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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

By Jiminy, Who Knew Menu Wasn't Cricket?

May 21, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott blundered by putting a recipe for duck on the menu in the World Cup cricket program.

It seems that superstitious cricket players consider duck--another term for a score of zero--a bad omen.

Comment from Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle: "Come to think of it, maybe Harriott should skip that recipe for goose eggs too."

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Trivia time: Who holds the Laker playoff record for three-point field goals without a miss?

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Higher education: A joke about the scandal-plagued Minnesota Gophers as told on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" show:

Question: How many basketball players does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: The entire team, and they all get a semester's credit for it.

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What next? A new magazine called Stuff reports that Pedal 'n' Play will soon be available on some cruises and in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. It's an exercise bike wired to a slot machine.

So, presumably, you can lose weight while losing your bankroll.

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Not so funny: Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post on the man who interrupted the seventh race at Pimlico last Saturday by running onto the track:

"I don't know what this guy was trying to do, whether this was some sort of bizarre suicide attempt, or if he was trying to punch a horse like Mongo in 'Blazing Saddles.' "

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Traveling man: Pitcher Mike Morgan of the Texas Rangers is with his 11th team. To what does he attribute his longevity?

"Work hard, eat right, sleep right. And thank God there are 30 teams."

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Bitter pill: Pittsburgh third baseman Ed Sprague on his 11 errors before last weekend: "They're like vitamins--one a day."

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A real score: Mark Ziegler in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Maybe people should stop wasting their time playing the horses or trying to pick NFL games. The real money is in soccer.

"An anonymous man from England correctly predicted the eight league champions of English and Scottish soccer [there are four divisions in each country]. The bet cost $210. His payout? Close to

$1 million."

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Mr. Congeniality: Detroit Piston forward Christian Laettner, booed in his return to Atlanta during the playoffs, was asked if he had any friends on the Hawks.

"I got along with the trainer," he said.

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Split personality: In an interview Wednesday night on CBS' "60 Minutes II," Oscar De La Hoya, the World Boxing Council's welterweight champion, said he does not consider himself macho:

"Inside the ring, I'm a warrior. But outside the ring, I'm a sensitive guy."

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Trojan backs Bruin: Jim Hardy, a former USC and NFL quarterback who will be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, is tired of hearing that UCLA quarterback Cade McNown, who is listed at 6 feet 1, doesn't have the arm strength or size to succeed in pro football.

"Even 6-4 guys can't throw over linemen with their arms raised," he said. "You throw between them, in the lane. Joe Montana didn't have a strong arm and look at his career. Doug Flutie is doing fine too. McNown is a winner and he'll be OK if he's used correctly with the Chicago Bears."

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Trivia answer: Robert Horry, seven against Utah on May 6, 1997.

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And finally: NBC pro basketball analyst Bill Walton, the former UCLA All-American, says Bruin sophomore Baron Davis is making a mistake turning pro.

"He's walking away from the most important asset that he'll ever have--the ability to train his mind at UCLA. If it was another school, like USC or Notre Dame, I could understand. In that case, he'd be making the right choice."

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