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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Don't Tell Elway That He Made the Wrong Call

January 29, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Jayson Stark in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Fifteen years ago, John Elway had never played in the Super Bowl. But he had hit .300 (that's .CCC in Super Bowl terminology) in professional baseball.

"Thanks to the largess of George 'East Coast Offense' Steinbrenner, Elway played right field for the 1982 Class-A Oneonta (N.Y.) Yankees

"And if that summer in Oneonta was any indication (.318, 4 HR, 25 RBIs, 13 SB in just 42 games), he might have won a World series before he won a Super Bowl."

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Trivia time: Other than UCLA, which are the only Pacific 10 Conference schools to win NCAA men's basketball championships?

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No cheapskate: Fidel Castro is upset with press reports that said Orlando Hernandez, the pitcher who recently escaped Cuba, made the equivalent of $8 a month in Cuba.

Said Michael Ventre of MSNBC: "Castro wanted it made clear that that figure was after taxes."

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Waste of time: Phil Mushnick of the New York Post reflecting on the Super Bowl: "NBC's nearly three-hour pregame [show] offered no new ideas, no-beneath-the-surface insights, no clever angles and no out-of-the-ordinary features.

"Perhaps the best part of the show came early, when Ahmad Rashad, in easily his most candid on-air moment in his 15 years with NBC, announced that kickoff was scheduled for 6:24 [EST]."

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His trademark: Edmonton Oiler Bobby Dollas worked in his father's furrier shop when he was a youngster and occasionally would sew skins together for coats.

"If you see a fur coat with one arm longer than the other," he said, "that's my work."

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Forgettable analysis: Bill Lyon writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer before Sunday's Super Bowl:

"The Packers will win this game because they will eventually wrest control of both sides of the line of scrimmage, due to superior size and strength and cunning, and because they have the best player at the most important position [quarterback Brett Favre]."

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Embarrassing analysis: Lyon was waffling compared to the prediction by Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "The Green Bay Packers will batter and blister the Denver Broncos by at least three touchdowns, giving the NFC its 14th consecutive victory."

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Sign her up: And the best forecaster in the country is . . . tennis great Martina Navratilova, who said before the game: "A very optimistic and nostalgic 31-24 win [right on!] for the Denver Broncos."

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Looking back: On this day in 1950, Jack Dempsey was voted the greatest fighter of the last 50 years in a poll of sportswriters and broadcasters conducted by the Associated Press. Dempsey received 251 votes to 104 for Joe Louis.

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Trivia answer: Oregon, 1939; Stanford, 1942; California, 1959, and Arizona, 1997.

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And finally: Colorado Avalanche center Peter Forsberg on why Mighty Duck winger Teemu Selanne is so upbeat: "If I skated like him, I'd be happy all the time too."

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