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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

There Just Aren't Enough Ordinary Joes These Days

May 05, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press writing on Piston veteran Joe Dumars, who will retire after the season:

"He never held out. He never demanded a trade. He never said things like, 'This is my house.'

"He never got into trouble. He never showed up drunk or high. He never yelled at reporters, invented a dance, choked his coach, or went AWOL from the team.

"He came to work. Did what was asked."

Comment: A very unusual player.

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for most overtime goals in the NHL playoffs?

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Marathon man: Charles Barkley reasons that running and ball movement are the keys for the Rockets in the NBA playoffs:

"It's funny," he told the Houston Chronicle. "You have all these guys making all this money. But when it comes down to it, you know all the blame is gonna be put on poor, measly, million-dollar Chuck.

"So I'm running till I drop."

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Venomous rip: Jeff Jacobs in the Hartford Courant on New England Patriot owner Bob Kraft, who backed out of a deal to move the franchise to Connecticut:

"[He] is no better than a common tenement rat; his word is no better than used toilet paper. His backbone, when a state counted on him for strength, was found to be as yellow as the rotting cheese those of his species are known to favor."

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More rips: Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "Loud Knicks fan and decorated screenwriter William Goldman wrote a letter to the New York Daily News to demand the firing of Coach Jeff Van Gundy.

"Raise your hand if you find it hilarious that the guy who wrote 'Misery' is a Knicks fan."

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Naughty boy: Cyril the swan, the soccer mascot for Swansea City of Wales, has been banished to the upper deck since officials ruled he disrupted the game by running onto the field after goals.

Cyril's record probably hurt his case. He once threw a pork pie onto the field and another time was accused of assaulting a rival coach.

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Only one point counts: Boston Red Sox pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, upset that his closer Tom "Flash" Gordon is on the disabled list because of a sore pitching elbow:

"Flash has been pointing up at the Lord all the time," said Kerrigan, referring to the way Gordon gestures when he walks off the mound. "Maybe it's time for the Lord to point down to him."

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Extreme measures: Texas Tech golfer Brooke Lawrence, on wearing a nose ring when she plays:

"I got it a couple of years ago because I wanted to stick out when I went to the golf course."

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Bird-land: From Jay Leno: "Major league baseball placed Darryl Strawberry on what they call 'administrative leave.' That means even though he's not playing professional baseball, he's still getting his multimillion-dollar salary. You know, kind of like what the Baltimore Orioles are doing."

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Early exits: Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey won 49 of 80 bouts by knockout, and 25 of the 49 were first-round KOs.

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Trivia answer: Maurice "Rocket" Richard of Montreal, six.

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And finally: David Landsberg placed 321st among 325 male contestants in the Tom Landry Triathlon on Saturday in Dallas.

So what, you ask?

Landsberg, 39, has no kidneys, no spleen. Three times a week, he spends four hours on a dialysis machine.

"The doctors think I'm nuts," he said before the race. "My family thinks I'm nuts. But I want to see what I can do."

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