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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Now Is Perfect Time to Sock It to U.S. Soccer

June 23, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune on the U.S. soccer team losing to Iran in the World Cup: "The elimination of the United States from the [World Cup] will come as somewhat of a surprise, since so few Americans had any idea we were in it.

"Or even what the World Cup is, though just four years ago it was we who were France [the host country], and how long will it take us to live that down?

"It's kind of like hearing about a friend's wedding after the divorce. So, what you are saying is, you are dating again.

"The great advantage of American soccer is that it comes without guilt, even losing to Iran, which is worse at soccer than we are. Iran would be the L.A. Clippers of world soccer. We would be the Sacramento Kings."

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Trivia time: Who holds the major league record for hitting steak by a rookie?

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No field of dreams: Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Padre left fielder Greg Vaughn was struck on the leg by a ball thrown from 3Com Park's left-field grandstands on Friday.

"Me, I'd like to see more security in the bleachers," Vaughn said. "But it's a no-win position. Mention the objects being thrown and you bring it to the attention of the copycats."

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Fashion note: Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News: "I am almost positive that those plus-fours Payne Stewart wore Friday [at the U.S. Open] used to be checkered tablecloths at P.J. Clarke's [a New York restaurant]."

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Short stay: The movie "Six Days Seven Nights" opened recently. Said comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "It's the story of Mike Piazza's career with the Florida Marlins."

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Hooligan holiday: England Prime Minister Tony Blair urged British employers to fire hooligans involved in World Cup violence.

Said Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune: "Real smart, lad: giving hooligans more free time."

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Limited menu: Former Michigan running back Jon Vaughn on playing for Germany's Rhein Fire in the NFL Europe league:

"I've heard the talent here has improved since they started the league in 1991, but the life is hard. All you can eat is pork and beef. They must have some kind of chicken famine."

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Looking back: On this day in 1967, Jim Ryun lowered his mile world record to 3 minutes 51.1 seconds at the National AAU meet in Bakersfield. The record would last eight years.

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Trivia answer: Benito Santiago of the San Diego Padres, 34 games in 1987.

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And finally: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Death of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault recalls the favorite stint of the king of New York playground basketball.

"At 6-1, he could dunk the ball with one hand, reach below with the other, catch the ball as it cleared the net and dunk it again. All before coming down down to earth!

"Dope and robberies limited his talent to park cement."

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