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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

It's Ventura's Commitment to Xcellence

November 22, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Jeff Gordon writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Minnesota Gov. Jesse 'the Mind' Ventura continues to take flak for signing on with the XFL, a football league that promises to bring a bit of WWF-style sleaze to professional football.

"With Vince McMahon running the show, how can it not?

" 'It looks like it's Jerry Springer's world, and we're just living in it,' Minnesota House Majority leader Tim Pawlenty told the St. Paul Pioneer Press."

Gee, didn't know things were that bad.

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Add Ventura: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, on Ventura's gig as an XFL commentator: "Minnesota . . . the only state with voters dumber than ours."

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Trivia time: Who holds the USC record for the longest return with an intercepted pass?

Hail to the . . . Gary Moeller, the former Michigan coach, is now coaching the Detroit Lions, having replaced Bobby Ross, who recently resigned. And Moeller is still rah-rah.

In an interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, kick returner Desmond Howard, who won a Heisman Trophy when Moeller coached him at Michigan, said, "The difference under Coach Moeller is that he's passionate. He still uses a lot of that college stuff.

"The other day, he called some of us 'upperclassmen.' "

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Better than golf balls? Golfer Juli Inkster, asked which artifact she would donate at her Hall of Fame induction, said, 'Maybe my meat loaf recipe."

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Double hangover: From comedy writer Jerry Perisho, on Purdue clinching its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1967:

"There are a lot of people who are upset by this development. Look at it like this: You drink boilermakers all night New Year's Eve. The last thing you want is to get up with a bad headache and stare at them the next day."

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Modest request: Cleveland Indian first baseman David Segui, a free agent like Alex Rodriguez, discussing the perks Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras, are reportedly seeking:

"Do I feel stupid. I only asked the Indians for two Greyhound bus tickets a year and a hot dog stand in front of Jacobs Field."

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Do you agree? Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "ESPN.com conducted a poll asking which pro sports owner irritates people the most.

"The results, in order, were George Steinbrenner, Daniel Snyder, Ted Turner, Peter Angelos, Georgia Frontiere, Mark Cuban and Pat Croce."

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Looking back: On this day in 1941, Notre Dame beat USC, 20-18, at South Bend, Ind. The Trojans had a 2-6-1 record that season, while the Irish were 8-0-1.

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Trivia answer: Bud Langley, 99 yards against Notre Dame in 1936 in a game that ended in a 13-13 tie. Note: Referee Tom Louttit inadvertently ran interference for Langley on the play.

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And finally: Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, writing before the Redskins played the St. Louis Rams on Monday night:

"If the Redskins don't beat the defending Super Bowl champs in St. Louis, Washington would lose a third straight game. At 6-5, the Redskins would face the ignominious possibility of being a $100-million waste of money that couldn't even make the 12-team playoffs."

The Redskins earned a reprieve, winning, 33-20.

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