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MORNING BRIEFING

Coach Couldn't Wait to Leave Playoff Game

February 23, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Suzie McConnell-Serio had a pretty good excuse for leaving her basketball team's high school playoff game in the third quarter Monday.

The coach went into labor during her Oakland (Pa.) Catholic team's 60-48 victory over McKeesport in the Pittsburgh area. She gave birth to a 7-pound 7-ounce girl, Amanda Nicole, a few hours later.

The situation proved almost as stressful on her assistant coach--her husband, Pete Serio, who sweated out both the game and news from the hospital.

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Trivia time: Can you identify these former boxing champions by their given names: Walker Smith, Arnold Cream and Francis Rocco Marchegiano?

Progress? Don Pierson of the Chicago Tribune, writing on the proposed domed stadium in Chicago, which would no longer be his kind of town:

"If the Bears go into hibernation in Gov. Jim Edgar's proposed McDome, so will snowmobile suits and sunglasses. So will wind chill and one of the great skylines in the world."

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Standard greeting: Tom Weir of USA Today, who covered Charles O. Finley's Oakland Athletics for three seasons, has his own recollections of the controversial former owner, who died Monday:

" 'You bearded bleeping twerp' was how Charlie usually addressed me, back when I didn't shave daily.

"I didn't take offense, because Charlie always said far worse things about others."

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Add Finley: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Finley "would fire people at the drop of a white baseball cap.

"Art Rosenbaum, the former sports editor of the Chronicle, recalls that when Joe Pepitone of the Yankees used to wear his hair down to his shoulders, Finley told the public address announcer to say: 'At bat, Josephine Pepitone.' The announcer refused. He was fired."

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Art's world: Owner Art Modell on moving the Cleveland NFL franchise to Baltimore:

"I had to fight like hell to get out of Cleveland. Now I've got to fight like hell to get to Baltimore, and I've got a signed deal with the governor.

"Right now, I'm a man without a country. Maybe we'll move this team to Alaska, call them the Nome Eskimos or something. If I didn't have a sense of humor about this, I'd either lose it or be dead."

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Trivia answer: Sugar Ray Robinson, Jersey Joe Walcott and Rocky Marciano.

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Quotebook: New York Knick Coach Don Nelson: "Coaching is a lot like raising kids. I have to yell at the young ones. They don't know what they're doing."

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