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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

We Hope Doak Wouldn't Count on Writers' Block

October 01, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Frank Luksa of the Dallas Morning News recalled a forward in a Doak Walker biography, "More Than a Hero," written by Dan Jenkins:

"Poetry in motion, that's how the old sportswriters used to describe various football immortals. Your Red Grange. Your Don Hutson. Anybody else who came along and made their typewriters hum.

"But if you applied the phrase to Doak Walker in his heyday at SMU, then you had to say that the only guys who deserved to be in the same backfield with him were Byron, Shelley and Keats."

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Trivia time: Walker was an All-American in 1947, '48 and '49. Who won the Heisman Trophy in those years?

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Anyone interested? From the Gallery column in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "The organization that runs the modern pentathlon is about to introduce a mini-event called the biathle.

"Athletes, breaking out of a group start, will run for 1,350 meters, slow down for 50 meters to take off their shoes, then dive and swim for 100 meters before coming out of the water to run a final 100 meters.

"The Modern Pentathlon Union is undecided whether to hold the event indoors or out."

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Scary group: Laurent Jalabert, the world's top-ranked cyclist, has described his sport's governing body as a "dictatorship" and its commissioners as "half Dracula and half neo-Nazi."

Predictably, the chairman of International Cycling Union, Hein Verbruggen, said Jalabert will be suspended if he doesn't apologize to the organization by Sunday.

The cyclist didn't say he was sorry Wednesday, but he did say he would not compete in next week's World Championship because of physical and psychological fatigue. Jalabert explained: "This decision has nothing to do with the statement-ultimatum that Mr. Verbruggen sent to my team and which I will answer soon."

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FYI: Alex Hannum will be inducted Friday into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Hannum joins his former USC teammate, Bill Sharman.

Hannum and Sharman have the distinction of being the only coaches to win championships in both the American Basketball Assn. and the NBA. Hannum won with the NBA St. Louis Hawks in 1958 and NBA Philadelphia 76ers in 1967 and Oakland of the ABA in 1969. Sharman won with the ABA Utah Stars in 1971 and the Lakers in 1972.

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Looking back: On this day in 1903, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Pilgrims, 7-3, in the first World Series game. Boston won the best-of-nine series, 5 to 3.

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Trivia answer: Johnny Lujack of Notre Dame in 1947, Walker in 1948, and Leon Hart of Notre Dame in 1949.

Walker finished third in the balloting in '47 and '49.

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And finally: The Brazilian trainer of a Saudi Arabian soccer team was fired over the weekend for allegedly trying to bribe a referee.

Published reports said the trainer, Zanata, first accused the official of accepting a bribe from the other team before allegedly taking money out of his pocket and offering his own bribe.

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