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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Twice-Charmed Military Man Is Soldier of Fortune

March 06, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

John Brinson ought to try the lottery--any lottery.

Brinson, 46, a retired Army officer from Goldsboro, N.C., was selected from 3 million entries in a competition to try a three-point shot during college basketball's Final Four in Indianapolis on March 29. If he makes it, he gets $1 million.

Two years ago, Brinson was selected from a million entries for a putting challenge and narrowly missed a 10-footer for $1 million during the Skins Game.

Cris Poor, a professor of mathematics at Fordham University, calculates the odds of being chosen twice at a trillion to one.

Trivia time: Who was the first Dodger to throw a no-hitter after Sandy Koufax recorded four?

Getting to know you: Joe Kleine, recently traded by the Lakers to New Jersey, didn't get a chance to meet Coach John Calipari before his first game.

When Kleine was sent into the game after Eric Montross got into foul trouble, Calipari gave Kleine a quick rundown of what to do.

"I got it," Kleine said, adding, "By the way, Coach, I'm Joe Kleine. Nice to meet you."

Take that! NBA referee Derek Stafford, to a heckler at Sacramento's Arco Arena: "You look like you would have been a pretty good player at one time. About 100 biscuits ago."

Look out below! Talk about bad luck. When Huck Flener flew to spring training, he thought he would be the fifth starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.

On the flight, the overhead compartment popped open and a suitcase fell on his right shoulder. A later physical examination revealed a bone chip in the shoulder.

New identity: When Pat Riley played and coached for the Lakers his nickname was "Riles."

Now, as coach of the Miami Heat, he is referred to by some of his players as "MacGyver," like the action hero on the old television series, always cool under pressure and resourceful.

Wrong bench: Golden State Warrior Coach Rick Adelman, when asked what he thought of Iowa State's Kelvin Cato, a 6-foot-11 shot blocker: "Kelvin Cato? Is that the guy from the O.J. trial?"

Trivia answer: Bill Singer, on July 20, 1970, against the Philadelphia Phillies.

And finally: A man reportedly called the Detroit Lion offices last week and asked to speak to Wayne Fontes. "I'm sorry," the receptionist said, "Wayne Fontes doesn't coach here anymore."

Next day, same call. And same answer. Third day, same as the first two.

Finally, the receptionist said, "Aren't you the same person who called here the last two days?"

Yes, the man answered.

"Didn't you hear me? Wayne Fontes doesn't work here anymore."

To which the man replied: "I know. I just like the way it sounds."

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