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MORNING BRIEFING

Games End but Song Goes On and On . . . .

August 31, 1994|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

We interrupt the baseball strike for a not-so-brief musical interlude: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," on radio station WJMP in Akron, Ohio.

All the time. Seriously. Over . . . and . . . over . . . and . . . over. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is played non-stop on the temporarily former all-sports station during the baseball strike, one version with a twangy country instrumental, another with a Bruce Springsteen sound-alike, 72 times an hour for the 14 hours a day that the 1,000-watt station is broadcasting in the Cleveland-Akron area. The counter was at 16,359 as of 4:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

"We do provide air sickness bags for our audience," said Bob Klaus, vice president of WJMP, who is responsible for the idea, for better or worse. "If it overcomes them, they are free to use the facilities."

Exactly what this is doing to the station's ratings is not known because they are not released until September. But Klaus, noting that the feedback from listeners who applaud the air raid as a protest against the strike has been positive, said WJMP will stick with "TMOTTB" until the owners and players reach an agreement, be that tomorrow or next spring.

"We're committed," he said. "Or about to be committed."

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Add WJMP: "We're beginning to ask our audience to send in their own audio cassette of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' and we will put that into our play rotation," Klaus said. "We are hoping to get a semi-truckload from around the country, and if we do, we hope to drive to Major League Baseball in New York and dump it on their doorstep."

The station's address is P.O. Box 2170, Akron, Ohio, 44309.

"Blame me or credit me," he says. "It was either a brainstorm or a brain drizzle."

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Trivia time: The 10th-leading active rusher in the NFL did not gain one yard as a running back in college. Who is he?

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Long-term planning: Organizers of the Vermont Sports Council realize they have little or no chance of getting the Winter Olympic Games before 2006 at the earliest, but they are serious about a bid for sometime after that.

Their vision is that Burlington, Vt., would be the host city and the site of opening and closing ceremonies and some events. The half-dozen ski resorts within two hours would also serve as venues.

The success of the most recent Winter Olympics in the relatively small community of Lillehammer, Norway, and at the far-flung venues that comprised the games in Albertville, France, and Calgary, Canada, convinced the Burlington group that it could stage a successful Olympics.

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Trivia answer: Randall Cunningham, the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback, who has rushed for 4,096 yards.

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Quotebook: Former New York Knick Earl Monroe: "Sports is the only profession I know that when you retire, you have to go to work."

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