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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Elway Almost Didn't Last as Long as Seldon

September 11, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

John Elway's NFL career almost ended before it started. Elway recalled that as a rookie in 1983 with the Denver Broncos, his debut was traumatic.

On his first play, he looked across the line and saw middle linebacker Jack Lambert of the Pittsburgh Steelers glaring at him.

"He had no teeth, and he was slobbering all over himself," Elway recalled. "I'm thinking, 'You can have your money back. Just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant.' I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of there."

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Add Elway: Statistically, he was awful, completing one of eight passes for 14 yards with an interception. And he was sacked four times.

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Trivia time: What school holds the Division I-A college football record for winning streak?

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Minor inconvenience: GolfJournal reported recently on a bulletin posted in 1940 by the Richmond Golf Club in Sudbrook, England. Some temporary war-time rules were listed. A sampling:

--Players are asked to collect the bomb and shrapnel splinters to avoid damage to the grass-cutting machines.

--In competition, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take shelter without penalty for ceasing play.

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Top banana: Apparently, slapstick comedy isn't appreciated anymore. Former Boston Red Sox infielder Rico Petrocelli has been fired by one of the team's TV affiliates for playfully throwing a cream pie in the face of talk-show host Chuck Adler.

Adler laughed at the time but reportedly fumed when the cameras were off.

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Oil(er) derrick: Guard Purvis Hunt of the Houston Oilers has the dubious distinction of being the heaviest player in the league, the NFL reported. He weighs 378 pounds.

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Add heavyweights: Cecil Fielder is listed at 250 pounds (and that's probably giving him the benefit of the doubt), but he isn't the heaviest New York Yankee of all time. That distinction belongs to Walter "Jumbo" Brown, a pitcher in the 1930s. He made the scales groan at 290 pounds.

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Bad old days: Veteran quarterback Boomer Esiason of the Arizona Cardinals, recalling his playing days with the New York Jets:

"When we stepped on the field, the likelihood of winning was remote. The guys didn't know what they were doing. There were schemes that had no rhyme or reason."

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Down and out: Headline in the San Francisco Examiner before Oakland played the Kansas City Chiefs: "Raiders look lean, hungry."

They must be starving now, having lost their eighth consecutive regular-season game and 14 out of 15 to the Chiefs.

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Trivia answer: Oklahoma with 47, from 1953 to 1957. Notre Dame ended the streak Nov. 16, 1957, beating the Sooners, 7-0.

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And finally: From New Jersey Devil Mike Peluso's anti-smoking public service announcement for the American Cancer Society: "If a Devil tells you to stop smoking, you'd better do it."

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