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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He Won't Even Try to Get Under Opponents' Skin

December 02, 1996|SHAV GLICK

Fred Couples was on his best behavior over the weekend at La Quinta when asked to comment on his Skins Game partners, Tom Watson, John Daly and Tiger Woods.

"I really don't like to needle people," Couples said. "With Tom it's not worth the effort. I can't imagine anything that I could say that would shake up Tom Watson. It's just a waste of hot air.

"I'm afraid John Daly will beat me up if I say anything to him. I have another 10 years with Tiger, so I'm going to leave him alone for now."

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Daly's secret?: Ever wonder what--besides that overloaded swing--makes John Daly's drives go so far? Maybe it's that 500-elliptical dimple pattern in his Wilson Staffs.

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Trivia time: How many times have the Lakers had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft?

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Word to the wise: From John Eisenberg of the Baltimore Sun: "Baseball can't begin to recover in earnest until the owners hire a real commissioner to replace Bud Selig, owner of the Milwaukee Brewers.

"'The long and winding road is over,' Selig said [when the labor issue was settled last week]. Another Beatles lyric serves as an appropriate reply: Get back, Bud."

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Mean: The Chicago Tribune published a picture of beleaguered Detroit Lion Coach Wayne Fontes with this caption: "We'll miss ya."

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Nothing changes: Coaches like to say that balanced scoring pays off in basketball.

It did in the lowest scoring game in NBA history, a 19-18 victory by the Fort Wayne Pistons over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. George Mikan scored 15 of the Lakers' 18 points, but there were six Pistons with two or more, none with more than five.

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Mind changer: Johnny Majors announced his resignation as coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers last week, but after Pitt defeated Rutgers, 24-9, in his final game, Major said:

"I am not very emotional, but being carried off [the field] really moved me. I have decided that I am going to un-resign."

Only joking, he added.

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No joking here: Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, 69, says he's not ready to retire yet, but he has figured out when he'll know it's time:

"When the time comes that I don't want to get up and [wife] Sue says, 'You have to get up, you're the coach,' then I will probably get out of it."

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Literature: Is Albert Belle worth $55 million? Vartan Kupelian of the Detroit News says, "Like Hemingway said, it all depends on for whom the Belle toils."

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Trivia answer: Three, Elgin Baylor of Seattle, in 1958; Magic Johnson of Michigan State, 1979; and James Worthy, North Carolina, 1982.

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And finally: At a recent NBA league meeting, an official announced that all 50 members of the Greatest Players in History would be on hand during the All-Star festivities in Cleveland. Columnist Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News notes that it "should be quite a scene when Pete Maravich walks out on Gund Arena floor."

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