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Morning Briefing

You Can't Tackle Him, You Just Hope He Sinks

November 26, 1987

At 6 feet and 270 pounds, Craig (Ironhead) Heyward is quite a sight when he carries the ball for the University of Pittsburgh, but how good is he?

Said Sid Gillman, a volunteer assistant coach for the Panthers this year: "I've never seen anyone like him. He's got some Marion Motely in him, but Motley couldn't do the things this kid can do. Heyward can run inside, can run outside, block, catch the ball--he's the complete package. He has moves players his size don't even imagine."

Said All-American defensive back Bennie Blades of Miami after Heyward gained 254 yards against the Hurricanes last year: "He is a defensive back's worst nightmare. We tried to bring him down any way we could. Jump on his head, his back. Believe me, it's scary when it's just you and him out there."

Maybe Navy linebacker Mark Pimpo put it best.

"Tackling Heyward," he said, "was like tackling the USS Iowa."

Newsday's Joe Gergen, who is voting for Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson, says of Heisman Trophy favorite Tim Brown: "True, his mere presence on the field makes defenses vulnerable to Notre Dame's running attack, but it's difficult to imagine a decoy, no matter how effective, as Heisman material. Isn't the man in the statue actually holding a football?"

Add Irish: Said Coach Lou Holtz, when asked if Notre Dame will seek revenge against Miami for the 58-7 humiliation in 1985: "I can't believe that a good Christian school like Notre Dame would speak about revenge as a motivating factor."

Trivia Time: Which of the following running backs never gained 1,000 yards in a season: Red Grange, Ollie Matson, Hugh McElhenny?

Wait a Minute: Said Indianapolis running back Eric Dickerson after several hundred fans greeted the team at the airport following a win at Miami: "We never had anything like this in Los Angeles, not even when we went to the Super Bowl."

When the Rams went to the Super Bowl, Dickerson was a freshman at Southern Methodist.

Would-you-believe-it Dept.: University of Missouri basketball star Derrick Chievous, who doesn't talk to the press, is majoring in journalism.

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Rocky Marciano never got many points for style, but Archie Moore, his last victim in the ring, told Ira Berkow of the New York Times: "You know, Rocky used to look awkward because he swung and missed with his left, but he usually did that to get leverage for the right. It's an old trick."

Moore, on Sugar Ray Robinson: "He was a beautiful fighter but he could be savage."

Was he the best pound-for-pound?

"I won't admit that," Moore said. "But he was smart. He never wanted to fight me. That shows how much good sense Ray had."

Add Moore: He came out of the St. Louis ghetto to launch his career on Jan. 31, 1936, against Poco Kid at Hot Springs, Ark. He won on a second-round KO for a purse of $10.

"And they haven't paid me yet," he said.

Trivia Answer: All three. Matson came the closest with 924 yards for the Chicago Cardinals in 1956.


Al McGuire, basketball analyst and former coach: "I don't know why people question the academic training of a student athlete. Half the doctors in the country graduated in the bottom half of their class."

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