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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Arch, Smarch; a Really Big Mac Is the Answer

September 30, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wasn't exactly reticent when commenting on Mark McGwire's 70th home run.

"That's not a home-run total; that's an interstate," Miklasz wrote. "Come to think of it, the stretch of I-70 that runs through St. Louis needs to be renamed as soon as possible. It has to be I-Mac. While we're at it, let's erect a giant, Bunyanesque McGwire statue along I-70.

"Make this monument bigger than the Arch. Have the world's largest McGwire hold a redwood-tree-sized bat. Plant one leg on the side of eastbound I-70, and the other leg on the west side, and all motorists shall pass under him."

Don't laugh. On Tuesday, the U.S Senate on a voice vote cleared a bill that would make this happen.

Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., who proposed the legislation, said he borrowed the idea from Miklasz. Bond did not, however, appropriate the columnist's suggestion about the McGwire monument.

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Trivia time: Who holds the UCLA record for yards gained rushing in a game?

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Counter-attack: "One of the many problems with Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego," writes Peter Gammons of the Boston Globe, "is that a community of skunks lives beyond the left-field fence.

"[On Sept. 14], one peered out from behind the fence and Padre reliever Roberto Ramirez fired a baseball at it. And the skunk fired back."

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Any more questions? Pro golfer Glen Day, on why he has won more money this season than in the previous four years combined: "Well, I'm shooting lower scores and they pay more for that."

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Eastern woes: The NFC East, with a combined record of 6-14 and no team with a winning record, is the league's worst division.

"It's a division in disarray," said Philadelphia Coach Ray Rhodes, whose Eagles are 0-4, as are the Washington Redskins.

"People are making light of it, calling us 'the NFC Least.' And, really what can you say to all the [detractors]? Right now, it truly is a bad division."

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Hyperbole: Comedy writer Earl Hochman: "The United States losing to Italy in the Davis Cup was about as shocking as if the pope won the Indy 500 driving a Popemobile."

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Looking back: On this day in 1984, the Los Angeles Rams set an NFL record with three safeties in a 33-12 victory over the New York Giants. Two of the safeties were on blocked punts in the end zone.

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Trivia answer: Theotis Brown, 274 against Oregon in 1978.

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And finally: Art Spander in the Oakland Tribune on the 49ers' eased-up, 31-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday:

"An Atlanta cornerback named Juan Bolden took it upon himself to belittle Jerry Rice, calling him, 'just another wide receiver.' Sure, and Monica Lewinsky is just another White House intern.

"Rice had eight receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns. If Bolden couldn't cover Jerry, the least he should have done was cover his mouth."

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