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Morning Briefing

The Rest of Them Are All Maddening

November 23, 1987

Norman Chad of the Washington Post, claiming John Madden is the only NFL analyst worth listening to, has this to say about some of the others:

Merlin Olsen--"Thoroughly tiresome. Put his words to Muzak, and within minutes you either fall asleep or fall off the couch."

Bob Trumpy--"Trumpy figures if you offer enough opinions on enough topics, someone will think you're an expert."

Joe Namath--"Bland and uninformative. And there still is something about his voice that makes a rake scraping across a concrete sidewalk sound appealing."

Sam Rutigliano--"Rutigliano is TV's answer to the neutron bomb--all the buildings remain standing, but all the people succumb to his commentary."

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: USC quarterback Rodney Peete, on Saturday's win over UCLA: "The first half, we stunk up the place. At halftime, Coach (Larry) Smith was jumping up and down saying, 'We're going to win the football game, they can't keep us out of the end zone.'

"Everybody was standing up. We couldn't wait to get out there for the second half."

Add Peete: He is now 2-1 against UCLA with a year to go. As a freshman two years ago he scored the winning touchdown as the Trojans beat the Bruins by the same score as Saturday, 17-13.

The loss ostensibly knocked the Bruins out of the Rose Bowl, but a few hours later they got a reprieve when Arizona upset Arizona State. The Arizona coach, of course, was Larry Smith.

Wait a Minute: Oklahoma defensive end Darrell Reed, on the pregame boasts of Nebraska players: "They kind of ticked me off. The University of Oklahoma has more class than any football team in the nation. We keep our mouths shut. We just go out there and do our job."

Isn't that the school that produced the Boz?

Trivia Time: How did the term taxi squad originate in the National Football League? (Answer below.)

Add Forgettable Quotes: Said Philadelphia Coach Buddy Ryan last week, looking to Sunday's game against St. Louis: "That guy from Los Angeles gained 200 yards against them himself, so we should be able to run for 400."

The Eagles came up 340 yards short.

Trivia Answer: The term originated with Arthur (Mickey) McBride, owner of the Cleveland Browns in the mid-1940s, who kept likely prospects around by employing them with his cab company.


Billy Martin, on his many firings as a manager: "The only real way to know you're fired is when you arrive at the ballpark and find your name has been scratched from the parking list."

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