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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

This Study Hits Key Issue Right on Nose

November 20, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

If you have ever wondered why athletes wear those little bandage-like nose strips, the purpose is to improve breathing and, perhaps, performance.

But the only benefit may be to make the athletes look tough, according to studies at Illinois State. Breathe Right nasal strips do not improve physical performance, the studies concluded.

"If people like them for aesthetic reasons, they're welcome to wear them," associate professor David Thomas, one of the researchers, said jokingly.

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Trivia time: What was unusual about the USC-UCLA football games in 1936 and 1938?

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Chipping away: Green Bay defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur before Monday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys: "The one thing we haven't done against them is stop the big play."

The Packers kept the Cowboys without a big-play touchdown, but Dallas' Chris Boniol kicked an NFL record-tying seven field goals in a 21-6 victory.

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FYI: Lou Holtz will coach his final regular-season game for Notre Dame on Nov. 30 against USC at the Coliseum.

Six former Irish coaches also wound up their regular-season careers at Notre Dame against the Trojans: Knute Rockne, Elmer Layden, Terry Brennan, Joe Kuharich, Dan Devine and Ara Parseghian. The combined record was 3-3.

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Note: Rockne was killed in a plane crash in March of 1931 after coaching Notre Dame to a 27-0 victory over USC in 1930.

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No early bird: Eddie Sefko in the Houston Chronicle: "Orlando's Brian Shaw loves to fish. He started out as a marine biology major at Cal Santa Barbara.

"When his first class required him to be at the Pacific Ocean at 4:30 a.m., he quickly changed his major to sociology."

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A bigger upset: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "The Evander Holyfield TKO of Mike Tyson hailed by some as biggest heavyweight upset of all time.

"Not so, it sez here. Some may remember James Braddock taking belt from champ Max Baer; a lowly dockworker beating one of the really top right-hand punchers of all time."

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Early action: Bob Kravitz in the Rocky Mountain News: "Some Signs Broncomania Has Gotten Out Of Control: Boston College football players already are betting the Broncos to lose in the Super Bowl."

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Looking back: On this day in 1982, UCLA defeated USC, 20-19, at the Rose Bowl. After scoring a touchdown as time expired, the Trojans elected to go for a two-point conversion that failed when quarterback Scott Tinsley was sacked.

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Trivia answer: They were played on Thanksgiving Day.

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And finally: Tampa Bay Lightning center Aaron Gavey, after spotting a six-foot alligator in his backyard pond while fishing:

"I said, 'Hi, welcome to the neighborhood.' Then I dropped the pole and ran."

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