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MORNING BRIEFING

McNall Legacy Could Be Fewer Cooked Books

November 20, 1994|SHAV GLICK

It seems the situation of King President Bruce McNall, who will plead guilty to federal charges that he defrauded banks for more than $236 million, has become something of a cautionary tale.

At an NHL media briefing in Toronto, Glen Sather, Edmonton president and general manager, was asked whether the league was willing to make its books public.

"You imply the league's numbers are not real, and that's the same story I get from my players," Sather said. "I had my player rep to my house and showed him the information on our team and he said, 'Wow, is that real?'

"I said, 'Do you think I want to go to jail?' We already have one guy in this league who is going to jail, and I don't want to be the second one."

Add McNall: Sather's final comment was not included in the league's official transcript, although it was used by several reporters and a Canadian cable outlet.

Trivia time: What two NFL quarterbacks played junior college football in Los Angeles?

Telltale tattoo: The tattoo on Joe Smith's chest at first seems like nothing more than a collection of deep blue lines set against his skin. But a slight flex of his muscle condenses the lines, sharpening the image and bringing it forth: the face of a bulldog, half snarling, half smirking.

"I always wanted a tattoo," says Smith, center on the Maryland basketball team. "My friends got tattoos also. They told me to get a dog." Why?

"Because they call me 'the Beast.' "

No problems: Roy Firestone asked Pat Haden if, when he played quarterback for the Rams, he'd had any arguments with Coach Chuck Knox over play calling.

"We only had three plays to question," Haden replied.

Right man for the job: Former Raider Howie Long, speaking on "Inside Pro Football," says quarterback Steve Walsh is the perfect fit for Coach Dave Wannstedt's Chicago Bears.

"Dave's philosophy is keep the game close, do not screw it up," Long said. "For him, it's not the quarterback who makes the big play that matters, it's the quarterback who doesn't make the bad play."

Picture perfect: After left wing Brendan Shanahan of the St. Louis Blues posed for a picture in GQ, teammates asked him what it was like.

"The photographer doesn't say, 'Give us your best side,' " Shanahan said. "He says, 'Give us your least-damaged side.' "

Takes one to know one: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, asked to name the best center in the NBA today, didn't hesitate.

"I'd have to go with Hakeem (Olajuwon)," he said. "He can do more things on the court. Shaquille (O'Neal) is certainly a force to be reckoned with and he's going to be around a long time, but I think Hakeem is clearly a better player."

Trivia answer: Minnesota's Warren Moon played at West L.A. and the Bears' Erik Kramer played at Pierce.

Quotebook: Former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, analyzing the George Foreman-Michael Moorer fight: "George is a big truck, but if he runs over you, he'll kill you. He phoned (Moorer) from Chicago and said, 'I'm coming,' and the fool waited there for him."

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