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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Sorry, NBA, but It's Tiger Who's Fan-tastic

March 23, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News noted that not only did Tiger Woods win another golf tournament Sunday, he clobbered the Lakers in the TV ratings.

"The only person hotter than Woods right now is Julia Roberts, and that's only because Woods constantly refuses to show any cleavage.

"What it all means, of course, is that when people said there would never be another Michael Jordan, they meant there would never be another Michael Jordan wearing short pants.

"Woods is the next Michael Jordan. He's got the smile, the star power and he's already working on how to say 'wabbit' in a commercial."

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Trivia time: Which three coaches ended their college basketball coaching careers by winning the NCAA championship?

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Blitzing Bruins: Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post, on UCLA's 105-70 rout of Maryland in the NCAA tournament: "If UCLA played like that every night, not only would it win the NCAAs, it would get home court in the first round of the playoffs in the NBA's Eastern Conference."

Small school, big results: Art Thiel in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "In case you missed it, the state of Washington in the Pac-10 this season gave new meaning to the term subterranean.

"The Huskies tied for eighth at 5-13 [10-20 overall] and the Cougs were last [1-17, 6-22]. Included in each season was a 10-point loss to the Zags [Gonzaga].

"Sixteen victories between the state's high-profile jock factories while the Zags are at 26 and counting must be a little like Garth Brooks winning the Grammy for best new hip-hop artist."

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Try again: Garth Woolsey in the Toronto Star: "Someone came up with yet another nickname for Vince Carter--'Fresh Vince of Midair.' "

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Floundering fish: Greg Cote of the Miami Herald writes that the Dolphins' future is glum without Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson:

"Now the club faces Y2K without a big-name coach for the first time since Flipper splashed in an Orange Bowl tank--and without Marino--instantly rendering Miami as one of the most faceless, starless and uninteresting teams in the entire NFL."

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Looking back: On this day in 1994, Wayne Gretzky, playing for the Kings, scored his 802nd goal, passing Gordie Howe as the greatest goal-scorer in NHL history.

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Trivia answer: John Wooden, UCLA, 1975; Al McGuire, Marquette, 1977, and Larry Brown, Kansas, 1988.

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And finally: Chicago Cub pitcher Brian Williams spent a season pitching in Japan and enjoyed the experience, although it took him a while to adapt to local cuisine.

"When we went on the road, we ate as a team, so we had to eat the Japanese stuff," he said. "All kinds of stuff, moving stuff, live stuff, stinky stuff, ugly stuff.

"We talked to the interpreter to make sure they had some baked or fried chicken. Or else we would have starved."

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