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Morning Briefing

Washington, City That May Lose Yet Again

December 10, 1987

The City of Washington has lost major league baseball twice. It's lost soccer many times over. It's lost the American Basketball Assn. and the United States Football League. It's even lost the Cracker Jack old-timers' game.

"Now," says Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post, "we get a chance of a lifetime, a really big-time event like The Summit. And we're going to lose it, too, aren't we?

"They'll move it. You'll see.

"They'll take it somewhere else, someplace with skyboxes, and all we'll end up with is an Old Timers' Summit. Gromyko and Nixon. It's always Gromyko. He's the Chris Schenkel of Soviet politics."

Add Kornheiser: "I worry," he wrote, "that in the next Summit, Gorbachev will demand a piece of the action on T-shirts, parking and concessions. What if he wants a domed Summit?

"I worry about Dallas. What if Gorbachev wants to play in the NFL? He'd be the youngest man on the Cowboys' defensive line. Bum Bright might make him player-coach, and tell Tom Landry to take his flex defense to Gorky.

"I worry about Al Davis. Why couldn't they hold The Summit in Irwindale? Let me know if you hear Gorbachev say, "Tolko vigrai, devochka." That's Russian for "Just win, baby."

Add Landry: Asked if Bum Bright has suggested any plays, he said, "If he wants to try one, I'll welcome him."

Said Denne H. Freeman of the Associated Press: "The late Clint Murchison, the Cowboys' original owner, once hassled Landry to try Bob Hayes on an end around. Landry did, the play lost 12 yards, and the coach never heard from him again."

Trivia Time: Who is the defending champion in the L.A. Open golf tournament? (Answer below.)

St. Louis slugger Jack Clark still hasn't recovered from the ankle injury he suffered last August and won't begin working out until Feb. 1. Says Cardinal Manager Whitey Herzog: "They told me on Wednesday, Sept. 9, that we'd have him back by Friday. They didn't tell me they meant Good Friday."

Former Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton says Viking Coach Jerry Burns blew it when he went for a touchdown instead of a field goal Sunday night in the loss to the Chicago Bears.

Tarkenton told the New York Times: "They go up the gut the first two downs and get nothing. On third down, they try a quarterback sneak, and on fourth down, instead of a field goal, they try to run wide from a pro set formation and get stuffed, lose two yards. No play action, no deception.

"Burnsie was my offensive coordinator at Minnesota. Only because of the kind of offense he put in, I got to play an extra five, six seasons. We argued, loud and abusive, for about a decade. And neither of us was ever wrong.

"But this time he was wrong. He should have kicked the field goal on fourth down to lead by four."

Said Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson, when asked how he hopes to improve the hitting of Gary Pettis in Detroit: "I'm not going to try anything Gene Mauch didn't try. You just hope your b.s. has a little different tone."

Mike Murphy, on being fired as coach of the Kings: "You know when it really hits home? When your kids say to you, 'Does this mean we don't get any more free tickets?' "

Trivia Answer: T.C. Chen.


Minnesota Manager Tom Kelly, asked if the zeal shown by Twins' fans made the Metrodome the best home field in baseball: "What does zeal mean?"

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