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Morning Briefing

It's Best to Get Saints to the Plane on Time

December 27, 1987

New Orleans Saints Coach Jim Mora is a tough man to cross.

One day he was sitting in a charter plane, waiting to take off, when he spotted punter Brian Hansen getting out of his car.

"What time is it?" Mora asked the Saints' traveling secretary.

"One o'clock."

"What time were we scheduled to leave?"

"One o'clock."

"Shut the door."

Hansen pounded on the door, but it never opened. The plane took off without him.

After a recent Washington Redskins game, ESPN analyst Pete Axthelm said: "Sean Penn had a better week with Madonna than (Redskin quarterback) Jay Schroeder had with Joe Gibbs."

Gibbs, when asked to comment on it, said he had never heard of Penn or Madonna.

"That's above me," he told reporters after being told who they were. "I was a PE major, remember. You guys are into arts and music and all those things. I had audio visual and things like that. Auto mechanics, by the way, that's still the most useful class I've ever had."

The Golden State Warriors, who trailed by 50 points in the third quarter before losing by 45 to the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday, are no strangers to blowouts.

The NBA record for the biggest victory margin is 63 points, by the Lakers against the Warriors in 1972.

"We've got to get to know each other better," said Ralph Sampson, the Warriors' recent acquisition. "We've got to learn the system."

Sampson, the franchise man, had 11 points and went 1 for 12 in the last three quarters. He was scoreless in the second half.

Picking winners at a race track is hard enough, but think of the poor people who make the right pick and never cash in their tickets.

There were $1,352,949 worth of unclaimed winning pari-mutuel tickets during the last two meetings at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita doesn't get to keep the money. It goes to the state of California.

Coach Barry Davis, hoping for a win after his University of Dallas basketball team had lost 75 straight:

"Our nickname is the Crusaders, and if this isn't one, then I don't know what is."

Richard Petty, asked to define auto racing, said: "Green means go and checkered means stop and no holds barred in between."

Willie Auchterlonie once won the British Open and then retired from tournament play.

"Golf seemed a silly thing to do for a living," he said.

Members of the Cincinnati Bengals have been involved in two fights in a trendy Covington, Ky., bar in the past three weeks, causing Jeff Ruby, owner of the bar, to comment:

"All I know is that the hardest hits the Bengals have made all year are at my bar."

The Bengals are 4-10.

Quotebook

University of Kentucky forward Winston Bennett, after knee surgery: "I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body."

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