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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

When the Chips Are Down, Put Them in a Bowl

December 15, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

"Hey, the Boston Tea Party worked too," said Dennis Martin, a Brigham Young marketing professor who helped stage a Tostito-torching party this week.

BYU students, incensed at being passed over for a Fiesta Bowl appearance after their team went 13-1, decided to target the Fiesta Bowl's sponsor, Tostitos.

About 20 fans piled up three dozen bags of Tostitos, splashed them with lighter fluid and struck a match.

"It's a total boycott," said Jeff Sheets, a BYU senior who went door-to-door at his apartment complex collecting bags of the tortilla chips.

"We want to hit them where it can make a difference. They've slighted the WAC, BYU and the state of Utah. It's a matter of respect. We never get the recognition we deserve.

"The bowl alliance didn't listen to us, so we're speaking to the sponsor now."

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Trivia time: Notre Dame's Paul Hornung is still the only Heisman Trophy winner from a losing team. Notre Dame was 2-8 in Hornung's year, 1956. Who finished second that year?

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St. Kevin: A recent decision by Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns won't hurt his saintly image.

He has become the legal guardian of A.J. Brown, a senior football and basketball standout at Washington High in Phoenix. Brown's unemployed mother--who divorced when he was 2--was evicted from her apartment recently.

Brown, who now lives with Johnson, was offered a football scholarship to Arizona but quit football after one game this season. Then he got into trouble for skipping class and smoking marijuana. He has a 3.8 grade-point average.

Said Johnson: "He's a great kid. He just needed to make a few changes."

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He's heard enough: John Brophy, in his 24th year of coaching, got his 800th victory the other night as the Hampton Roads (Va.) Admirals beat Raleigh, N.C., in the East Coast Hockey League.

"Hockey's not work," Brophy said.

"I hear players say now they have to give 150%, but they work an hour and a half at practice and play a game for a few hours and they call it work.

"It's not work, it's fun. It's always been fun."

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For what it's worth: Four times in the last five years a Minnesota native who has been an all-star elsewhere has returned home to play for the Twins after reaching free-agent status:

Jack Morris in 1991, Dave Winfield in 1993, Paul Molitor in 1995 and Terry Steinbach earlier this month.

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Trivia answer: Tennessee's Johnny Majors, who recently resigned as coach at Pitt.

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And finally: Al Walker, basketball coach at Division II Chaminade--1,000 students--in Honolulu, after browsing through the media guides of Kansas, LSU and Massachusetts:

"I think their media guide budgets are bigger than our entire athletic department's."

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