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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Soccer Clash Might Happen Off the Field

April 21, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

A few days after the San Jose Clash drew a sellout of 31,683 to their home opener, Major League Soccer Chairman Alan Rothenberg appeared at a luncheon in Los Angeles to promote the Galaxy's home opener at the Rose Bowl--which would draw 69,255 on April 13.

"If Southern California can't beat [in attendance] a rinky-dink town up north," Rothenberg reportedly said, "then something is wrong."

Comment from Tom Fitzgerald of the San Francisco Chronicle: "Suggested promotional contest for the Clash: Put Rothenberg in goal, and let fans take shots at him."

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Trivia time: Who holds the NBA playoff record for most three-point baskets in a game?

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Shark disappears: Art Spander of the Oakland Tribune has a new nickname for Greg Norman: "The Great White Sardine."

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Windy City rhetoric: Even though the Detroit Red Wings won a record 62 games and have been the dominant team in the NHL during the regular season, Chicago Blackhawk General Manager Bob Pulford isn't impressed.

"They're a good team, but so are we," he said. "They could lose in the first round. What's so great about Detroit? They haven't won the Stanley Cup."

Not since 1955, anyway.

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The Offerman factor: Former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke is now an analyst for ESPN. Van Slyke, who played for Philadelphia last season, on the Phillies' outfielders:

"They don't have anybody who can catch the ball."

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Faltering franchise: John Eisenberg of the Baltimore Sun summing up the Boston Red Sox: "Baseball's latest work stoppage."

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Something in common: Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune checking out the long hair on some of the players in Major League Soccer:

"Hair seems to be as big a thing in soccer as it is an invisible thing in the NBA, the similarity being that neither uses a comb."

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NBA night life: Headline on the front page of the New York Post: "Knicks Should Tell Mason: STOP BEING A PUNK."

Mason, a Knick forward, allegedly punched a 25-year-old woman in the eye in what the Post calls a "wild melee" at a New York club.

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Familiar script: From the Good Doctor in Inside Sports:

Q: I hear Nicolas Cage is starring in "Leaving Las Vegas II." Who does he play?

A: Tark.

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Streak Meets Streak: Baltimore's Cal Ripken Jr., who holds the major league record for playing in consecutive games with 2,168, congratulating Gerardo Sanchez for tying the Mexican Baseball League record with 1,166 games:

"Believe it or not, it gets easier after the first 1,167 games."

The overall record for playing in consecutive games is held by Japan's Sachio Kinugasa, who played in 2,215.

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Trivia answer: Dan Majerle of the Phoenix Suns, with eight against Seattle on June 1, 1993.

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And finally: Jim Cleamons, a seldom-used rookie reserve on the 1971-1972 NBA championship Laker team and now a Chicago Bull assistant coach, was asked how Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and company would fare against his former team.

"What's Jerry now, 54, and Wilt 55?" he said. "I think Michael and Scottie would run them out of town."

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