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Morning Briefing

He Took the Prize for Missing the Bus

January 31, 1988

The prize for winning the most valuable player award in the Super Bowl is a new car, and no one made faster use of his prize than Lynn Swann.

Swann was named MVP in 1976 when he caught four passes for 161 yards as Pittsburgh defeated Dallas, 21-17.

He told USA Today: "I talked so much to the media I missed the team bus to the hotel, then I missed the bus to the victory party. So I talked a guy into taking the car I won off the stand, filling it with gas, and I drove it off to the victory party."

When they talk about the Chargers moving from Los Angeles to launch pro football in San Diego, it always recalls the Nicky Hilton story.

It seems a friend of Hilton called him once and said, "I understand you bought a baseball team and made a million."

Hilton told his friend: "It wasn't a baseball team, it was a football team. And it wasn't me, it was my brother, Barron. And it didn't make a million, it lost a million."

Trivia Time: When San Jose State, coached by Jack Elway, beat Stanford, quarterbacked by John Elway, in 1981 and 1982, who was the San Jose quarterback? (Answer below.)

Washington Coach Joe Gibbs, recalling his days as an assistant in St. Louis, said that when the weather turned cold one year, Coach Don Coryell, to motivate his troops, told a story about the Alaska pipeline.

It seems the Americans couldn't last more than 45 minutes at a time because of the cold, so the men in charge trained the Eskimos to do the job because they were mentally tough enough to handle it. And Coryell said whichever football team was tough enough not to let the cold bother it would win in December.

After Coryell finished, tackle Dan Dierdorf stood up and said, "Coach, what do we do if we see an Eskimo on the other sideline?"

It turns out that actress Jennifer Beals, quoted recently in the Hollywood Reporter--the quote repeated in Morning Briefing--is a full-fledged basketball fan, with extensive knowledge of the pro game. Which was hardly the impression left in the quote that had her saying: "I love the Boston Celtics, especially Michael Jordan."

The Hollywood Reporter mixed up what she said, and now Beals' friends, according to the actress, are having great fun at her expense.

"This is serious stuff," she told The Times. "Give me the wrong husband in the story or something like that. I can live with that. But making me out to look like a basketball dummy . . . I may never recover."

Stan Hochman of the Philadelphia Daily News once wrote: "USA Today is the kind of paper you'd read if you want to know who the Pointer Sisters pick in the Super Bowl."

Well, why not?

The paper polled the sisters and found that June and Ruth liked the Redskins. Not Anita.

"The 49ers," she said.

Trivia Answer: Steve Clarkson. The L.A. Wilson High School product led the Spartans to wins of 28-6 in 1981 and 35-31 in 1982.

Quotebook

Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers announcer: "My ultimate desire outside of baseball would be to broadcast wars--live."

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