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MORNING BRIEFING

'Big Bad John' and the Orange Crush Have Been Duly Squeezed

October 09, 1994|THOMAS BONK

Better watch yourselves, you Broncos. You are 0-4 and the faithful are getting restless in Denver, where nothing is sacred anymore. Not even John Elway.

Woody Paige of the Denver Post certainly was in no mood to forgive Elway's passing in Denver's loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Wrote Paige: "The Miracle Worker threw more like Anne Bancroft and may get a new nickname--the Patty Duke." Paige went on to call Elway "Big Bad John" and painted a bleak picture for the guys in the orange jerseys.

"The Broncos always have lived and died with Elway, and they are dying," Paige said. "Superman can't fly anymore."

Trivia time: Who is the only player in NFL history to have had two runs of 90 yards or longer?

Duck coup: The Mighty Ducks have won the Dick Dillman Award, presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Assn. to the top public relations staff in the NHL.

Said Duck PR chief Bill Robertson: "It just goes to show our staff is everything it was quacked up to be."

Connie Mack was unavailable: For those keeping score at home, here are the men who have interviewed for the vacant job of manager of the Baltimore Orioles, listed chronologically: Rick Dempsey, Davey Lopes, Bill Virdon, Phil Regan, Elrod Hendricks, Buck Rodgers, Chris Chambliss, Davey Johnson and Jeff Torborg.

Real nice award: Gino Torretta? The 1992 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Miami, cut by the Minnesota Vikings after the last exhibition game, is still looking for work. The Pittsburgh Steelers might be interested.

It's clear Heisman-winning quarterbacks and the NFL don't mix very well. None of the last seven have become NFL stars. The last to do it was 1970 winner Jim Plunkett, who led the Raiders to two Super Bowl titles.

Say what?John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Examiner, commenting on the 49ers' one-sided loss to the Eagles:

"Their astonishing 40-8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was to peel back the curtain on the parallel universe, where things are upside backward and turvy in their topsiness."

"I said celery cap": The Western League, an eight-team, double A-level minor league baseball circuit that will start playing next spring, has franchises in Long Beach and Palm Springs. Yes, there is a salary cap: $92,000--per team.

He needs great luck: It doesn't look as if agent Alan Meersand of Manhattan Beach will be hanging out on the pier with baseball's acting commissioner, Bud Selig, anytime soon.

Said Meersand: "You'd be whining and bitching too, if you blew $27 million on Teddy Higuera and Greg Vaughn. . . . The way to rectify this, of course, is to ram a salary cap down the players' throats and make them pay for his horrible management. Good luck."

Trivia answer: Bo Jackson, with a 91-yard run against Seattle in 1987 and a 92-yarder against Cincinnati in 1989.

Quotebook: NBC's Conan O'Brien: "I don't know about you, but I'm more of a baseball-strike fan than a hockey-strike fan."

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