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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Deion Isn't Neon in the Estimation of a Two-Way Star

September 13, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Much has been written on Deion Sanders playing offense and defense for the Dallas Cowboys. Chuck Bednarik, the last man to play both ways full time in 1960 for the Philadelphia Eagles, isn't impressed.

"When I played, there was contact on every play," Bednarik told Will McDonough of the Boston Globe. "Either I hit someone or they hit me. It was a physical game. This guy Deion is a joke.

"He runs around all game scared stiff, ducking, trying not to get hit and they're calling him a great football player. This guy couldn't tackle my wife, Emma."

Bednarik, a center-linebacker, is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He missed only three games in 14 years.

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Trivia time: What is the NFL record for the longest kickoff return?

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Grand slam: John Hopper of Greenwich, Conn., was struck in the head when Pete Sampras threw his tennis racket into the courtside seats in celebration of his fourth U.S. Open title on Sunday.

"It's my first Grand Slam black eye," said the 39-year-old Hopper. "I could see all these hands coming toward it and the next thing I knew it hit me. It was like getting hit by a meteorite."

He has an unexpected gift, though-- Pete's racket.

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Revising history: USC's 1996-97 University Bookstores catalog says on Page 2: "On Jan. 1, 1996, the USC Trojan football team defeated Michigan State in the annual Rose Bowl game."

Poor Northwestern, forgotten already!

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Natural rivals: ESPN's Joe Theismann wasn't impressed with Keyshawn Johnson's showboating after a touchdown catch on Sunday, his first as a New York Jet. Theismann called the former USC wide receiver "a jerk."

Remember, though, that Theismann played for Notre Dame.

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Acid comment: Pepto-Bismol could be a staple in the Miami Dolphins' locker room this season after a loss.

"I want these players to be sick to their stomach when they lose," demanding Coach Jimmy Johnson told the Sporting News.

All's well so far. The Dolphins are 2-0.

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Net noisemaker: Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News on grunting tennis star Monica Seles: "[Monica] gets to the big points and sounds like a delivery room."

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FYI: In 1933, Oregon State used only 11 players--no substitutes--in holding USC to a 0-0 tie in Portland, ending the Trojans' 25-game winning streak.

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Looking back: On this day in 1970, only 55 of the 126 runners finished the first New York City Marathon, which was won by Gary Muhrcke in 2 hours 31 minutes 38.2 seconds.

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Trivia answer: 106 yards by Al Carmichael of Green Bay, 1956; Noland Smith, Kansas City, 1967, and Roy Green, St. Louis Cardinals, 1979.

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And finally: When Johnny Bench was honored recently in Cincinnati, the Reds' Hall of Fame catcher took time to honor Bernie Stowe, the club's equipment manager for 50 years, giving him a Rolex watch.

"Putting a Rolex on me is like putting earrings on a pig," Stowe said.

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