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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

These Ideas Still Seem a Little Cheesy

June 14, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

The Florida Panthers, under pressure from the NHL, have come up with some ideas for next season that may reduce the tossing of plastic rats onto the ice and speed up the games.

They suggest designating one fan to sit in a big chair and throw a plastic rat on the ice whenever the Panthers score, or having a big mechanical rat come down from the ceiling to hover over the opposing goaltender and hiss at him.

Please, try again.

Trivia time: Which seven players have played on NCAA, Olympic and NBA championship teams?

Bargain ball: Spalding is using the U.S. Open to begin marketing a new golf ball. The multilayer Top-Flight Strata Tour combines a soft Balata cover with a firm inner layer and high-energy core.

It isn't cheap. The suggested retail price is $52 a dozen.

Tap-dancing writer: Dave Kindred of the Sporting News chides himself, recalling that he once wrote in 1983: "Trees will tap-dance, elephants will drive at Indy and Orson Welles will skip breakfast, lunch and dinner before North Carolina State finds a way to beat Houston for the NCAA basketball championship."

After N.C. State won, Kindred wrote: "Trees tap-danced here last night . . ."

Endorsement: Indiana Pacer Coach Larry Brown told the Indianapolis Star that he believes John Calipari will succeed as coach of the New Jersey Nets:

"He'll coach like he did in college. His teams will play great defense, bust their butts, and play unselfishly."

Trashing Izzy: Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle on Izzy, the Olympic mascot: "Izzy makes me vaguely uneasy, maybe because he looks like a toilet bowl that received a massive jolt of radiation and mutated into a live cartoon being with arms, legs and gigantic crossed eyes."

Accident prone: Florida Marlin pitcher Kevin Brown, who missed a start after bruising his right ankle when he slipped on a dock during a fishing trip:

"Anything I do is dangerous. Getting out of bed is dangerous to me. I need to wear hockey pads all day."

Adaptable: Woody Woodburn of the Ventura Star writes that Dennis Rodman is actually a master of disguise:

"One minute Rodman looks like the Tattooed Man in a circus, and the next thing you know he looks like, well, the Tattooed Lady in a circus."

Looking back: On this day in 1934, Max Baer defeated Primo Carnera on a technical knockout in the 11th round for the heavyweight championship.

Trivia answer: Clyde Lovellette, Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Jerry Lucas, Quinn Buckner, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

And finally: Mark Grace of the Chicago Cubs on fan abuse: "We hear the F-word all the time. I've had guys yell, 'I was with your sister last night.' I know that's not true. I don't have a sister."

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