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Morning Briefing

Games and Names Keep Skating By

February 23, 1988

Dan Jenkins isn't covering the Winter Olympics this year, but he said nothing has really changed. "The events have only multiplied," he wrote in Playboy.

"Take speed skating," he said. "There are now 7,319 speed skating events, which are all the same competition. People wearing leotards and shower caps, swinging one arm, skate around this oval until Sports Illustrated stops taking pictures.

"In each Winter Olympics, 7,310 of these events are won by the same athlete, whose name is Ivar, Thun or Eric."

Add Jenkins: He said his favorite interviews were with Alpine skiers, particularly those from France. A Frenchman would say: "It is for me, good, yes, but bad, not so much. I go fast, as I have learned, but the mountain is not for me to say.

"Yes, my skis are good, but as a child, which is what my father taught me. He was an old man, like my teacher here in the Avee Saint-Raclette, you have been?

"Here, yes, the mountains are high but only as steep as my heart. Each has two legs at the top. Yes, more wine. You are paying? I must have that woman over there? Is she rich?"

Said Olympic film maker Bud Greenspan, asked the difference between his productions and the network shows: "Well, one thing is, my shows aren't interrupted by hemorrhoid commercials."

Trivia Time: What Temple player won the outstanding player award in an NCAA championship tournament? (Answer below.)

Add Temple: University President Peter Liacouras, revealing that Coach John Chaney has a strict rule against talking on the bus en route to games, told this story to John Feinstein of the Washington Post:

"Last year, we were on the bus riding from the hotel to the arena at West Virginia, and the bus caught on fire.

"John is up front and doesn't notice. The players are coughing, I'm coughing, but no one would dare say a word. If John hadn't noticed the smoke finally, Howard Evans might have choked to death because no one was about to open their mouths."

Chaney, reminded of the incident, laughed and said, "Now that was concentration."

Said former pro football coach Bum Phillips, asked what he was doing in retirement: "I ain't doing a damn thing, and I don't start until noon."

You have to think it's a comedown for Nancy Lieberman to be playing with the Washington Generals, the perennial patsies to the Harlem Globetrotters, but she says it isn't so.

"Where else could I be playing before 15,000 people every night," she says.

Here's how Jeff Chatman, the only black on the Brigham Young basketball team, refers to his teammates: "Fourteen token whites."

Said Jeffrey Leonard of the San Francisco Giants, asked if he was following the Golden State Warriors this season: "What's to follow?"

Trivia Answer: Hal Lear in 1955-56. He averaged 32 points a game for the Owls, who finished third. San Francisco, led by Bill Russell, defeated Iowa, 83-71, for its second straight title.


Whitey Ford, on former New York Yankees teammate Mickey Mantle: "Everybody who roomed with Mickey said he took five years off their career."

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