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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Skyhook King Is Also Home on the Range

October 05, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

He is, most likely, the tallest cowboy ever.

That's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who took part Friday in the celebrity cattle cutting competition at the Coors Rodeo Showdown in Phoenix.

What's a 51-year-old, 7-foot-2, all-time NBA great from New York City doing in a rodeo?

"I've been into it ever since I was a kid," Abdul-Jabbar said. "We used to have a rodeo at Madison Square Garden. It was the Roy Rogers Rodeo. They had it every year. I went pretty often."

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More Kareem: He said his interest in riding dates back to his days as a player.

"I bought an English saddle in the '80s, then I began reading about the contributions of the black cowboys and I've been Western ever since. I do some trail riding. I've done some dressage, then I started messing around with cattle cutting this past year."

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Trivia time: Who holds the UCLA record for most points scored in a football game?

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Just a nuisance: Chicago Bear offensive tackle James "Big Cat" Williams, when asked about rookie Curtis Enis: "I don't pay attention to running backs. They're always running up my backside, so I don't care what they do."

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Close call: Kansas City Chief center Tim Grunhard on his wife, Sarah, giving birth to twins just before midnight on Sept. 22: "I was afraid for a while that we would have two different birthdays."

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Same old story: Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe on the Red Sox being eliminated by Cleveland in the American League division series:

"They are the Red Sox. Good turns into bad. Victory dissolves into defeat. Joy gives away to sadness. We go to the theater and enjoy performances, but the script never changes.

"In the end, the Titanic sinks, Hamlet dies and the Red Sox lose the last game that matters."

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Also, a yawn: The Montreal Expos are nearing their self-declared deadline for people to come forward in support of the new downtown stadium they want.

Said Garth Woolsey of the Toronto Star: "The citizens have responded with two words. 'Ho.' And, 'hum.' "

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Perspective: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "So the NBA lockout may last until spring? Heck, that's when the real schedule always started anyway."

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Looking back: On this day in 1986, Eric Dickerson rushed for 207 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 42-yard run in overtime, to lead the Rams to a 26-20 victory over Tampa Bay.

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Trivia answer: Joe Fleming, 26, against Redlands in 1926--three touchdowns, two field goals, and two extra points.

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And finally: Hugh Baiocchi isn't much of a baseball fan. On his way to winning a Senior PGA Tour event recently in Indianapolis, he checked out the scoreboard, saw a mention of Sammy Sosa's home run and was puzzled.

Said Baiocchi: "I saw 'Sosa 61.' I thought, 'Who the devil is Sosa? He must have come out of the pack.' "

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