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Morning Briefing

Fans Find an Arena for Off-Season Wager

June 25, 1987

It's called Arena League Football, and it doesn't figure to make anyone forget the National Football League, but already it has set a record in Las Vegas betting parlors.

In the wake of 48-46 and 52-44 scores in last weekend's openers, the over-under line for Saturday's game between the Washington Commandos and the Denver Dynamite is 90 points.

Originally, Las Vegas was prepared to ignore the new league, in which eight-man teams play on 50-yard fields, but bettors wouldn't stand for it.

"It's 500 degrees outside and it's the middle of June and they worry about arena football," said Jimmy Vaccaro, who runs the sports book at Bally's. "They're crazy."

The high-scoring games have already presented one problem. Denver running back Chris Brewer said he got tired of celebrating touchdowns.

"After the fourth or fifth touchdown, we might have to get like the Lakers and just point at each other," he said. "After a while, it wears you out."

Ouch: The London tabloids are having a field day with the Chris Evert-John Lloyd breakup and her current romance with former Olympic skier Andy Mill.

The London Sun has been interviewing Mill's wife, a former Miss California, Robin Mill.

She was quoted as saying of Evert: "The first time I saw her she was wearing this fur coat that looked like a squirrel that had been beaten to death by 40,000 Arabs."

Add London: Ivan Lendl has been trying to make his peace with the press.

Said USA Today: "Anticipating coverage of his relationship with 18-year-old Samantha Frankel, Lendl invited the British press to his London flat for dinner last week.

"The French Open champion played waiter, took orders for drinks and cooked dinner for the media."

Trivia Time: Who are Bob McCann, Winston Garland and J.J. Weber? (Answer below.)

19 Years Ago Today: On June 25, 1968, San Francisco outfielder Bobby Bonds set a still-standing major league record by hitting a grand slam in his first big league game. The homer helped the Giants beat the Dodgers, 9-0. Bonds, 22, already had hit three grand slams at Phoenix before being called up.

Note: On the same day, it was announced that black athletes would not boycott the U.S. Olympic tryouts but that some kind of demonstration could be forthcoming. The announcement was made by Harry Edwards.

For What It's Worth: Ken Griffey Jr., No. 1 draft choice of the Seattle Mariners, is off to a big start with Bellingham (Wash.) of the Northwest League.

In his first seven games, he had 3 home runs, 8 runs batted in and 4 stolen bases. He was named the league's player of the week.

Trivia Answer: McCann (Morehead State), Garland (Southwest Missouri State) and Weber (Wisconsin) were the first three draft choices of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Quotebook

New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling, who has a 2-5 record and is winless in his last 12 starts: "I can see why a lot of the guys go to chapel."

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