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Morning Briefing

Occasionally, His Wife Gets Viola Off Hook

November 02, 1987

Frank Viola is a native of New York. His wife Kathy is a native of Minnesota. He had never been fishing until they took a boat out on a lake in St. Paul during the first year of their marriage.

"I had suggested taking a net," she told Ira Berkow of the New York Times, "and Frank said, 'Nah, we aren't going to catch anything that big.' So we didn't take a net. And I had to bait the fish. He won't touch worms."

Turns out, they caught a big walleye, which weighed several pounds.

"But it wiggled off the hook and fell back in the water," she said. "Frank hollers to me, 'Get it! Don't let it go! Jump in the water!'

"I hollered, 'You jump in the water! I'm pregnant.' "

The walleye got away.

"We wound up catching just a few little fish," she said. "I had to take them off the hook, too. Frank wouldn't touch 'em. He's a real New Yorker."

It-had-to-happen dept.: "Don't catch it," warned Bob Trumpy from the NBC booth as Chris Woods of the Raiders awaited a New England punt on his own five-yard line.

Not only did Woods catch it, he returned it 34 yards.

Add NBC: Don Criqui, in listing the accomplishments of Marcus Allen, called him a Rose Bowl MVP.

Not so. In his only Rose Bowl appearance, Allen was the fullback and Charles White the tailback when USC beat Ohio State, 17-16, in 1980. White was the MVP.

Trivia Time: What four NFL coaches are coaching teams they played for? (Answer below.)

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: Tom Lasorda told USA Today that when he was managing Spokane in 1970 he called Dodger General Manager Al Campanis from Honolulu and said, "There's a great announcer here who sounds like Vin Scully. He deserves a big league job. His name is Al Michaels.

"Al said, 'How do you know he's so good?' I said, 'Because I've been kicked out of the last six games and had to listen to him on radio in the clubhouse.' "

Wait a Minute: From the Associated Press: "Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon champion, says it's clear why Americans don't win marathons anymore. 'The fact is we have no good American distance runners,' Shorter said."

The winner of the 1984 Olympic women's marathon was Joan Benoit-Samuelson, an American. She wasn't in the New York Marathon because it came only a week after she gave birth to her second child.

Ben Johnson got such a fantastic start in the World Championship 100 meters at Rome that Carl Lewis later claimed the Canadian had jumped the gun.

Says Track & Field News: "There was some speculation that Johnson's perfect start had been too perfect but that notion was quashed when it was learned that his reaction time at the start was 0.129 seconds, 0.02 slower than at the World Indoor. Lewis was fifth fastest at 0.196, meaning that he lost 0.067--more than half the final margin--on reaction time alone.

"The fastest measured reaction time in a major championship still remains the 0.120 by Valeriy Borzov in the 1972 Olympics."

Trivia Answer: Mike Ditka, tight end, Chicago Bears; Tom Flores, quarterback, Raiders; Forrest Gregg, tackle, Green Bay Packers; Sam Wyche, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals.


Chi Chi Rodriguez, lamenting the fact he weighs only 132 pounds: "If I could drive the ball just 20 yards farther I could beat anybody in the world. I have to swing hard, I'm so small. I got my start in golf as a ball marker, you know."

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