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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Mac Used to Go Out With a Bang, Not a Whimper

November 26, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, after John McEnroe resigned as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team:

"McEnroe failed as a captain because he is a mass of contradictions and always has been. McEnroe needed to be the captain of a team that actually wanted to play. But then, of course, to convince them to play, he would have had to remain captain. One minute Wimbledon is the pit of the world, and the next minute he smells a flower and weeps. He's a chauvinist who doesn't think women broadcasters should telecast men's tennis, and yet he loves to sit in the booth during women's matches. . . .

"Perhaps it's not really so surprising, given the arc of his career, that McEnroe would eventually turn on Davis Cup too. Instead, it is just one more conundrum in his puzzling and not-altogether- satisfactory career. Here he was, saying that players didn't devote themselves to Davis Cup anymore, and then he proved himself right--by doing exactly what he accused them of. He quit, because he didn't care about it enough."

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Trivia time: Who holds the NFL record for opponents' fumbles recovered in a career?

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Shame on you: Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, scolding the Rams' defense:

"All season, the defense has been whiny, paranoid and delusional about its performance. There's also too much trash talking and showboating during games. . . . The defense does not accept responsibility for horrible play. And it does not play as hard as it should."

OK, defense. Go stand in a corner somewhere.

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Showcase: Under Michael Jordan, president of basketball operations, the Washington Wizards are struggling at the gate.

"If [Jordan] would stand in the lobby and sign autographs," says Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post, "he'd be the reason to come. Maybe they could put him in a glass booth, and he could tell fortunes like Madame Zelda."

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No fan of Snyder: A sampling from a "thankful" column by Greg Cote of the Miami Herald:

* "I am thankful we have so little of real concern to worry about that Dennis Miller in the Monday booth passes as controversy.

* "I am thankful the chance is only 1 in 31 that Redskins Boy-Owner Dan Snyder, by all accounts a real idiot, will be wearing a championship ring."

Who hasn't? Jay Leno on Vice President Al Gore and his family playing touch football: "They're pretty good. In fact, this past weekend they beat the San Diego Chargers."

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Trivia answer: Jim Marshall, who played for Cleveland in 1960 and Minnesota from 1961-79, had 29.

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And finally: Red Auerbach in Esquire magazine: "What bugs me quite a bit is to have a coach whose team is 20 points ahead with three minutes to go, and he's up there coaching and moving . . . and why?

"Because he thinks he's on TV. The game is over. He should sit down and relax."

No worse than when you used to light up your victory cigar on the bench and leer, Red.

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