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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Someday They May Call Him 'Broadway Eric'

August 02, 2000|HOUSTON MITCHELL

Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch has expanded his horizons into unfamiliar territory.

He is trying to sing as well as he dances around linebackers in "Surprise," a musical production to benefit the Alzheimer's Assn. Crouch sings "Tenth Street Bridge," a song by Omaha playwright Karen Javitch.

She met Crouch through one of his mother's friends and welcomed the crooning quarterback to the show.

But Crouch, the preseason pick as Big 12 offensive player of the year, says he is more confident calling signals than belting out show tunes.

"To me, I'm not real good," he said. "It's something I don't take too seriously."

But the early reviews are good.

"He's a very talented young man," director Brandon Higdem said.

In the musical, Crouch plays himself and drops in on a surprise 60th birthday party for the play's central character.

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for innings pitched in a season without giving up a home run?

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Top this: The Dallas Cowboys will honor former coach Tom Landry this season by wearing an image of his famous fedora on their jerseys.

"We thought it would be very appropriate. He didn't need a name, he didn't need any initials. The hat says it all," Cowboy owner Jerry Jones said. "It will be recognized throughout the world of sports immediately."

Landry, the first coach in franchise history, led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles and five NFC championships in 29 seasons (1960-88). He had 270 victories, more than any NFL coach except Don Shula and George Halas.

Landry died of leukemia Feb. 12.

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More Landry: Landry's image will also be on the game tickets, but Jones wouldn't discuss other plans to honor the coach's memory.

"When you talk about the Dallas Cowboys, you obviously are talking about Tom Landry," Coach Dave Campo said. "It's really an honor for our guys to be the first to have that designation on our uniform. We think it's very applicable and very appropriate."

No word on whether the team will honor Michael Irvin's retirement by wearing the image of handcuffs.

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No place like home: First baseman Todd Helton is the Colorado Rockies' only player with 100 or more at-bats with a road batting average in excess of .300.

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They're off-track: Former sprinting great John Carlos laments the deterioration in the relationships among today's U.S. sprinters.

With the sniping between Maurice Greene and Michael Johnson on his mind, Carlos said there never was that kind of talk among sprinters when he was running.

"We didn't do trash talking in my day," Carlos said. "We applied psychology to one another. Trash talking from certain individuals is kind of vindictive. It's a vendetta against you. Vendetta means if I win, then you dislike me, you don't want to talk to me, you don't want to be around me, you're going to say bad things about me."

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Special Ks: The recent trade for Curt Schilling to go along with Randy Johnson gives the Arizona Diamondbacks only the fourth set of teammates who have had 300-strikeout seasons.

Nolan Ryan, the all-time strikeout leader, was in two of those tandems in Houston, with Mike Scott for six seasons (1983-88) and with J.R. Richard for one (1980).

The only other time it happened was in 1986, when Vida Blue and Steve Carlton were briefly with the San Francisco Giants.

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Trivia answer: Walter Johnson, 369 2/3 innings in 1916.

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And finally: Tennessee Titan wide receiver Kevin Dyson, asked about the last play of the Super Bowl, when he was tackled a yard short of a possible tying touchdown:

"I was done with it back then. I really don't want this to be the focus of my career. I'm 25 years old, third year in the league, I've got a long ways to go."

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