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Morning Briefing

U.S. Gold Medalist Is No Name-Dropper

February 25, 1988

The day after speed skater Bonnie Blair won her gold medal in the 500 meters at Calgary, Canada, Angus Phillips of the Washington Post asked her what she did after the race.

"First, I went and threw down some food real quick," she said. "Then we went and did this thing with Frank and Kathie Lee Griffin."

"Gifford!" somebody from ABC shouted.

"Oh, yeah, sorry about that," she said.

Who-do-you-believe dept.: ABC producer Dennis Lewin, asked why the network didn't request television timeouts for ice hockey, said: "We wouldn't ask for them, and we've never tried to shape an event."

That would be news to Tor Yggeseth, the ski federation official from Norway who had recommended the use of wind screens and the changing of starting times in ski jumping.

Said the New York Times: "Yggeseth said the decision to hold the jumping at 1:30 p.m. without screens was prompted by television's desire to have live events on the weekends, without a screen in the way."

From United Press International: "Ski jumping looks like a dangerous sport, but actually it's very safe. After hurtling down an icy takeoff ramp at 60 m.p.h., jumpers launch themselves out, not up. The entire takeoff, jump and landing sequence is less than four seconds--about the time it takes a major league baseball player to steal second base. Ski jumpers are moving forward when they land and alight softly--with a force no greater than what you'd feel if you jumped off a kitchen chair."

OK, but don't tell it to that "Agony of Defeat" guy.

Trivia Time: What athlete in 1950 played on a National Basketball Assn. championship team and was picked on the first round of the National Football League draft? (Answer below.)

For the Record: Craig Poletti of Temple City, among others, pointed out that last Sunday's item on teams winning the Super Bowl after losing in the National Football Conference championship game the previous season was in error.

The New York Giants had lost in a divisional playoff to the Chicago Bears. The Rams lost to the Bears in the NFC title game.

Wait a Minute: Thomas Scallen, president of Ice Capades, which is trying to sign Katarina Witt, said: "In past times, European competitors, even Canadians, haven't been totally interesting to American audiences."

The first, and by far the most successful of the ice queens was a Norwegian, Sonja Henie.

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: Donald Trump, who sat next to Muhammad Ali at the Mike Tyson-Larry Holmes fight, told the New York Times that Ali predicted that Michael Spinks would beat Tyson.

Trump: "He told me, 'I don't think Tyson will ever be able to hit Spinks. He's like rubber, very maneuverable.' "

Trivia Answer: Bud Grant of the University of Minnesota. He played for the 1949-50 Minneapolis Lakers and was drafted No. 1 as an end by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Note: In 1950-51, Grant played in the lowest-scoring game in NBA history. He went scoreless as the Fort Wayne Pistons beat the Lakers, 19-18. George Mikan scored 15 points for the Lakers. Fred Schaus, later coach of the Lakers, scored three points for Fort Wayne.


Doug Plank, former Chicago Bears safety: "Most football players are temperamental. That's 90% temper and 10% mental."

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