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Morning Briefing

Call He Made Was the Right One

December 08, 1987

On Sunday night, a desk assistant in The Times sports department answered a phone call which produced the following conversation:

Caller: "Who won the Heisman Trophy?"

Desk assistant: "Didn't you read the paper?"

Caller: "I'm in the County Jail. They've given me one call, and this is it. Can you help me?"

Desk assistant: "The winner was Tim Brown."

Caller: "Yahoo! I won my bet. Thanks a lot."

Desk assistant: "My pleasure. By the way, what are you in for?"

Caller: "Bookmaking."

After Miami beat Notre Dame, 24-0, Irish Coach Lou Holtz said, "It will be interesting to see if they can do it two weeks in a row."

Said Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson after the 20-16 win over South Carolina: "We did it two weeks in a row early in the season, we did it two weeks in a row late in the season. In fact, you can tell Lou Holtz we did it 11 weeks in a row."

Add Miami: The leading ground gainer for the Hurricanes against South Carolina was kick holder Jeff Feagles, who went 24 yards on a fake field-goal try. It was his only carry of the year.

No, he isn't demanding a switch to running back. Asked his time in the 40-yard dash, he said, "4-ever."

Trivia Time: Now that Pete Rose has officially retired as a player, who becomes the last man to face him on the mound? (Answer below.)

John Elway made news when he quick-kicked for the Denver Broncos Sunday, but there was a day when it was the rule rather than the exception for quarterbacks to punt.

Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin both were outstanding punters when they shared quarterback duties for the Rams. Waterfield had won an NCAA punting title at UCLA and Van Brocklin was a two-time NFL titlist.

Two other ex-Ram quarterbacks who won NCAA titles were Zeke Bratkowski at Georgia and John Hadl at Kansas.

The best of all was Sammy Baugh of the Washington Redskins. He won four NFL punting titles and still holds the record for highest average in a season, 51.4 yards in 1940.

Players have been complaining loud and long about the bad footing at Cleveland Stadium, but Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar says, "It doesn't bother me. I only have one gear."

Gale Sayers, they say, revolutionized running with moves never before seen on a football field, but when Michael Madden of the Boston Globe asked him about it, he said, "Oh, no, I don't agree. Hugh McElhenny could run like that. That's who I tried to be, Hugh McElhenny, because he was the first one to do everything all over the field."

They called Yankee Stadium the House that Ruth Built, but Tennessee freshman Greg Bell actually did build a stadium--or at least helped.

Bell paid his own way as a Proposition 48 student last season by working with the construction company on Tennessee's new 24,500-seat basketball arena.

Trivia Answer: Goose Gossage of the San Diego Padres in 1986. He struck out Rose on three pitches.


Ernie Whitt, Toronto Blue Jays catcher, on incentive clauses: "Incentive clauses give you, well, incentive."

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