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Morning Briefing

His Name Would Stand for Something

January 21, 1988

How bad is it for Mark Malone in Pittsburgh? Here's a letter to the Pittsburgh Press from Steeler fan Paul Gereffi:

"I propose the following change in pro football terminology. Mistakes most commonly referred to are fumbles, interceptions, penalties and missed kicks. Also fluffs, drops and flubs. One area remains uncertain.

"In the future, an errant throw such as a bounced, overthrown, behind-the-back or otherwise uncatchable pass shall be known as a 'malone.' If the 'malone' occurs in a crucial situation (fourth down, in end zone) or results in an interception, it shall be known as a 'markmalone.'

"The announcer would sound something like this: 'The Bengals quarterback has committed six malones today, but the big markmalone in the end zone in the fourth quarter really hurt.' "

Vicious.

Dexter Manley was asked why he was so effective for the Washington Redskins last Sunday.

Borrowing from Jimmy "The Greek," he said, "Because I've got big strong muscles that go up to my thighs. They bred me well."

Trivia Time: Who was the first black quarterback to play for a Super Bowl team? (Answer below.)

Wait a Minute: From a Boston Herald story: "Bill Russell has plenty of stories to tell about his days with the Boston Celtics. There was the time during the Eisenhower Administration when he grabbed 32 rebounds in one half against Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain."

Harvey Pollack, crack statistician for the Philadelphia 76ers, confirms that Russell did indeed get 32 rebounds in one half but says, "The only problem is that it was done on Nov. 16, 1957, when Wilt was a junior at the University of Kansas. The man he did it against was not Wilt but Neil Johnston."

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: When Horace Grant of the Chicago Bulls was at Clemson, he was asked if he was interested in talking to Alan Williams of Princeton, who beat him out for best field-goal percentage in the nation.

Said Grant: "The only phone number I want from Princeton is Brooke Shields'."

Christine Brennan, who is in her last season covering the Redskins for the Washington Post, wrote that she was happy to see Doug Williams win the quarterback job from Jay Schroeder, who she said "wasn't so likable."

"I used to dread walking up to his locker to ask him questions," said Brennan. "He is so one-dimensional. That stare. That jaw. That forehead. That condescending attitude."

Of Williams, she said: "He always said hello, answered me by name, smiled, made small talk. In contrast, I never once heard Schroeder say my name."

Trivia Answer: Joe Gilliam of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the starting quarterback in 1974 before losing the job to Terry Bradshaw, and he did not play in the Super Bowl. Against Denver that year, he completed 30 of 51 passes for 348 yards as the Steelers and the Denver Broncos tied, 35-35, in the first regular-season overtime game in National Football League history.

Note: That same year, James Harris was the quarterback for the Rams when they lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 14-10, in the NFC championship game. If the Rams had won and if Gilliam had kept his job at Pittsburgh, the Super Bowl would have been a matchup of black quarterbacks.

Quotebook

Announcer Al McGuire, on his coaching style at Marquette: "I wanted my teams to have my personality--surly, obnoxious and arrogant."

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