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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Snyder Will Leave First Saxophone to the President

December 27, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Arizona State football Coach Bruce Snyder and President Clinton have something in common: They like to play the saxophone.

Snyder, whose Sun Devils will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl game New Year's Day, told the Arizona Republic that he's not very good with the instrument and, when he plays, his family retreats to the back of the house.

"I find it impossible to play and think of anything else," he said. "My mind can't wander when I do it, so when I'm done, I find myself really refreshed. I'm kind of cleansed."

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Trivia time: Who holds the Rose Bowl record for most touchdown passes in a game?

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Geography lesson: Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley bawled out his players after an embarrassing defeat to the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 15 and singled out guard Sasha Danilovic, threatening to "ship him back to Siberia."

Amy Shipley of the Miami Herald corrected Riley: "That's Serbia, coach."

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Undercover: Former Toronto Maple Leaf defenseman Todd Gill, on the difference between living in a hockey fish bowl in Canada and relative anonymity in San Jose:

"I can't say that I miss that part of it. You can go anywhere and you are lucky if someone says anything about hockey to you."

Just like L.A.

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Ouuuch! New Jersey Net forward Jayson Williams, after suffering a sprained thumb when Seattle's Shawn Kemp chopped down on the ball and his hand at the same time:

"The refs said the hand is part of the ball. The ball is OK. I'm hurt."

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Come again? Roger Clemens, former Boston Red Sox pitcher, on his new home in Toronto: "The thing I like most about Toronto is it's so much like Houston."

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From Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Yeah, that Toronto is the fajitas capital of the world, all right."

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FYI: USC basketball player Tina Thompson's statistics after seven games are comparable to those of former Trojan and Olympic gold-medal winner Lisa Leslie. They're virtually even in rebounds and Thompson has averaged 23 points compared to Leslie's 19.7.

The USC women will play in the Pac-10/Sun Belt Challenge on Saturday and Sunday at the Sports Arena, along with UCLA, Western Kentucky and New Orleans.

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Looking back: On this day in 1987, the Rams ended an NFL strike-shortened season by losing to the 49ers, 48-0, in San Francisco.

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Trivia answer: USC's Pete Beathard in 1963, and UCLA's Rick Neuheisel in 1984, each with four.

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And finally: Giles Pellerin, 90, who reportedly hasn't missed a USC football game in 70 years, won't be an idle fan over the holidays.

He'll travel to New Orleans to watch Florida State play Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday. Pellerin won an all-expenses-paid trip by winning the first Sears DieHard Fan Award.

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