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MORNING BRIEFING

It's Not Quite '2-4-6-8, Who Do We Appreciate?'

October 12, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

In a frenzied exhibition, Peruvian witch doctors cast spells Thursday in Lima to guarantee victory against Chile in today's World Cup soccer qualifying game in Santiago.

"Long live Peru! Peru! Peru! Goal!" the cloaked witch doctors shouted as they spat alcohol over team photos, raised deer's feet to ensure swift-footedness and held the claws of a condor to guarantee fighting spirit.

"Let them have cramp! Let them remain blind night and day!" they chanted, stabbing knives at a Chilean soccer shirt hung upside-down during the ceremony in a Lima square.

Now why don't UCLA and USC hire some witch doctors to stir things up before their Nov. 22 game at the Coliseum?

Trivia time: What player holds the NFL record for most points in a game?

Trashing Da Bears: "How is a Bear football game like a teenager's haircut?" asks Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune. "You know it is going to be bad, you just don't know how bad until you see it."

Consolation round: Headline in the New York Post after the Yankees drowned their postseason sorrows early Tuesday morning in a Manhattan bar after their elimination from the playoffs by the Cleveland Indians:

"REAL YANKEE DOODLE RANDIES."

Patient franchise: Jay Leno on Cleveland's elimination of New York: "After 370 years, the Indians have finally taken back Manhattan."

Leno again: "This is the greatest day for Cleveland sports fans since the invention of the polyester bowling shirt."

Don't bet on it: From an editorial in Pro Football Weekly: "Our sources close to the Raiders tell us that the team is very unhappy with Oakland-area officials and that the club may be preparing to try to move to Los Angeles again."

Comment: What are we, a convenient NFL pit stop?

Big numbers: Former pitcher Jim Gott once said, "My earned-run average is so high it looks like an AM radio station."

Looking back: On this day in 1946, UCLA defeated Stanford, 26-6. The Bruins won 10 games before losing to Illinois in the Rose Bowl, 45-14.

Looking back again: On this day in 1907, USC opened the season with a 6-0 victory over Los Angeles High School before an estimated crowd of 2,000 at Fiesta Park in L.A.

Trivia answer: Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals, 40 points against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 28, 1929.

And finally: Seattle Seahawk rookie cornerback Shawn Springs on veteran Kansas City Chief running back Marcus Allen:

"That old man's got tricks. I didn't know he was that good. He's smooth. He sets you [up] by acting like he's not even running that fast. Then you look up and he's gone.

"He's sweet. That's 16 years of being in the league under your belt. It's part of my education."

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