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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Hmmm, Seems It's Already New Coliseum

August 05, 1999|ROBYN NORWOOD

Fight on, for ol' S.D.?

A walk up the Coliseum's historic tunnel these days reveals a strange sight: USC's familiar "Fight On" painted in cardinal and gold on the wall the players see just before they run onto the field.

And below that, the words "Sun Devils."

What blasphemy is this?

The Hollywood sort, it turns out.

Scenes from an upcoming DreamWorks film written and directed by Cameron Crowe--of "Jerry Maguire" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" fame--were filmed at the stadium last month, with the Coliseum doubling for Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium. The as-yet-untitled project, a coming-of-age story set in 1973 about a youngster following the tour of a rock band he idolizes, stars Billy Crudup ("Without Limits") and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand ("Fargo").

Don't worry, a Coliseum official said firmly: That Sun Devil business will be painted over by the beginning of USC's football season--and long before Arizona State plays the Trojans at the Coliseum on Nov. 6.

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"Oh, are you kidding? We know we'd be tarred and feathered," said Margaret Farnum, the Coliseum's chief administrative officer.

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Trivia time: Which former USC athlete is said to have coined the "Show me the money" line Cuba Gooding Jr. made famous in "Jerry Maguire"?

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Let the talk begin: The USC-UCLA game was already a topic at the Pacific 10 Conference football media day Wednesday, especially with the Trojans bent on ending their eight-game losing streak.

"Just the other day, I told Sports Illustrated we're going to beat them," USC tailback Chad Morton said. "Usually you want to keep quiet, but I'm taking a different approach and some of the guys told me, 'I'm glad you spoke up.' I'm not trying to start a war or anything. It's talk. We just need to back it up."

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The UCLA response? "We chatted outside," receiver Danny Farmer said. "He's a great person. He just goes to a different school."

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Park it: UCLA Coach Bob Toledo was ready for one topic. "Sorry we're a little late," he said. "We had to valet-park our car. I didn't want to get Danny [Farmer] in trouble."

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Pick it: Arizona was the overwhelming choice to win the Pac-10 title in a poll of 35 media members who regularly cover the league, getting 29 first-place votes. USC was second and UCLA third. The Trojans and Bruins each got two first-place votes.

The media have picked the Pac-10 champion six of the last 10 years.

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Trivia answer: Former defensive back Tim McDonald.

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And finally: Florida Coach Steve Spurrier recently found his name doesn't open doors everywhere.

Checking into a Birmingham, Ala., hotel for the Southeastern Conference football media day, Spurrier was told the hotel was sold out.

He told the clerk who he was. Still no room. At one point, the clerk even asked Spurrier to spell his name.

"Fortunately, the manager was there and he called and said they had a room," Spurrier said.

Just a thought, but maybe that 'Bama clerk knew exactly who Spurrier was.

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