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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Sure, but Did It Touch the Ground First?

November 17, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post: "If only political elections had slow-motion replay, all this aggravation wouldn't be necessary.

"We could have Keith Jackson coming out of his semi-retirement to do the play-by-play.

" 'We've got a good camera angle on John Doe, 78, of Palm Beach County. He's about to mark his ballot. Whoa, Nellie, he appears to be a little confused. Looks like he voted for Pat Buchanan and Al Gore.'

" 'Let's get an isolation shot on that and freeze it. Yes, we can see daylight and a hanging chad on the same ballot.' "

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Trivia time: What was unusual about the UCLA-USC football games in 1936 and 1938?

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Who goofed? The New York Mets bowed out of the Alex Rodriguez sweepstakes and New York's bitter-rival tabloids, the New York Post and New York Daily News, must be kicking themselves for writing the same headline: "Nay-Rod."

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Hype of hypes: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Not that agent Scott Boras' 65-page testament to Alex Rodriguez's greatness is syrupy or anything, but it begins, 'He was born in a hospital, but it was near a manger.' "

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More Rodriguez: Bruce Keidan of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wouldn't be surprised if Rodriguez's price tag "exceeds that of the Pirates' new ballpark, and you don't get naming rights with A-Rod. They're gone."

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So what: At the beginning of NBC news' 'Dateline" Saturday night, a jailhouse interview was promoted like this:

"For the first time, Darryl Strawberry tells his stunning story."

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post scoffed, "Darryl Strawberry tells his stunning story every couple of weeks."

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Program problems: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times:

"Take two Valium and call me in the morning:

"A couple of losing seasons have gotten to Missouri Coach Larry Smith [the former USC coach], who railed at the media the other day because 'you guys have surrounded this program with negativity, total negativity. Everyone of you--most of you--have tried to bury this program. You've tried to bury me and this program.' "

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Still going: Bill Workman in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Edgar McDowell never played football at any level in his long life, but he holds a Stanford University gridiron record that few people can match.

"This Saturday, the 93-year-old McDowell, Stanford class of 1926, plans to attend his 79th Big Game [against California]. It will be his 50th in a row, [McDowell] having missed only one since 1921, when the Big Game that fall inaugurated the newly completed Stanford Stadium."

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Looking back: On this day in 1981, Bill Cartwright of the New York Knicks tied a 20-year-old NBA record by making 19 of 19 free throws in a 124-110 loss to the Kansas City Kings.

The record was broken by Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins, who made 23 of 23 against Chicago on Dec. 8, 1992.

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Trivia answer: They were played on Thanksgiving Day at the Coliseum.

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And finally: ESPN.com columnist Hunter S. Thompson, arguing that pitchers should be replaced by pitching machines to shorten major league games:

"Pitchers, as a group, are pampered little swine with too much money and no real effect on the game except to drag it out and interrupt the action."

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