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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

For Once, Ditka Didn't Think He Was Right

April 23, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Frank Luksa in the Dallas Morning News, on New Orleans Saint Coach Mike Ditka:

"True or not, the story goes that Ditka slammed a blackboard during a fire-'em-up speech when he coached the Chicago Bears. He broke his right hand.

"The next week, he stood before the team with that hand in a cast and said, 'How about winning one for Lefty?' "

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Trivia time: What is the NBA record for most overtime periods?

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Predictable outcome: Track & Field News reports that sprinter Steve Slowly of Southwestern Christian finished second in an early-season outdoor 200-meter race to an athlete named Joe Sincere.

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Scavenger: Ottawa Senator goalie Ron Tugnutt, before a game April 15 against the Rangers, Wayne Gretzky's last in Canada:

"I'm hoping for a bench-clearing brawl during the warmup so I can go out and grab his stick."

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Special talent: From comedy writer Earl Hochman: "Joe McIlvaine, assistant general manager for the Minnesota Twins, was arrested for nude sunbathing on a Florida public beach. The good news is that he has been offered a role in the sequel to 'The Full Monty.' "

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Simple game: Tennis instructor Vic Braden, on what he learned through the years:

"My theory is that if you buy an ice cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can play. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances are less."

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Details, details: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post, on Darryl Strawberry's problems: "No really, Straw, we believe you, but I want to make sure we've got it straight.

"Was it your cousin's barber's neighbor's coke, or your uncle's barber's neighbor's stuff?"

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A promotion? Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Unimpeachable sources tell me the only thing holding up Michael Jordan's deal to buy half the Charlotte Hornets is his insistence that Keith Olbermann be named assistant equipment manager."

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Worm theory: L.C. Johnson in the Orlando Sentinel, on Dennis Rodman's departure from the Lakers:

"I view Rodman's antics of misplacing his shoes and socks as being his way of throwing in the towel, so to speak, much like a heavyweight prize fighter's corner man does when he knows his guy is whipped."

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Trivia answer: Six, when the Indianapolis Olympians won at Rochester, N.Y., 75-73, on Jan. 6, 1951.

The Laker record is four overtimes in losing to Cleveland, 154-153, Jan. 29, 1980.

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And finally: An unidentified seller stands to get a windfall when the cast Jordan wore after breaking his left foot in 1985 is put up for auction.

The seller happened to be in the office when Jordan's doctor removed the cast.

"All I did was ask for it," the seller told the Associated Press. "Jordan's doctor gladly gave it to me . Michael even autographed it."

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