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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Parade of Nations? Try Parade of Toads

July 13, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

Let the games begin--just as they have every Olympic summer since 1902 . . . in Atlanta, Nebraska.

If you can't get tickets to the Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., Atlanta, Neb., has plenty of good seats (and T-shirts) available for its own games during Atlanta Days, the toad parade, the javelin and discus throws, the wildly popular egg toss and the coyote-hound races.

Write it down: Aug. 3-4. Atlanta Days.

One change in this year's program: The stilt races were dropped because the javelin and discus were added--you know, the Olympic theme.

The most popular event, according to Community Club president Dan Booe, is coyote-hound racing. Someone drags a bundle of coyote tails in front of a group of madly pursuing wolfhounds or greyhounds.

The tie-in to the Olympics in Georgia never occurred to anyone in Atlanta, Neb., until a newspaper columnist in Lincoln, Neb., suggested one.

"The BBC is calling tonight for an interview," Booe said.

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Trivia time: Which venue at the Atlanta Olympics has the largest seating capacity?

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Not to you: Saratoga Racetrack's publicity department maintains a list of the 10 dumbest questions ever asked by callers.

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No. 1: "I lost a winning ticket in your dining room. Did anyone turn it in?"

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Cheap seats: According to Amusement Business magazine, the people who run the 8,000-seat arena in Sioux Falls, S.D., have shown you don't need to tear down a building or spend millions to have sky boxes.

Using imagination and surplus decking, they built 18 portable sky boxes for their Continental Basketball Assn. team.

Total cost was $30,000. The boxes, described as plain and simple, were all leased for $6,500 each and there is a waiting list. Six more will be built for next season.

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Trivia answer: The soccer site, Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia in Athens, has 86,117 seats. The main Olympic Stadium, the track site, seats 83,100.

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And finally: Relief pitcher Lee Smith, on why he has kept quiet since being traded by the Angels to Cincinnati: "The last time I complained, I got kicked out of an entire state."

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