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MORNING BRIEFING

It Might Be Difficult to Believe, but They Got Along Quite Well

August 28, 1994|TIM KAWAKAMI

Does it seem as if Buddy Ryan and Jimmy Johnson miss each other?

Ryan, who is back in the league, stirring up fan interest and occasional mischief, and Johnson, who is back out of the league but stirring up interest and mischief anyhow, got together recently on Johnson's television show.

And, according to Ryan, the men who feuded furiously when they coached against one another in the NFC East got along beautifully.

"It went good, I think," said Ryan, whose Arizona Cardinals open the regular season against the Rams next Sunday. "I told him, 'Gee, the Cowboys really seem to miss you. They only beat Denver 34-10 the other day.'

"Then he said something about how hard my first few years would be, how he was 1-15 his first year. I told him if there was any coaching going on, he'd have been 9-7."

Add Ryan: Asked what he thought of the Rams' precipitous drop in season-ticket sales and talk about moving to another city, compared to the ticket explosion and raised expectations his hiring triggered in Arizona, Ryan did not need to point out that he was available when the Rams hired Chuck Knox two years ago.

"It didn't surprise me what happened in Phoenix, because that's what happened when I was hired in Philadelphia," Ryan said. "And I know it would have happened in Tampa or wherever else I might have gone."

Trivia time: What is Jimmy Johnson's record against Buddy Ryan-coached teams?

Elvis hasn't left the minors: Yes, Kirk Presley is a distant cousin of the King. And no, he really doesn't want to talk about Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson, thank you very much.

The 19-year-old New York Met minor league right-handed pitching prospect was a No. 1 pick out of high school in Tupelo, Miss., and is playing for Pittsfield in the Class-A New York-Penn League.

"My granddad and Elvis' granddad are brothers," Presley said on a conference call with reporters. "My dad met him and my grandmother knew him well, of course.

"But it's never been a big deal for myself or my family."

Signed, sealed, delivered: New York Giant rookie wide receiver Thomas Lewis had mixed emotions when he lined up against future Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott in a recent exhibition game.

"I put a move on him and got by him pretty easy and I thought, 'Hey, I beat Ronnie Lott. That's something I can tell my friends,' " Lewis told George Willis of Newsday. "But it was weird because after the game I still wanted to get his autograph."

Trivia answer: Johnson was 0-4 against Ryan when Johnson coached the Cowboys and Ryan coached the Philadelphia Eagles.

Quotebook: Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon on the lack of star power as the U.S. Open tennis tournament begins: "The U.S. Open is tennis on Broadway. I want stars because stars create drama, which gets the stadium court all loud and vulgar, which produces the best tennis in the world."

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