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MORNING BRIEFING

Bed Checks Are Taken Overboard

August 27, 1994|TIM KAWAKAMI

Should anybody be shocked that Pittsburgh Steeler Coach Bill Cowher would use surveillance cameras to check on his players' late-night activities during training camp?

Give me a break, writes Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann.

"This is not Big Brother. This is just football," Hofmann wrote. "There isn't another sport on the planet where the players are locked up in a hotel the night before a home game--a home game!--in order to keep an eye on them. There isn't another sport that videotapes every minute of every practice and then has the coaches review those videotapes every day.

"This is just the logical extension of the mentality that has existed in football since there's been football."

Add curfew: Hofmann goes on to wonder what those surveillance films would sound like, say, with an NFL Films soundtrack voiced by the late-John Facenda, renowned for his thunderous voice. Hofmann speculates it would sound like this:

"Months removed from the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, he raised the dormitory window slowly, quietly. And just that quickly, he saw the opening and moved through it--out the window, past the cafeteria, over the hill, faster, faster still, toward the midnight lights."

Trivia time: Who is the NFL's active career rushing leader?

Big shoes to clean: What was Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones doing on the sidelines during the second half of the Cowboys' exhibition against the Houston Oilers in Mexico City? Talking to new Coach Barry Switzer, of course.

And, according to Switzer, there was nothing wrong with it.

"Jerry and I are fine," Switzer said. "I told him he'd need a shoeshine if he's going to be on the muddy field with those $800 shoes."

Add Cowboys: Switzer said Jones had a right to be on the sideline because he paid $140 million for the team.

"I don't care if he brings a king or a princess to the sidelines," Switzer said. "The coaches and the players know who wins the games. I don't have any problem with Jerry on the sidelines as long as he keeps out of the huddle and doesn't try to call plays."

Trivia answer: Marcus Allen of the Kansas City Chiefs, with 9,309 yards.

Quotebook: Chicago Tribune columnist Bernie Lincicome: "Tennis will miss Jim Courier like a molar misses plaque."

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