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Morning Briefing

They're Not Found on 'A' List

December 22, 1987

As the showdown for the national championship in the Orange Bowl approaches, coaches Barry Switzer of Oklahoma and Jimmy Johnson of Miami have been protesting that their outlaw images are being overplayed.

They didn't get much help Monday from Dante Jones, however.

Said the Oklahoma linebacker: "Either team that wins this game, I doubt that they'll get invited to the White House."

How good is Randall Cunningham of the Philadelphia Eagles?

Said New York Jets defensive end Barry Bennett after Sunday's 38-27 loss to the Eagles: "I'd quit right now if every team in the league had a quarterback like that."

San Francisco defensive back Ronnie Lott, on 49er receiver Jerry Rice: "I've grown up watching all types of great receivers and I've had a chance to cover a lot of great receivers, and he is without a doubt in a class by himself."

The Cincinnati Bengals, who have been blowing leads all season, outdid themselves Sunday when they lost to New Orleans, 41-24, after leading, 24-3.

Said Bengal center Dave Rimington: "Is there a mental ward nearby to ship me to? I'm about ready to have someone put me in a hospital somewhere and just have me sit there and feed me Valium and get me out of my misery for a while."

Trivia Time: Who is the only coach to beat Vince Lombardi in an NFL championship game or a Super Bowl? (Answer below.)

Said Bill Frieder, Michigan basketball coach, after the Wolverines returned from the Great Alaska Shootout in Fairbanks, Alaska: "We're never going back there. I don't care if we make the Final Four and it's in Alaska, we're not going. Take a blizzard, no visibility, clouds--and that's Alaska 365 days a year. It amazes me some people live there, but they must like to drink."

He didn't even mention the earthquake. They had one during the tournament that measured 7.7 on the Richter Scale.

They keep telling you that parity is coming to the NBA, but Utah Coach Frank Layden told the Hartford Courant: "It'll be the Celtics and Lakers again, and why not? It's good for the league. Would people want to see Denver and the Nets?"

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: Texas Manager Bobby Valentine, who was playing center field for the Angels when Nolan Ryan pitched the third of his five no-hitters in 1974 against Minnesota, told the Sporting News that Ryan later gave every player in the Angels' starting lineup a check for $500.

Mike Pagel of the Cleveland Browns tells how he and fellow quarterbacks Bernie Kosar and Gary Danielson divide their duties: "I lift weights for all of us, Bernie does the film study and Gary does the talking."

Ouch: Marty Noble of Newsday, on the commissioner of baseball: "My first impression of Peter Ueberroth was that he had ruthless eyes. Nothing has happened to change that impression. If he's fighting for you, you've got a chance. If he's an adversary, be careful."

Noble, on the manager and pitching coach of the New York Yankees: "I can't trust Billy Martin or Art Fowler."

Trivia Answer: Lawrence T. (Buck) Shaw. In the 1960 NFL championship game, he coached the Philadelphia Eagles to a 17-13 victory over Lombardi's Green Bay Packers.


Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets, on the fans who waited in a cold rain to boo the Jets as they came off the field Sunday at the Meadowlands: "I hope every one of them gets pneumonia."

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