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Morning Briefing

Fans in Great Falls Quickly Come to Aid of Unfortunate Eric

November 04, 1987

When Scott Bloom of radio station KQDI in Great Falls, Mont., read about Eric Dickerson's financial plight with the Rams, he decided to hold an Ericathon.

"I've worked March of Dimes telethons and similar projects, but this was really an amazing response," Bloom said. "We had 65 people who pledged to give poor Eric either money or another type of gift."

The gifts included cash donations ranging from two pesos to a pair of $500 Mickey Mouse bills; two pounds of rice from the federal commodities program; a box of Ex-Lax to assist his "running game"; five aluminum cans for refund value; four free-drink tokens from a local tavern; food coupons from the Great Falls Tribune; a baseball mitt, and a Minnesota Twins' Homer Hanky.

The Cascade County Mental Health center offered a series of shock treatments, and Custom Covers Upholstery donated a crushed velvet crying towel.

Add Dickerson: Wrote Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post: "Eric (Dotted Line) Dickerson is a selfish, greedy lout.

"This is Dickerson's fifth season in the NFL and his second renegotiation. At this pace, he's likely to break the two most cherished records in football. He'll gain more yards than Walter Payton and sign more contracts than Lou Saban.

"Hand the guy a pen and make way."

Add Kornheiser: "Dickerson, you'll recall, is a product of the Bonnie and Clyde Academy of Football at SMU, where he was coached then--as he'll be now in Indianapolis--by Ron Meyer. (Reportedly, Dickerson recalled that when he was a freshman at SMU, Meyer promised he'd make him rich someday. Is that some kind of SMU inside joke?) The temptation is to say they all belong together--Dickerson, Meyer and team owner Robert (Gas 'n Go) Irsay. What an honorable collection of gentlemen. And you wonder why Holiday Inns bolt down their TVs."

Trivia Time: Who was the first draft choice in the history of the United States Football League? (Answer below.)

Coach Marv Levy of the Buffalo Bills on the crash course Cornelius Bennett is undergoing at linebacker: "We'll try and teach him by virtue of the game plan for the week, so he'll learn those elements of the defense that are in our game plan. It's a little bit like learning a foreign language from scratch and going to class and drilling it, and learning how to say 'Where's the toilet?' out of your French-English dictionary because you're going to Paris for four days."

Talks funny, doesn't he? What do you expect from a Phi Beta Kappa who got his master's degree at Harvard?

Said Billy Martin when asked if it was true he had trouble working with general managers: "It depends on who he is. I had Murray Cook, who I wasn't crazy about. Pete Rose is finding out about him pretty fast."

San Diego defensive lineman Joe Phillips, on how the Chargers rattled Cleveland Browns' quarterback Bernie Kosar by bringing up the safeties to blitz: "You could tell Bernie was shook up. He was standing there over the center, and was interrupting his cadence with 'They're coming! They're coming!' I've never heard that before."

Trivia Answer: Quarterback Dan Marino of Pittsburgh, by the Los Angeles Express.

Quotebook

Lou Holtz, Notre Dame football coach: "The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it."

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