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Morning Briefing

The Rumors Don't Sway Oddsmakers : Quotebook : Washington Redskins' quarterback Doug Williams, who began his career with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers: "Joe Namath said that the smartest thing a quarterback can do is find a good team to play for."

January 17, 1988

Rumors of Bore: Fight promoters have been hard put to stir up interest in Friday night's heavyweight title bout between champion Mike Tyson, 21, and former champion Larry Holmes, 38. So the two fight camps have tried their best, leaking some unlikely reports.

From the Tyson group comes word that the young champion suffered "a very bloody nose" in sparring, that he is not as sharp and that he is overweight. From the Holmes camp, trainer Richie Giachetti reports that the "layoff has done him good. He's the old Larry Holmes again."

So it's even money, right? Wrong. Oddsmakers have listed Tyson as high as 9-1 in man-to-man betting, rumors notwithstanding.

Add Tyson: According to Wallace Matthews of Newsday, Tyson had trouble getting along with fellow tenants in his Albany apartment building. So he bought the building and evicted everybody.

Wide receiver Anthony Carter of the Minnesota Vikings was recalling his sudden wealth after he left Michigan and signed with a United States Football League franchise. Seems that he celebrated by buying his family a new Mercedes.

But "they didn't treat it right," he says. "After a couple of accidents, they had to get rid of it."

Wiser, Carter replaced it with a Chevrolet. Add Carter: While at Michigan, Carter was one of the few players who got along with Coach Bo Schembechler. In fact, his nickname there was Little Shemmy.

Carter explained, in a story by the Washington Post's Tom Friend: "Bo, he doesn't like too many people. But we got along, with me being a great guy and a team ballplayer and not getting a big head. It was just the way I carried myself. If your head's screwed on right, he likes you. I don't take my head off and put it on a shelf at night like some people."

Doug Williams, restored as starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins, has not backed down from his humble opinion that Jay Schroeder remains the team's quarterback of the future. "Only thing about it is, I never did say when the future was, did I?" Williams says.

Add Williams: He is proud to be a pioneering black quarterback and he told the Washington Post's Tony Kornheiser that he hopes he has opened doors for other young black quarterbacks. But he still detects racism in the NFL.

"The way it's always been with black quarterbacks is, 'Put up or shut up.' For example, Vinny Testaverde gets $8 million at Tampa Bay, and they tell him he's not ready to play. They want him to learn and to develop. I got $575,000 for four years, and I had to play the very first down."

Japanese gangsters have gone beyond protection rackets and loan-sharking and are now reaching into, wouldn't you know, celebrity golf.

According to Newsday's William Sexton, Kakuji Inagawa, godfather of the biggest Japanese crime clan, held a private golf tournament for gangsters at a prestigious club. Moreover, gang members have increasingly sought the company of famous golfers, presumably to gain respectability.

According to Yomiuri, Japan's largest national newspaper, "Golfers cannot decline when they are asked to give a golf lesson or play together with gang leaders."

They are made, apparently, offers they cannot refuse.

The election of Willie Stargell into baseball's Hall of Fame reminded former Dodger pitcher Tommy John of the time Stargell hit a ball out of Dodger Stadium.

"We just laughed," John told Claire Smith of the Hartford Courant. "It was such a cruel way to hit a ball. What else could you do but laugh?"

Stargell remains the only player to hit a ball out of the stadium and he did it twice.

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