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Morning Briefing

Oiler Coach Has Sense of Humor, May Need It

September 13, 1987

Houston Oilers Coach Jerry Glanville, coming into today's opener against the Rams, already is leading the league in one-liners. Here are a few from The Sporting News:

On disappointing first-round receiver Haywood Jeffires: "I don't think we gave him a million dollars to be a decoy. If that's all we wanted, we could've gone down to the sports store and paid $29 for a decoy."

On kicker Tony Zendejas and punter Lee Johnson: "The amazing thing about our kickers is that they married 10s and they're 3s. Both of them married beautiful women."

On 300-pound guard Jerrell Franklin, who was cut: "It looks like someone sat on his lap and didn't leave."

St. Louis catcher Tony Pena, fighting his way out of a hitting slump, kept taking extra batting practice until Cardinal Manager Whitey Herzog told him he was only wearing himself out.

Says Herzog: "If batting practice made Hall of Famers, I'd be in it."

How long can Fernando Valenzuela last, throwing 153 pitches a game, as he did recently?

When Nolan Ryan was clocked at 100.9 m.p.h., setting a major league record, he pitched the Angels to a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. He threw 159 pitches. The year was 1974. That's 13 years ago.

Add Ryan: With 226 strikeouts this season, he already has set a record for 40-year-old pitchers. Phil Niekro set the old record of 208 with Atlanta in 1979.

Texas Rangers Manager Bobby Valentine, on Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson: "Sparky is so full of it, it's unbelievable. Mark McGwire hits something like six homers against him, and when the Tigers are all done with Oakland, he's saying that McGwire is one of the great high-ball hitters.

"Everybody knows McGwire is a low-ball hitter, but Sparky's hoping some of the managers in his division will start throwing low balls to McGwire. Unbelievable."

Trivia Time: What college athlete called the signals in both sports as his school won national championships in football and baseball? (Answer below.)

Former Raider tight end Dave Casper, now an NBC analyst, told USA Today: "John Madden liked me because my job was to tell him a joke every day at practice."

Marianne Jennings resigned as the faculty athletic representative at Arizona State when the university went over her head to restore the eligibility of linebacker Stacy Harvey.

"There are certain truths in life," Jennings told the Arizona Republic. "You don't spit into the wind, you don't tug on Superman's cape and you don't mess with star football players."

Trivia Answer: Steve Sogge of USC. He was the quarterback on the 1967 football team that clinched the title with a 14-3 win over Indiana in the Rose Bowl. He was the catcher on the 1968 baseball team that won the College World Series.

Quotebook

Abe Lemons, Oklahoma City basketball coach, explaining how he came within two strokes of winning an automobile in a golf tournament: "It was a hole-in-one contest, and I had a three."

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