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MORNING BRIEFING

McEnroe Loses Argument Over Line Call

December 13, 1990|TED BROCK

In one of the year's shortest matches, United Airlines defeated Team McEnroe, 1-0, Wednesday.

McEnroe disputed the outcome. Or is that redundant?

John McEnroe, his wife Tatum O'Neal, their two children and a nanny missed their flight from San Francisco to Kona, Hawaii, Wednesday. Their connecting flight from Los Angeles arrived 18 minutes before the Kona flight was scheduled to take off.

When an airline agent tried to close the door at the boarding gate, McEnroe protested, and a shoving match ensued. Airport police detained McEnroe and the agent, but after 45 minutes both sides decided to drop the whole thing.

United Press International reported that one witness, who declined to be identified, said: "He was acting just like he acts on the court."

Add McEnroe: By the time the group reached the gate, 133 passengers were aboard the flight.

Reuters reported that the crew of the airliner delayed the plane's departure for several minutes while waiting for McEnroe's party.

Last add McEnroe: The Associated Press reported that United spokeswoman Sara Dornacker refused to confirm that any shoving occurred. However, she said the airline "has not signed any complaint or pressed any charges in this matter, and we do not intend to."

Dornacker added: "United regrets that the McEnroe party of five missed their connection. . . . In this case, the airline service people felt they waited as long as they could."

The family and the nanny were booked on a later flight.

Trivia time: Running back Chris Simborn of national champion North Dakota State was this year's top player in NCAA Division II. He received an award named for a former Chicago Bear receiver who played at North Alabama University. Can you name him?

Icenost, cont.: If you're about to write Dmimtri Kvartalnov's name on your 1992 Winter Olympic scorecard, do it in pencil.

Kvartalnov, 24, plays for Khimik Voskresensk. His linemate, Valeri Zelepukin, was drafted last June by the New Jersey Devils, and Khimik defenseman Sergei Selyanin was picked by the Winnipeg Jets.

Kvartalnov, who led the Soviet league last season with 25 goals and 29 assists, said recently: "If I'm drafted, I won't wait until (after) the Olympics to try the NHL. I'll make the jump right away."

Air Beano: Beano Cook, ESPN's college football analyst, recently told Volney Meece of the Daily Oklahoman the reasoning behind his preseason selection of the nation's No. 1 team.

Because the network sends him to do a story on the team he selects and because of his dislike for flying, Cook said the school must be reachable by a direct flight.

Cook, who lives in Pittsburgh to be near his 94-year-old mother, said: "It doesn't have to be nonstop but it has to be direct. In other words, Oklahoma never has a chance because I have to go through Dallas."

Add Cook: Meece asked him: "And Oklahoma State is really out of the running?

Said Cook: "Oh yeah! You know, I've always hated flying. The first thing you see when you get to the airport is 'Terminal.' "

Trivia answer: Harlon Hill.

Quotebook: Jim Morley, Senior Professional Baseball Assn. founder and president, asked whether the league, now in its second season, was a laughingstock: "I don't think the nation is laughing at us, because they don't know us. And before you can laugh, you have to know the joke."

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