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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

King Crowns Graf Queen of the Court

November 29, 1996|SHAV GLICK

Is Steffi Graf better than Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert or Helen Wills Moody ever were?

Billie Jean King thinks so. In Tennis magazine, she says, "I think Steffi has earned the right to be called the greatest ever. She has won everything so many times, regardless of the surface. And she knows how to win no matter what is going on in her life.

"I used to think Martina was the greatest who ever lived, but I think Steffi has showed us that she is better than anybody ever."

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Trivia time: Who holds the individual record for most touchdowns against Notre Dame?

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What's it worth?: Ted Williams gets $325 for each autograph at the rare card shows he attends, but after several strokes he can't sign anything that isn't flat.

By contrast, Eddie Murray gets $50 per signing. According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, "Thousands of people are expected [at a New York show], many of them IRS agents."

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The name game: Among the winners in Boating magazine's most creative names contest were: "Luna Sea," "Fishcally Irresponsible" and "Wake, Rattle and Troll."

Among the runners-up were "Water Broke," owned by an obstetrician, and "Flemme Fatale," owned by a respiratory therapist.

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Could Vinny say it?: When the Arizona Diamondbacks open play in 1988, any home run by the home team will be called a "Banc One boomer" on the radio, alluding to the new ballpark's sponsor. Asked if that included inside-the-park homers, Diamondback managing general partner Jerry Colangelo replied, "We haven't thought about that yet."

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Lottery putt: First there was the $1-million field-goal try, then the $1-million basket and the $1-million pitch. Now comes the $1-million putt.

Kirk Bryson, 64, a corrections officer at a New York City jail for 20 years, will get to try it Saturday at the Skins Game in La Quinta. Bryson will take one 10-foot putt. If he makes it, he gets the million. If he misses, he will collect $50,000 from Gillette.

Gillette also sponsored the other challenge and has yet to pay out the $1 million.

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No problem: Michigan center Rod Payne can easily explain why the Wolverines decked Ohio State:

"We went out there and beat the [bleep] out of them just because we wanted to. . . . It was like we dropped a special-forces team behind enemy lines to get the job done."

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Short career: The Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal played football in high school, briefly, as he explained to NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashad:

"I played my freshman year in high school, scored a touchdown one time and a dude hit me in my knee. It hurt for a month and I quit."

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Trivia answer: USC's Anthony Davis, with 11 from 1972-1974.

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And finally: Michael Jordan's new cologne hasn't been a hit among NBA players, according to Mike O'Hara of the Detroit News.

"They're getting too many fragrant fouls," he claims.

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