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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Losing That Blue Blood Took Some Time

January 27, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Orel Hershiser, the longtime Dodger pitcher, knows how to ingratiate himself with the his new team, the San Francisco Giants, archrivals of the Dodgers.

Speaking at a recent charity dinner for the Giants, Hershiser was warmly received when he said:

"Hello, my name is Orel Hershiser and I'm a reformed Dodger. I spent three years in Cleveland in detox, and I'm much better now."

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Trivia time: What is the NBA record for fewest free throws made by both teams in a game?

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Next question: One thing is always guaranteed at the Super Bowl--dumb and dumber questions by some so-called reporters.

Denver Bronco offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman was asked: "With a name like Zimmerman, are you the only Jew in the NFL?"

"I'm not Jewish," he answered.

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What baby? Chick Hearn had a TV show at one time called "Bowling for Dollars." He was interviewing a heavyset woman and asked, "When do you expect the baby?"

She replied, "I'm not pregnant."

Hearn was taken aback, but quickly said, "I was only kidding."

The glib, longtime Laker announcer ranks that as his most embarrassing moment.

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Mom shut out: There was heavy action on the Super Bowl at Las Vegas casinos. One bet, though, is no longer taken, according to oddsmaker Roxy Roxborough: the first player to look into the camera and say, "Hi, Mom."

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Super task: Chuck Nevius in the San Francisco Chronicle on new Oakland Raider Coach Jon Gruden: "The word on Gruden is that he is peppy, smart and a little bit of a smartass, all of which sound like positives in this situation.

"He is said to be a maniacal worker, which is good, because there is a maniacal amount of work to be done."

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Go figure: Phil Collier in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Two of my friends won a Super Bowl lottery that allowed them to purchase two upper-level seats for $200 apiece. They sold them for $2,000 apiece, netting $3,600.

"By way of comparison, $16 field-level seats for each of the Padres' 81 home games last season would have cost the couple a total of $2,622."

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Trivia answer: Seven: Milwaukee, three, Baltimore, four, on Jan. 1, 1973.

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And finally: John Calipari, coach of the New Jersey Nets, a struggling franchise until this season, makes a distinction between "players" and "Nets players":

"We don't have Nets players anymore. We have players in Nets uniforms. In the past, a guy puts on a uniform he becomes a Net. That ain't happening now. That was the belief. Because you have a Nets' uniform on, you're supposed to lose?

"That's garbage. It's who's in the uniforms."

Sounds like a lot of Net-picking.

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