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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Let's Bring Him Down From Rocky Mountain High

July 04, 1999|JIM HODGES

Presumably Mark Kiszla is high on the Mile High City when he writes that it "towers above the rest of the country as the United States' home of champions."

As evidence, he cites Larry Walker, "the most complete ballplayer in the National League," and Terrell Davis, "nothing less than the MVP of the NFL."

He adds, "You could search the world and not find a better offensive-defensive tandem of center Peter Forsberg and goalie Patrick Roy on a single hockey team" and that Antonio "McDyess is a rising NBA star."

Concludes Kiszla, "This town is overpopulated with winners."

Let's see now, there are the Broncos, with two Super Bowl titles in a row. Check.

And the Rockies, uh, down in the NL West standings, despite the talented Walker.

And the Avalanche, uh, lost to Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals.

And, uh, the Nuggets. Words fail.

Would somebody get this guy a Valium?

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Trivia time: Has a World Series ever been played in only one ballpark?

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We're big league, Bubba: In the headlong rush to get Phil Jackson hired and Lamar Odom drafted, you might have missed the resurrection of the American Basketball Assn. 2000. The league has identified Nashville as a target city because it doesn't have an NBA team, but Tennessean columnist David Climer figures the Titans and Predators are enough major league teams for now and tells the ABA 2000 thanks, but no thanks: "If I were selling ABA Y2K around here, I'd try to get Julius Erving and George Gervin in uniform pretty quick."

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And then comes Year II: Terry Yake, chosen by Atlanta in the recent NHL expansion draft, must feel like a missionary. He also was with the original Mighty Ducks.

Says Yake, "In that first year, even guys who aren't stars in the league can get out there and be stars in their own town."

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Or any other day: When John Thompson was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, he told the Washington Post's Tom Boswell, "Humility sometimes makes me want to vomit. I don't feel humble today. We tried to do it the way we felt. We weren't concerned with blaming anybody or comparing ourselves with anybody. That was extremely important to me. We didn't say the rest of the world should do things the way we were doing 'em."

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Ravine relic: Did you know that when San Francisco and Milwaukee open their new baseball facilities next season, Dodger Stadium, opened in 1962, will be the second-oldest park in the National League, behind only Chicago's Wrigley Field, which dates to 1914?

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Trivia answer: The 1921 and 1922 Series were held in New York's Polo Grounds, then home of the Giants and Yankees, and 1944 Series in St. Louis at Sportman's Park between the Browns and Cardinals.

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And finally: New York Gov. George Pataki has settled his wagers with Texas Gov. George W. Bush, sending Buffalo wings and meat sandwiches for the Stars' Stanley Cup victory, then following it with deli sandwiches and New York bagels for the Spurs' NBA triumph. But, warns Pataki, who still believes Brett Hull's goal in Game 6 of the hockey series should not have been allowed, "I would prefer if Gov. Bush does not share any of the wings with the referee."

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