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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Must Have Been a Prohibition on NFL News

November 29, 2000|SHAV GLICK

Writing about Red Grange's entry into professional football 75 years ago, Don Pierson of the Chicago Tribune retold an incident in the White House:

"When Illinois Sen. William Brown McKinley introduced Grange and George Halas to President Calvin Coolidge as 'Mr. Red Grange and Mr. George Halas with the Chicago Bears,' Coolidge replied, 'Glad to meet you young gentlemen. I have always admired animal acts.' "

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Trivia time: Heisman Trophy candidate Chris Weinke, quarterback at Florida State, is 28. Who is the oldest to win the Heisman?

No wonder: Winner of the three-quarter midget nationals in Columbus, Ohio, was Chris Manifold.

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Teammates next? In Miami, one of Seattle Mariner shortstop Alex Rodriguez's neighbors is Texas Ranger catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

"I call him Barry Switzer because he's a great recruiter," A-Rod said. "I recruited him to live in Miami, now he's recruiting me to come play [in Texas]."

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Bad investments: As the Dodgers and Angels could tell you, spending vast sums doesn't automatically assure success. Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News notes that of the 30 players who earned $8 million or more in 2000, only 11 were on the eight postseason teams, and only 18 of the 49 players who earned $7 million or more played in the postseason.

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Just an idea: Baseball union head Donald Fehr held several meetings for agents last week, prompting Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe to comment:

"Just think. A couple of well-placed grenades could have made the planet a much better place."

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Attention, gym rats: Need some new flooring for the living room? The floor to be used for the 2001 NBA All-Star game at the MCI Center in Washington is for sale. Asking price: $250,000, as listed in the league's merchandising catalog.

The floor will be picked up after the game Feb. 11 and installed at the location of the buyer's choice.

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Short and sweet: There is nothing like a fancy nickname to hype a prizefighter.

HBO suggested "Hurricane of the Caribbean" for Felix "Tito" Trinidad of Puerto Rico, but the WBA 154-pound champion rejected it.

How about "Shining Star of the Caribbean," he was asked.

"I like that better," he said, "but I just want to be 'Tito.' "

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Deep thinker: Washington Redskin quarterback Jeff George thinks styles of play, such as the West Coast offense, are overrated in the NFL.

"If you've got the studs, it doesn't matter what offense you put on the field, you're going to score touchdowns."

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Frustration: Norman Hand, defensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, takes losing hard.

After a recent loss, the 320-pound Hand took off his helmet, pads and cleats, then walked out of the locker room in the rest of his uniform and had his wife drive him home.

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Still No. 1: Defensive end Courtney Brown, the Cleveland Browns' No. 1 overall draft pick from Penn State, has impressed Coach Chris Palmer.

"If we had 53 guys like him, I'd have to pay to coach," Palmer said. "He's a guy I look forward to Monday morning and watching him on film."

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Trivia answer: Oklahoma's Billy Sims was 23 when he won in 1978.

And finally: San Francisco 49er Coach Steve Mariucci, on his team's disappointing 4-8 season:

"It's like knowing you have to go to the dentist to get a couple of crowns put on. It's painful, like getting drilled without much Novocain."

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