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Morning Briefing

Coach Makes Point, Edmonton Proves It

January 10, 1988

With Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier sidelined by injuries, speculation was that the Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers might face a losing streak. Oiler Coach Glen Sather didn't take kindly to the innuendoes.

"Because you lose two of the best players in the world doesn't mean your team should fall to pieces and expect to lose," Sather said. "We don't do what we've done the past eight years with two hockey players."

The Oilers then went out and beat the Hartford Whalers, 5-1.

St. Louis Cardinals General Manager Dal Maxvill still can't figure out why Jack Clark would sign with the New York Yankees for less guaranteed money than the Cardinals offered.

"Maybe he always wanted to play for Billy Martin," Maxvill speculated.

Add Clark: Joe Gergen of Newsday points out that Clark has more going for him than Reggie Jackson did when he became a Yankee 11 years ago.

"It wasn't until Jackson earned the designation of Mr. October with a Yankee Stadium performance worthy of legend that a candy bar bearing his name was placed on the market. The Clark bar has been available for decades," Gergen wrote.

Trivia Time: Penn State became the fifth team in the history of the United Press International ratings to be named national football champion one season and drop out of the Top 20 the next year. What were the other teams? (Answer below.)

Just Wondering: Did John Cooper check out Ohio State's 1988 football schedule before taking the job?

The Buckeyes open at home against Syracuse, which was 11-0-1 last season, then play at Pittsburgh (8-4), then play at home against Louisiana State (10-1-1).

Cooper's first Buckeye team must also play defending Big Ten Conference champion Michigan State and Iowa on the road. But it does get archrival Michigan at Columbus on Nov. 19.

And he went there to win a national championship?

Where do they train? Two nations from the Caribbean islands, Jamaica and the Netherlands Antilles, have won the right to compete in Olympic bobsledding at Calgary. They were originally denied permission, since they are not members of the International Bobsled Federation. Probably for good reason.

New Mexico's basketball team was aided by more than the Pit in the Lobos' 61-59 upset of top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 2 in Albuquerque.

In his team's final full practice before the game, Lobo Coach Gary Colson devoted part of the time to tai chi , a Chinese system of exercise, characterized by slow, stylish movement. Colson's purpose was to get the Lobos to relax and not be too keyed up for the game.

The Eyes Have It: You can come up with a pretty good basketball team of college players who are wearing protective goggles this season.

For guards, there's Ed Davender of Kentucky and Elliott Perry of Memphis State. Up front, among the candidates, are Joe Turner of Arizona, Doug Roth of Tennessee, and Alan Ogg and Dylan Howard of Alabama Birmingham. Darryl Walker of Seton Hall has worn goggles in the past.

Some slide their goggles above their heads to shoot free throws, though it hasn't helped Turner, who has made only 8 of 24 from the line this season.

War Games in Calgary? ABC-TV has requested that more bullet-proof glass be installed near the scoreboard at the finish line of the biathlon. The additional bullet-proof glass would also protect reporters from flying bullets.

"I think they're concerned about stray bullets and ricochets," said Rene Smith of the organizing committee.

The network, which is paying $309 million for exclusive U.S. television rights to the Games, also wants plexiglass installed at the Saddledome, site of the hockey competition, to keep spectators away from commentators.

Trivia Answer: The Nittany Lions join Michigan State, 1952-53; Syracuse, 1959-60; Clemson, 1981-82, and Miami, 1983-84.

Quotebook

Bud Greenspan, independent Olympic film maker, when asked to name a difference between his shows and many network shows: "Well, one thing is, my shows aren't interrupted by hemorrhoid commercials."

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