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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Johnson's Run Shows the True Olympic Spirit

August 05, 1996|SHAV GLICK

Trust the British to come up with a unique way of chronicling Michael Johnson's amazing world record in the 200 meters. This is how Simon Barnes of the Times of London saw it:

"These running races are all about the drama of the hunter and the hunted, but it is hard to know which category to put Johnson in. He intimidated from the front, a cheetah running away from a herd of gazelles and leaving them in a state of helpless terror.

"It was a majestic performance, a perfect demonstration of the pleasures that sport can bring. Certainly, such moments make one forget one's irritations at the pathetic organization of these Games.

"They also add an important footnote to the sadness of the bombing of Centennial Park. Sport is trivial, and it is not worth anybody's death. But Johnson's night, like all the rare and impossible nights of sport, are about the lifting of the human spirit. We who were there were enriched."

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Trivia time: Who is the only National League player to win two Triple Crowns?

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Underpaid: Congressman Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday, said on Irv Kaze's KIEV sports show that his highest salary in the major leagues was $109,000. And that's for a pitcher who won 224 games, struck out 2,855 batters and threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game.

Note: The minimum major league salary is $109,000.

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Fair warning: In Phoenix, advertisements picture a toilet stall with its door partially open and a caption reading, "Hurry! This may be the only seat left."

That's how the Phoenix Coyotes, the transplanted Winnipeg Jets, are getting ready for their first season in the NHL. In two weeks, the Coyotes have obtained commitments for 10,750 season tickets.

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Heavyweight: In attempting to beef up their running attack, the San Francisco 49ers are auditioning former California back Russell White. In a press release, Vice President Dwight Clark was quoted, "He caught the ball extremely well, but he seemed to be a little out of shape."

Fly's comment in the Sporting News: "A little? The Spies say Russ looks like he had 'Inflate to 240 lbs' tattooed on his considerable fanny."

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What's in a name? The new swimming and diving coach at Central Connecticut State is named Brad Flood.

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Who's this Ripken? The Terrible Twenties, a group of golf loving players from metropolitan Los Angeles, recently conducted their 840th consecutive monthly tournament since its inception in May 1926. That's 70 years without a miss.

The "Terrible" comes from an early member's assessment of his game.

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Trivia answer: Rogers Hornsby, 1922 and 1925.

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And finally: National Hot Rod Assn. announcer Bob Frey, after trying to pronounce Finnish driver Keijo Ruuskanen's first name:

"It looks to me like a bad draw in Scrabble. If I'd pulled out those letters, I'd throw 'em back and get five new ones."

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