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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

All Legends Step Forward--Not So Fast, Mr. Elway

April 29, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Skip Bayless writing in the Chicago Tribune: "The Denver Post says, '[John] Elway, Michael Jordan and [Wayne] Gretzky will be the last three icons of their sports to retire before the millennium.'

"These mutant sentences assume that Elway, Jordan and Gretzky belong in the same sentence. Two do. Only in Denver should sportswriters dare suggest that Elway now rests atop a pedestal at eye level with Jordan and Gretzky. . . .

"But with due respect to Denver and its cinch Hall of Fame quarterback, Elway is not in the same league with Gretzky, who doesn't occupy the same rare air as Jordan."

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Trivia time: Which NHL team won the Stanley Cup a record five consecutive seasons and who was the coach?

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Money trio: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Ed Hula, who publishes the Olympic newsletter 'Around the Rings,' says Salt Lake City soon will announce three mascots for the 2002 Winter Olympics: a rabbit to represent faster, a coyote baying at the moon to represent higher and a bear to symbolize stronger.

"Linda Fantin of the Salt Lake City Tribune says this comes as a big relief to those who were worried the mascots might be Wally Wallet, Chucky Checkbook and Sally Subpoena."

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Was it fun? An HBO show on NASCAR and minorities turned up this: In 1978, Winston Cup and IndyCar driver Wally T. Ribbs was fined $27 for driving backward down a street in Charlotte, N.C.

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Yummy: Woody Paige in the Denver Post: "The Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night finished chewing up their appetizer-- pressed Duck in a spicy citrus sauce--while the [Colorado] Avalanche is having, for starters, seared Shark with Szechwan avocado sauce."

"Enough of this fish-and-fowl finger food. Hurry up and bring on the main dish--something with meat. And let the big dogs eat."

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Scapegoats: Tony Kornheiser in ESPN the Magazine: "Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara firing their caddies recently because they haven't won too many golf tournaments lately is like me screaming at the guy who delivered my computer because I didn't win the Pulitzer Prize."

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All-time rip-off: From Jay Leno: "The New York Post is reporting that the final scene in the new 'Star Wars' movie is an incredible special-effects battle.

"It cost $20 million to produce this one scene. They said it was the most money spent on a fake fight since the Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis thing."

Trivia answer: The Montreal Canadiens, 1956-60, coached by Toe Blake.

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And finally: Yogi Berra was selected for induction into the Brooklyn Dodger Hall of Fame on Tuesday--not for what he did for the Dodgers but for what he did to them.

Berra played in six World Series against Brooklyn. In the last three, 1953, 1955 and 1956, he batted .429, .417 and .360. He hit three home runs in the 1956 Series, including a grand slam.

The induction ceremony will be at the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair, N.J., on May 21.

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