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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

At These Games, He's a Sure Thing to Get the Gold

July 09, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

Two years ago, for $60,000, Paul D'Agnese bought a tired-looking bar just outside downtown Atlanta, and renamed it "Pauly's."

It looks like a big winner for D'Agnese.

His bar is across the street from the Olympic Stadium and it turns out that CNN has built a 20-foot-high tower on his roof. From the tower platform, CNN will interview Olympic champions, using the stadium as a backdrop.

For 17 days, Pauly's will be the world's best-known watering hole.

"CNN will use the roof for live spot news broadcasts [NBC is televising the Olympics] for no charge, as long as they always announce the dateline . . . that they're broadcasting from the roof of Pauly's," D'Agnese said.

D'Agnese has spent $150,000 renovating the bar and hired 60 people to serve drinks during the 17-day Olympics.

He figures his profits will exceed $1 million.

"Let the Games begin," he said. "It's not the taking part that counts; it's the counting of the profits."

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Trivia time: In 1950, what did Sheboygan, Wis.; Waterloo, Iowa, and Anderson, Ind., have in common?

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Too fat? Boston's Jose Canseco, 32, still the only man to achieve a 40/40 season--40 homers and 40 stolen bases--keeps saying he can do it again. But he won't say how.

Don't expect it to be this year.

He is on pace for 40 homers, but a steal Saturday was only his second of the season. He got his 40/40 in 1988, with 42 homers and 40 steals for the Oakland Athletics.

He has averaged 27 homers the last five seasons, but only 11.4 steals.

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Sinking feeling: From Christine Brennan in the Washington Post:

"U.S. Swimming officials gazed into their crystal ball and saw something frightening. . . . They estimated the number of medals Americans would win at the Atlanta Olympics.

"The results were stunning, even embarrassing, for a sport that has been an unstoppable medal machine for decades: four golds for the men, none for the women.

"What swimming officials did next was every bit as surprising. Rather than hide . . . their projections, they gladly faxed their findings to any reporter who wanted to see them.

" 'That's what we're trying to do, lower expectations,' U.S. Olympic Committee President LeRoy Walker said. 'It's a very competitive world now.' "

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New team, same band: The Baltimore Colts abandoned their city to Indianapolis in 1984, but the team's band has continued to play. It will play as the Colts band for the Ravens, becoming the Baltimore Ravens Band at halftime of the last game in the 1997 season.

"We want to retire the band on its 50th anniversary with class," band president John Ziemann said.

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Trivia answer: All had NBA teams.

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And finally: Before Sunday, the Detroit Tigers had used 21 pitchers, who cumulatively threaten the major league record for worst earned-run average.

On Sunday, the club invited Rabbi Ernst Conrad to throw out the first pitch before a game against Toronto at Tiger Stadium.

Conrad threw a strike and the Tigers beat Toronto, 9-0.

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