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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

This Ought to Ice the Sport's Reputation

October 10, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Bernie Lincicome in the Rocky Mountain News: "Amazingly, ice hockey has not identified itself as the sport of the '00s, that designation being wide open what with the laughs soccer gets every time it picks a decade to dominate.

" . . . I am hereby nominating the cold-steel-on-ice game for the sport of the '00s, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

"Just a couple of suggestions. Stop dressing like indistinguishable heaps of laundry and quit slipping on and off the ice without bothering to let the vendors know.

"My final suggestion is this: Electronically identify the players. Whoever is in contact with the puck glows like a lantern."

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Trivia time: Which school has the Pacific 10 record for total offense in a game?

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Twisted logic: On July 21, 1975, New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre, then playing for the New York Mets, tied a major league record by hitting into four double plays, each time after Felix Millan had singled just before Torre came to bat.

"What's everyone blaming me for," Torre said afterward. "Blame Felix. I wouldn't have hit into the double plays if he hadn't hit singles."

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Bargain hunter: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "A practical man, this Edgerrin James. The Colt runner spent $6 grand for a three-day limo rental on Super bowl visits, so now he has bought his own for a mere $60,000.

"Of course, it has only two TV sets."

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Brat problem: John McEnroe, on tennis fans' expectations that he will show his trademark petulance when he plays:

"Now, I get docked 10%-20% [of my appearance fee] if I don't yell at some people and break at least one racket."

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Upper, upper class: Vice President Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic, describing the poshness of the neighborhood into which Grant Hill recently moved:

"The bird feeders all have salad bars, the Girl Scouts go door to door selling croissants, and the boys play Little League polo."

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An apology to suit Deion: Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post was in a mea culpa mood last weekend after what he did to the Redskins' Deion Sanders:

"Last week I made a terrible fashion faux pas in describing Deion's white shoes as 'patent leather.' My Man informed me they weren't patent leather at all; they were 'gator skin.' Deion would only wear patent leather with a tuxedo. . . .

" 'How could you hurt me like that?' Deion said after Sunday's game. 'You almost killed me. . . . I'm the No. 1 seed in the league [in fashion], and you hurt me.' . . .

"For the record, Deion was seasonally appropriate Sunday, wearing a three-piece plaid suit, boldly brown and tan, in what I would call a nouveau-upholstery pattern, with a pink shirt and brown alligator shoes."

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Serious guy: Passionate Knick fan Woody Allen (who used to be funny) in an article in the New York Times bemoaning the loss of Patrick Ewing:

"There's a deeper value in teams keeping certain players for life, despite the inevitable diminution of their skills. There's more to sports than big money and not even winning is so precious."

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Deep-sea dumping: Comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "Indiana basketball Coach Bobby Knight was fired while on a fishing trip. While L.A. Dodger Manager Davey Johnson was on a fishing trip, the team announced he would be fired.

"I have a prediction . . . about 20 games into the NBA season, the Clippers' coaching staff will be asked to go fishing."

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Trivia answer: USC, with 978 yards gained against Pomona in 1925.

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And finally: Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune writing on the 0-6 Chargers: "Great players make plays. Bad teams find ways to lose. So simple this football.

"The Chargers don't have many great players. And they're a bad team. A lousy combination."

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