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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Love 'Em or Leave 'Em, but Please Don't Tease Them

November 29, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Gary Barnett, once revered as the coach who revived the moribund Northwestern football program, is no longer held in such high regard, according to Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Does he know how silly he looks? Does he realize the farce of it all, that we really don't care anymore if he winds up at Northwestern, Oklahoma or the University of Puget Sound.

"Call it the Coach Who Cried Wolf.

"It's the maddening saga of a man who repeatedly promises loyalty to the program he built, only to flirt with every job vacancy that winks at him."

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More Barnett: Joe Knowles in the Chicago Tribune: "[Barnett] would never be forgiven for leaving Northwestern. Well, maybe if he took [Chicago Bear Coach] Dave Wannstedt along as his defensive coordinator."

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Trivia time: UCLA will play Miami Saturday at the Orange Bowl. When was the last time the Bruins played a regular-season game in December?

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Evens out: Garth Woolsey in the Toronto Star: "In awarding Dean Palmer a five-year, $36-million deal, the [Detroit] Tigers have assured themselves of a solid 30-30 third baseman for years--that's 30 homers and 30 errors."

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Just another game: Woody Paige of the Denver Post lamenting the relative meaninglessness of Friday's Nebraska-Colorado game:

"The arrival of the new seed catalog is more exciting than Nebraska-Colorado. So this is what an Army-Navy game feels like. . . . The game has no oomph."

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Gum voyage: New Jersey Net forward Jayson Williams once asked David Letterman if he flossed with boat rope.

Appearing on "The Late Show" again recently, he stuck to the same material, telling the host: "You should put a sign in your mouth--next tooth, three miles."

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Only way to play: From Fred Couples, who is competing in the Skins Game today at Rancho La Quinta: "I think I just saw Bernie Williams getting $87 million for seven years. If I signed that contract, I would go to tournaments and walk and hold hands with everyone in the gallery. I wouldn't worry about what I shot."

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Any argument? Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "In case you missed it, there was a competition in Goforth, England, called the 'Biggest Liar in the World.'

"According to Sports Illustrated, lawyers and politicians were banned for having 'an unfair advantage.' "

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Looking back: On this day in 1952, Notre Dame beat previously undefeated and second-ranked USC, 9-0, at South Bend.

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Trivia answer: 1970, when UCLA lost to Tennessee, 28-17.

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And finally: Dan Shaughnessy in the Boston Globe: "The Red Sox in this holiday season have become Fools 'R' Us. Mo Vaughn went for a Thanksgiving feast of Angel Food Cake. Bernie Williams feasted on Yankee Pot Roast, while [Dan] Duquette [Red Sox general manager] sat down to a big bowl of gruel with a side order of crow.

"No Mo. No Bernie. No respect. Not Much Hope."

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