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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Christmas Eve Firing Tops Off Raiders' Season

December 25, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

The Oakland Raiders ended the season Sunday in dismal fashion, losing to the Seattle Seahawks in Oakland, 28-21, and Tim Keown of the San Francisco Chronicle gave them a verbal boot:

"Every week the Raiders promise to do better. Every week, the story is the same: They lost their composure, but they learned from their mistakes. They're too good for that, they say as they vow to change. A new day dawns.

"Today, there is no new day, and there doesn't deserve to be. The Raiders [7-9] have become a tired act, a deadly dull combination of sloppiness and anarchy. They are out of control, amateurish and totally unable to get out of their own way."

To top off their season, the Raiders fired Coach Mike White on Christmas Eve.

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Trivia time: Eddie Kennison recently surpassed the Rams' rookie receiving record set by Bucky Pope in 1964. What was Pope's nickname?

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Come again? White Sox Manager Terry Bevington, in the Chicago Tribune on controversial Albert Belle:

"He must be a pretty good guy or [Cleveland] wouldn't have been in a World Series two years ago and had a good team last year."

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Mother knows best: When French yachtswoman Catherine Chabaud, 34, set off in the Vendee Globe solo around-the-world race, her mother's parting words were: "Don't lean overboard, and make sure you put a scarf on when you go outside."

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Consider the source: Dick Motta was not included among the top 10 coaches in NBA history, according to a vote by reporters who regularly cover the league.

Motta, the third-winningest coach in league history, said, "Who picked it, the media? Then, I don't really care. Now, if it had been all the guys who ever coached in this league, then it might be a nice honor."

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AEG-VIP: The Good Doctor in Inside Sports, on Bill Walsh's title with the San Francisco 49ers: "Assistant executive genius."

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Clank down: From David Letterman: "I had a tough time in Chicago. Lots of trouble last night at the airport--huge delay. Here's what happened. I get behind Dennis Rodman--here's the kind of luck I have--at the metal detector. It took the guy 45 minutes to unpierce himself."

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Looking back: On this day in 1971, Garo Yepremian's 37-yard field goal in the second overtime gave the Miami Dolphins a 27-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the AFC playoffs.

Looking back again: On this day in 1924, USC defeated Missouri, 20-7, in the Christmas Festival game at the Coliseum.

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Trivia answer: The Catawba Claw.

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And finally: Speculating on why Brigham Young was not an attractive sell to a major bowl game, Coach LaVell Edwards said:

"We used to go the Holiday Bowl and our fans would bring a $50 bill and the Ten Commandments and break neither."

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