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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

It's the NFL, so Why Not Add the Bandit?

March 12, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Suddenly, the ABC "Monday Night Football" booth has been reduced to one, Al Michaels.

Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune has some suggestions for replacements for the fired Boomer Esiason: "I say, put Burt Reynolds in the booth. His career has been resurrected. He's funny. He played the game.

"Plus, he used to date Sally Field and Dinah Shore and was married to Judy Carne and Loni Anderson, so he could talk about something other than the game.

"And Billy Crystal. He's hilarious, he knows sports and he does a fabulous Cosell."

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Any other suggestions? Dave Kindred of the Sporting News has a list of Monday night TV candidates that he rejects:

"John Madden? His time has passed. Bill Parcells? Maybe, if they drain him of sarcasm. Jimmy Johnson? No life there. Jerry Glanville? Shoot me first. Matt Millen? He does Madden better than Madden, and it's maddening."

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Trivia time: Who was the first consensus three-time All-American basketball player from a Pacific 10 school?

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The real heat: Tampa Bay Devil Ray first baseman Herbert Perry, who spent the winter working on his dairy farm:

"When that gate shuts behind you, Randy Johnson don't have anything on a 700-pound steer."

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Experienced loser: Peter Vecsey in the New York Post: "It was amusing to hear [Dennis] Rodman's ranting regarding his Maverick tenure, in which he amassed twice as many technicals [six] as the team had wins [three].

" 'I'm not accustomed to losing like this,' he said prior to getting bounced. This from a guy who was having his paychecks direct-deposited to pit bosses all across Nevada."

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More Vecsey: "How ironic that Pat Riley, who once wore a microphone for NBC, is in a huff about being miked for national TV games.

"What's up with that? As evidenced by his one year in the studio, it's not like he's going to say anything worthwhile."

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Did he get it back? After Houston Rocket guard Steve Francis lost a tooth in a collision with Denver's Tariq Abdul-Wahad, a fan sitting in the front row of Houston's Compaq Center found it and put it up for bid on an Internet auction Web site.

According to USA Today, the bid was $101 before the site took the tooth off the market.

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Trivia answer: Hank Luisetti of Stanford, 1936-1938.

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And finally: From Track & Field News: "Talk about winning one for the Gipper! Belarus' president, Alexander Lukashenko, is also head of his country's Olympic committee, and recently gave his nation's leading athletes a pre-Sydney pep talk.

" 'Just produce the result and you'll have an apartment and dozens of thousands of dollars and you'll provide for yourself the rest of your life,' he said.

" 'I'll buy you anything you need, be it guns, boats, swimming trunks, even undershorts.' "

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