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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Howard's Heart Missed More Than His Jumper

July 23, 1996|SHAV GLICK

Sports fans in Washington are taking the loss of former Bullet forward Juwan Howard particularly hard after he signed a seven-year, $98-million free-agent contract with the Miami Heat.

But Alma Brown--widow of former commerce secretary Ron Brown, who died in a plane crash in Croatia in April--felt a different sense of loss.

Brown, vice president of a bank that has helped sponsor Howard's charity events, said Howard was among the first to arrive at her house after her husband's death and then got permission from the team to miss a flight the next day to attend Brown's memorial service.

"I was just so touched when I found out he was willing to ask for special permission so that he could stay, but that's the kind of young man he is," she said. "He can span the gender difference. He can span the age difference, the race difference. It is Washington's loss and Miami's gain."

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Trivia time: What NFL player most recently won an Olympic gold medal?

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One man's view: Baltimore Oriole shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. on the trade Sunday that reunited him with Eddie Murray, who said he wasn't happy with the deal:

"From a personal and professional standpoint, I'm glad to have him. Baltimore was the starting place for his career, it holds very special memories for him. I think he's probably always considered himself an Oriole. I think deep down inside he's glad to be putting on this uniform again."

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Best of the best: Gene Mauch, one of the most respected managers in major league history, told columnist Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa is "the manager best-prepared for a game of any I ever saw."

And Mauch played for Leo Durocher, Billy Herman, Charlie Grimm, Frankie Frisch, Billy Southworth, Mike Higgins and Eddie Stanky.

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It's unanimous: How good are the Atlanta Braves? Here are two views:

John Boles, new Florida Marlin manager--"The Braves fall behind, and it has no effect on them. They just don't care. They know they'll do something to win."

John Schuerholz, Brave general manager--"No team is perfect. But we are as close to perfect as any team in baseball."

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Talking back: Reader Jerry Seigel of Long Beach took exception to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Bob Smizik's remarks in a recent Morning Briefing that the "soccer boom in this country begins at age 4 and ends at 7."

Wrote Seigel to Smizik: "Your opinion is wanted out here in California about as much as Iron City beer. Both stink. Check your crowd averages for the L.A. Galaxy vs. the Pirates. Not even close."

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Trivia answer: Wide receiver James Jett of the Oakland Raiders was a member of the winning 400-meter relay team in 1992 at Barcelona, Spain.

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And finally: Drag racer John Force bought himself a million-dollar bus that has seven TV sets and a mirror ceiling over his bed.

"I looked up there once and saw I had a beer gut, so I don't look up there any more," Force said.

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