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Morning Briefing

OK, Roll Out the Cheerleaders

December 05, 1987

It had to happen. Mike Ditka, complaining about the Metrodome, where the Chicago Bears play the Minnesota Vikings Sunday night, said that domed stadiums should be used for roller rinks.

The next day, the Viking cheerleaders announced they will wear roller skates when the starting lineup is introduced.

Said Miami Coach Don Shula, after the Dolphins' 27-0 loss to Buffalo: "The only thing we had today was Reggie Roby's punting, and anytime you have to talk about the punter as the highlight of the game, you're in deep trouble."

That recalls this assessment of the Chicago Bears by linebacker Dick Butkus before the 1973 season: "Mirro Roder is going to be the best field goal kicker in the league in a year or two. Well, so much for our offense."

Said Tony Franklin, the NFL's highest-paid kicker, after twice missing field goals that would have given New England a win over Philadelphia last Sunday: "The only way I could feel worse is if I went outside and a sea gull dumped on my head."

Trivia Time: What NFL quarterback earned two Super Bowl rings before he ever played a down in the league? (Answer below.)

For What It's Worth: On the All-Pacific 10 football team chosen by the coaches, UCLA's Troy Aikman was named the most valuable offensive player.

On the team chosen by the Pac-10 media, as polled by the Portland Oregonian, USC's Rodney Peete was named the most valuable.

The coaches were polled before the USC-UCLA game, the media after.

Grounded: If you watch the Army-Navy game today, don't look for a lot of aerial fireworks. Out of 103 Division I-A teams, Army ranks 99th in yards gained passing. Navy is 102nd.

Add Grounded: Indiana State forward Eddie Bird, brother of Larry Bird who was looking on from the press box, had his wings clipped by Boston University Thursday night, going 0 for 11 from the field as the Sycamores lost to the Terriers, 81-67.

Eddie managed to make only a pair of free throws before being pulled out after 17 minutes.

Mad Hatters: Ever hear of a school playing the No. 1-rated teams in both men's and women's college basketball on the same night?

The Stetson Hatters of Deland, Fla., did it Thursday night. The men gave North Carolina a fight at Chapel Hill, N.C., before bowing, 86-74, but the women were over their heads against Tennessee at Knoxville, Tenn. The Lady Vols flattened the Lady Hatters, 102-59.

George Steinbrenner, after meeting with free-agent pitcher Mike Witt in Dallas Wednesday, refused to divulge what was discussed, but he told the New York Times: "I liked what I saw. I was tremendously impressed with him as a person."

Trivia Answer: Cliff Stoudt, backup quarterback to Terry Bradshaw with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quotebook

Oklahoma football Coach Barry Switzer, on taking a team to Miami for the Orange Bowl for the ninth time: "At least, I won't need a tour guide."

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