tonight. Last night, I didn't think I would be able to make it. I was taken seriously ill for about three or four hours. The doctor came and diagnosed my disease as Gaston Green Syndrome. He said it was running all around Pasadena Saturday."

How young is Mike Tyson? Look at it this way. He's the same age as UCLA linebacker Ken Norton Jr., whose father was the heavyweight champion only eight years ago.

Add Tyson: Angelo Dundee, who had worked out a "can't miss" game plan for Trevor Berbick, told the New York Times afterward: "This kid don't let you do what you want to. He throws combinations I never saw before. When have you seen a guy throw a right hand to the kidney, come up the middle with an uppercut, then throw a left hook? And he throws punches fast, like a trigger. He was throwing pineapples.

"He looked as awesome as George Foreman did when he took Joe Frazier out."

Trivia Time: Who was the last undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world? (Answer below.)

Wait a Minute: Chuck Rohe, executive director of the Florida Citrus Bowl, which matches USC and Auburn, told Ted Tollner after Saturday's disaster: "If you win next week, nobody will remember today."

Obviously, he doesn't know the territory. Here's what Tollner told the Daily Trojan last week: "This is the most important game on our schedule. After the articles are written and the game is over, it is one game that remains significant all year."

The Light Touch: Football play-by-plays provided by schools for the media are usually a dry, factual account of a game. But Rich Perelman, who provides that service for UCLA, embellishes even the most routine play. Some examples from Saturday's game:

"Steele into middle, KO'd by Norton, gains 2; Knight smashed by Norton, gains 2; Green Q-tipped by Cotton, gains 9; Green swabbed by Cotton, gains 4; Peete to Jackson, drowned by Lake, after gain of 25; and, hold on, Peete scrambles, capsized in and by Lake, gains 8."

Trivia Answer: Leon Spinks in 1978. He beat Muhammad Ali for the title. Later in the year, the World Boxing Council established Ken Norton as its champion, while the World Boxing Assn. continued to recognize Spinks. Norton lost the WBC title to Larry Holmes, and Ali regained the WBA title from Spinks. It's been an alphabetic mess ever since.

Quotebook

George Martin, 33, 6-4, 255-pound defensive lineman of the New York Giants, on his 78-yard touchdown run Sunday after intercepting a pass by Denver quarterback John Elway: "When I caught the ball, it was a bright, sunny day. By the time I got to the end zone, it was partly cloudy."

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