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Morning Briefing

Chi Chi's Driving Lesson

September 23, 1987

If you think it's tough driving in Los Angeles, Chi Chi Rodriguez says you should try it on his streets.

He tells this story: "A man driving in Puerto Rico goes through a red light and his passenger asks why. He says because his brother does it.

"He goes through another red light, the passenger asks why, and he again says his brother does it.

"Then he comes to a green light, slams on his brakes and screeches to a stop. His passenger asks why, and he says, 'Because my brother might be coming.' "

How good is the Boston College team that USC beat for its first victory?

Says Temple Coach Bruce Arians, whose Owls beat Pittsburgh after losing to Boston College: "I started the season thinking Boston College was the best team in the East and I still believe that. Pittsburgh is a good team. Penn State will become a better team as the season goes along."

From Montreal Manager Buck Rodgers, claiming that of all the scuffballers, San Diego's Ed Whitson is the worst: "We've got some balls it looks like he used a bottle cap on."

Trivia Time: Who uttered the immortal words, "Is Brooklyn still in the league?" (Answer below.)

Said Chicago Bear Coach Mike Ditka when asked what he would consider an ideal evening: "It could be champagne and good company. It could be company without the champagne. It could be champagne without the company."

A bit of philosophy from Lou Holtz, Notre Dame football coach: "Don't let failure get you down. Babe Ruth struck out over 1,300 times."

More philosophy, this time from North Carolina basketball Coach Dean Smith: "If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot."

The greatest coach in football? Bubba Smith claims it's Don Shula, and says it isn't close.

Bubba: "If a nuclear bomb is dropped on this country, the only things I'm certain will survive are Astroturf and Don Shula."

Willie Pep, former featherweight champion, who has been married five times, told the Hartford Courant: "My ex-wives were all good housekeepers. When they left, they kept the house."

Pep is 65 years old and talking about getting married again.

"When I told the doctor I was marrying a 33-year-old woman, he said I could be taking a chance," Pep says. "I told him, 'Hey, if she dies, she dies.' "

More Pep: At a gathering of ex-boxers, he told one: "Lay down, so I can recognize you."

To another: "You're the guy with all the broken hands. Referee kept stepping on you."

Trivia Answer: Bill Terry, player-manager of the New York Giants, before the 1934 season. On the last day of the season, the Giants, who led the National League by eight games after Labor Day, were knocked out of the pennant when the sixth-place Dodgers, managed by Casey Stengel, beat them, 8-5.

Quotebook

Abe Lemons, Oklahoma City basketball coach, on why he doesn't compel his players to attend practices--or games, for that matter: "If one sumbitch don't show up, we'll play another sumbitch."

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