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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Win or Lose, Fans Will Have Reason to Cheer

September 09, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Lefty Driesell, Georgia State's new basketball coach, says season-ticket holders will get refunds for any home games the Panthers don't win.

"The average fan is fed up with big-time athletes who don't care if they win or lose," Driesell said. "When fans buy tickets, they want to get their money's worth. Well, now we're all in this together. If we lose, they don't pay. It's that simple."

So do the fans have a new rooting interest, perhaps hoping the team loses so they can save a few bucks?

Trivia time: When did UCLA win, or share, its first Pacific Coast Conference football championship?

Hit and run: Players sometimes accidentally injure officials. Now mascots are dangerous.

Bill Hagans, a Canadian Football League head linesman, suffered a bruised hip after being struck by a recreational vehicle late in the first half of a recent game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes.

Hagans was run over by a speeding four-wheeler driven by TC, the Tiger-Cat mascot.

Nike, naturally: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Cincinnati Reds gm Jim Bowden is not known for his patience. He's fired three managers in five years. So how much longer will he put up with Deion Sanders wavering between careers?

"And why do we have a nagging suspicion that Nike is calling the Sanders shots, to milk the constant exposure."

I did it, by George: Who is being blamed in the New York Yankee organization for signing unproductive pitcher Hideki Irabu for $12.8 million? Why, it's "the Boss" himself.

"I'm the one who signed him and I'm the one who went after him," George Steinbrenner said. "If someone made the mistake, it was me. If you blame anyone, blame me."

OK, we will.

Looking back: On this day in 1972, USC defeated Arkansas in a season-opening game in Little Rock, 31-10. The Trojans went on to win the national championship with a 12-0 record.

Trivia answer: 1935, when the Bruins had an 8-2 record and went 4-1 in the PCC, sharing first place with Stanford and California. UCLA upset Stanford's famed "Vow Boys" team that year, 7-6.

And finally: Rocket Ismail landed with a thud last week while doing interviews to promote a regional McDonald's hamburger named after him.

Talking about his burger, the Carolina Panther wide receiver said: "It's the primest, choicest cut of beef. It's cooked to make sure nothing else is living in there."

Don't look for McDonald's to take the Rocket nationally.

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