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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Madden Even Provides Color at Barbecues

September 01, 1996|CHRIS BAKER

Fox commentator John Madden is big on comfort and usually wears old sneakers.

"I was home and [Fox owner] Rupert Murdoch invited me to his house in Carmel for a barbecue," Madden told the New York Times' Richard Sandomir. "All I had to wear were sneakers with big old holes in them.

"And there's Rupert barbecuing. He's flipping stuff and--boom!--he drops a sausage on the ground. He picks it up, puts it back on the grill. So now I didn't feel so bad I was wearing sneakers with holes.

"But my wife was so ashamed she went out and bought me two new pairs."

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Trivia time: Who won the NBA's first most-valuable-player award?

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On the campaign trail: Chicago White Sox outfielder Lyle Mouton talked politics with Tipper Gore before a game last week.

"I told her I might be asking for a few pointers," said Mouton, who has political aspirations.

But the vice president's wife didn't persuade him to vote the Clinton-Gore ticket.

"I'm an independent," he said. "I vote for who I like."

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Underhanded move: There have been stadiums and arenas named after airlines, banks and even telephone companies, but an underwear company?

A subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom, Pro Player, has signed a $20-million, 10-year deal to put its name on Joe Robbie Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins.

But Robbie's son, Dan, thinks Marlin owner Wayne Huizenga, who bought the Dolphins and Robbie Stadium from the Robbie family, is making a mistake.

"He hopes to erase the history of professional sports in south Florida with his millions," Dan Robbie said. "Without my father building JRS, there would be no Florida Marlins and we would probably not even know who Wayne Huizenga is, and wouldn't that be a shame?"

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And the Emmy goes to . . . Talk about art imitating life.

In a promo for HBO's new series about a sports agent, "Arli$$," San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds slides into third base, dusts himself off, pulls a cellular phone from his pocket and dials his agent, saying he wants a contract extension.

Bonds, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, has played himself in several movies and TV shows, and wants to pursue acting after he retires.

"I like entertaining people," he said. "I couldn't care less what it is. I just like being on stage. The good thing about movies is that you can cut.

"Baseball is like 'Saturday Night Live' all the time. If you screw up, you screw up."

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Night owl: Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith does his food shopping after midnight.

By then, he hopes, groupies and football fans are asleep.

"As soon as I walk out the door, I belong to the public," Smith said. "So much of my life is public, and the little bit I do have that's private, I try to keep it that way."

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Trivia answer: Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks, 1955-56.

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And finally: St. Louis Ram wide receiver Isaac Bruce, a religious man, is nicknamed Rev. Ike because his mother and two sisters are Pentecostal ministers.

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