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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He'd Rather Be Out of Sydney in New York Minute

October 01, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Shaun Powell of Newsday is stunned by the politeness and cheery greetings he is getting from Olympic Games volunteers in Sydney.

"My fellow New Yorkers, I am tired of this. Tired of complete strangers asking me--no, ordering me--to have a swell time. This kind of attitude is one of many reasons why Sydney is hopelessly and drastically different than the city I left two weeks ago.

". . . If you stay here long enough, the place gets to you. Already, New York habits have disappeared and Australian ones are taking hold. You find yourself making eye contact and exchanging greetings.

"You give in to a G'day. Sydney simply won't allow for anything less."

Trivia time: Who holds the NFL record for yards gained on punt returns in a game?

Grim: Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, on the Cowboys after their loss to the 49ers: "I see dead people."

Can't win: Manager Bobby Valentine, on New Yorkers complaining about his Mets making the playoffs as a wild-card team:

"There's a couple of clowns in our market, where if I win the World Series, they're going to say that I didn't sweep. And if we sweep, they'll figure out a reason why we didn't shut anybody out. It's petty, ridiculous."

Words to live by: Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune, on the new Olympic motto: "Citius, Altius, Fortius, Urinalysis."

Calm down: Russian tennis player Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the Olympic gold medal in men's singles, Elena Dementieva won the silver in women's singles, and Marat Safin won the U.S. Open.

So what does Kafelnikov conclude?

"My country is taking over in tennis," he said from Sydney. "It has been a very sensational year."

Kicking back: Miami Dolphin Coach Dave Wannstedt says he talked recently to his former boss, Jimmy Johnson:

"He's doing great. I think he's had his shoes on three times since he retired."

Looking back: On this day in 1961, Roger Maris drove a pitch from Boston's Tracy Stallard for his record-setting 61st home run, giving New York a 1-0 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Trivia answer: LeRoy Irvin of the L.A. Rams, 207 against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 1981.

And finally: Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban has designed new chairs for his players to sit in during games at Reunion Arena.

The chairs will be equipped with gadgets similar to those in massage chairs. Cuban said the chairs will not be on the visitors bench.

"We want to send a message [to opposing players]. I want them to look and say, 'How come they get that?' "

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