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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Thankfully, Only Drills He Runs Are on the Field

May 12, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

The University of Pittsburgh recently announced it is retiring the jerseys of three of the school's most prominent football players: No. 42 Marshall Goldberg, No. 89 Mike Ditka and No. 65 Joe Schmidt.

Ditka said he was recruited by Joe Paterno at Penn State, but was talked into playing for the Panthers because of Pitt's dental school. He wanted to become a dentist.

Of course, he became a coach instead. Goldberg couldn't resist making this comment to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"How would you like to be in a dentist's chair and have Ditka come in upset about something?"

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Trivia time: Goldberg, an All-American, was a member of a famous Pittsburgh backfield in the late 1930s. Who were the others?

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Let's hope not: Phil Rosenthal in the Chicago Sun-Times: "If [Dennis] Rodman goes through with his threat to change his name to Orgasm, at least we can look forward to the announcers saying, 'Look at how he faked Orgasm with that move!' "

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Extra, extra: Headline in New Windsor (N.Y.) Times-Herald Record over a story about local pitcher Pete Head: "Head Hurts Neck, Out for Season."

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Ball tycoon: While some of us use the same golf balls for several weeks, or months, John Strege reports in "Tiger: A biography of Tiger Woods" that the young golf star receives 2,000 new 100-compression balata golf balls every six months as part of his endorsement contract with Titleist for use on the range at his home course in Orlando, Fla.

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Pro's pro: New York Jet Coach Bill Parcells admires Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley:

"I don't know him. I've only talked to him once, and it wasn't in person. It was on the phone. But I just watch what the guy does, and I'm telling you, he's something. He's good."

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Oops Dept.: From the SportsLetter of the Amateur Athletic Foundation: "Here's one for the X Files. The Suburban LIFE Citizen, a suburban Chicago paper, ran an April 3 photo and caption identifying a speaker at Brookfield (Ill.) Lincoln School as three-time Olympic medalist Wilma Rudolph. Wilma Rudolph died in 1994.

"The ersatz Wilma Rudolph was in fact an actress/storyteller brought in to perform in celebration of Women's History Month."

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Fashion hint: A comment from NBC-TV commentator Bill Walton during Saturday's Laker-Utah Jazz game at the Forum: "This is the third time this quarter that [Nick] Van Exel has tied his shoes. How about a double knot?"

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Looking back: On this day in 1970, Chicago Cub shortstop Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run in a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

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Trivia answer: John Chickerneo, Richard Cassiano and Harold Stebbins.

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And finally: Dan McGrath of the Chicago Tribune recalled while working in San Francisco in 1981 he called Mike Royko to ask his opinion of the baseball player strike that summer.

Royko's proposal to end the strike: "I'd shoot a player a day until they settle."

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