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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He's Not Ready for Prime Time in Iowa

June 26, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Comedian Norm MacDonald, the anchor on the "Weekend Update" segment of "Saturday Night Live," entertained at a golf event that raised money for the Iowa athletic department.

His 50-minute routine Sunday night didn't wow 'em in Iowa. It was reportedly laced with profanity and sexual references.

Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby said about 80% of the people in the audience of 1,300, which included a number of children, walked out during MacDonald's performance.

What did Iowa officials expect? The Rev. Billy Graham?

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Trivia time: When Chris McCarron rides Marlin in Sunday's Hollywood Gold Cup, it will be the Hall of Fame jockey's 16th appearance in the $1-million race. How many has he won?

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Selling point: Bruce Smith, the Buffalo Bills' all-pro defensive end, on his anger about the lack of progress concerning his contract:

"It's not like I'm some junk bond. I'm a triple-A junk bond. A bond that produces high yields. You know what you're getting into with this bond. It's safe, and your returns are astronomical."

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Tabloid withdrawal: Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Just when we need them the most, the London tabloids might let us down.

"In past years the cheesy, sleazy London tabs could be counted on to fill lulls in Wimbledon action by scraping gossip and rumor off the underside of tennis, running them through a fact-enhancer and blasting them into headlines.

"So far, the tabloids haven't humiliated, exposed or ridiculed a single tennis player."

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Monkey phobia: Bob Brenly, a former San Francisco Giant catcher and now a broadcaster for the Fox network, has this opinion on why left-handed hitters try to avoid Seattle Mariner pitcher Randy Johnson:

"Guys have a lot of pride. They work out. They practice hard. Then they come out in a ballgame and some guy makes them look like a monkey, and it's embarrassing."

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Rag time: Paola Bovin writes in the Arizona Republic that when Keith Foulke was called up by the Giants recently he told reporters he would much rather be in the big leagues "shining shoes" than be back down in Phoenix.

"The next day he was sent down to the triple-A Firebirds. A can of shoe polish was awaiting him in his locker."

Foulke was recalled by the Giants on Tuesday. It's not known whether he took his can of shoe polish with him.

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Looking back: On this day in 1959, Ingemar Johannson knocked out Floyd Patterson in the third round at Yankee Stadium to win the world heavyweight championship.

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Trivia answer: McCarron has never won the Gold Cup. He has finished second nine times.

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And finally: How good, and popular, is Mike Piazza? In National League all-star voting through Sunday, he has 1,394,250 votes.

The next seven catchers (Javier Lopez, Kirt Manwaring, Todd Hundley, Darrin Fletcher, Brad Ausmus, Jason Kendall and Tom Pagnozzi) have a combined 1,313,208.

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