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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

This Ex-Player Shows He Can Change to Stripes

August 04, 2000|LARRY STEWART

Matt Millen played linebacker in the NFL. He has announced games as a TV and radio commentator. So what else is left?

How about serving as an official?

Millen will do that too. He'll be the umpire for the third quarter of an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots at Foxboro, Mass., on Aug. 20.

Millen has spent the past two months preparing by attending an NFL officials clinic in Dallas. Jerry Seeman, director of officials, has been impressed.

"He may have developed another career for himself if he ever decides to leave the booth," Seeman said.

Said John Madden: "I hope he remembers that he's not allowed to tackle anyone out there."

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Add Millen: The game Millen is working will be televised by Fox, and Millen will wear the new Umpire Cam that made its debut on NFL Europe's World Bowl in June and was used by ABC on the Hall of Fame game Monday.

Dennis Miller's take on the Umpire Cam, which the umpire wears on his cap: "The angle looked a little low. I think it's the new Cup Cam.' "

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Trivia time: What do the Central California communities of Tulare and Kingsburg, located about 25 miles apart on Highway 99, have in common?

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No backup: Steve Young gave the invocation at the GOP convention Wednesday night. The former San Francisco 49er quarterback was invited to the convention by Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, and there is talk of Young entering politics.

Tom Fitzgerald of the San Francisco Chronicle reports "some analysts are wondering if he wouldn't be a good running mate for George W. Bush." Added Fitzgerald, quoting a reader: "Young put the question to rest by saying, 'I didn't even like backing up Joe Montana.' "

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Supremely sad: In an HBO documentary on Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier I, to be shown Aug. 17, promoter Jerry Perenchio talks about the post-fight scene in Ali's locker room.

"[Ali] was sitting there, still had his trunks on, and there was this young black woman, who was on the floor and had her arms around his calves. She was crying. She was very, very upset. He took this woman's head and gently turned it around and said, 'Diana, say hello to the man who gave me $2 1/2 million to get my . . . whupped.' It was Diana Ross."

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Not a team player: Princess Anne, the president of the British Olympics Assn. and a delegate to the IOC, thinks there's a simple solution to containing the size of the Olympics.

"The things you ought to get rid of are the team games," she told British reporters this week. "I am on record as saying team games should not be part of the Games.

"People will say, 'Don't be ridiculous, nobody will watch it unless there are team games.' That's largely an argument between being pragmatic in terms of management and the ability to sell the Games as a TV entity."

OK, we'll say it: Don't be ridiculous.

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Trivia answer: Tulare and Kingsburg are the hometowns of former Olympic decathlon champions. Bob Mathias is from Tulare, Rafer Johnson from Kingsburg.

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And finally: Billy Woodruff, who at one time worked for A.J. Foyt, is the engine builder for NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield. Earlier this season at Talladega Speedway, a member of Mayfield's crew was caught using a fuel additive.

Asked how NASCAR officials would detect an additive, Woodruff told the Indianapolis Star: "You get told on. You know, guys get drunk and start running their mouth. . . . That why A.J. always told me not to hang out in bars."

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