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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He Has Soured on Big Apple as Baseball Town

October 11, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post is disturbed that the New York Yankees are still alive in the playoffs:

"If there is anything in America more certain than death and taxes, not to mention less popular, it must be the New York Yankees. Baseball's worst nightmare wears pinstripes.

"This year baseball prayed it finally could bury New York, which looked old, tired and bored with winning during the regular season's final month. But [George] Steinbrenner is harder to eradicate than Dracula and not nearly as cuddly.

". . . There could be only one World Series sight worse in the whole baseball universe: Yankees vs. Mets. New York, New York. Baseball arrogance squared."

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More New York: "It's been a Yankee town awhile," former Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca told Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News. "It's just one more reason why I always feel like Bobby [Valentine] is swimming upstream. The Mets owned the town in the late '60s, and into the '70s. Then they owned it again in the late '80s. In the '90s it was the Yankees. Maybe the best thing to do in 2000 is have all those decades collide."

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Trivia time: Which school holds the Pacific 10 Conference record for intercepting the most passes in a game?

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Amazing analysis: Jerry Greene in the Orlando Sentinel: "When the Colts were losing [to New England] late in the game, CBS announcer Daryl Johnston informed us: 'They need two scores to get back into the game.'

"See, that's why we need these guys, to guide us through the complicated stuff."

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On his own: Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer, on versatile quarterback Michael Vick: "We have two plays when he's in the game--the one we call and the one he winds up turning it into."

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Extreme player: A 9-foot-6 player, made of aluminum and lit by fluorescent lights, is planned for a 152-foot sign in Stamford, Conn., for the new Xtreme Football League.

The XFL season will open Feb. 3 and runs through April 21.

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Let's hope not: From comedy writer Earl Hochman: "The good news is that the NFL has clamped down on 'taunting,' but the bad news is players still have another option. . . . They can always guest on the 'Jerry Springer Show.' "

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Precedent: USC is seemingly eliminated from winning or sharing the conference championship with two league losses. However, in 1957, 1981, 1985, 1992 and 1993, a 6-2 record resulted in a tie for the league title or the outright championship.

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Hopeless? Dave Krieger in the Rocky Mountain News, after the San Diego Chargers' 21-7 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday: "The way they played, the Chargers might as well have been replacement players. But they weren't, which is actually worse, because it means there are no real players to come back."

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Looking back: On this day in 1981, Tommy Kramer passed for 444 yards and four touchdowns as the Minnesota Vikings edged the San Diego Chargers, 33-31.

Looking back again: On this day in 1965, the Dodgers' Sandy Koufax shut out the Minnesota Twins, 7-0, in the fifth game of the World Series.

He shut them out again in the series-deciding seventh game, 2-0.

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Trivia answer: UCLA, with 10 against California in 1978. The Bruins won, 45-0.

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And finally: "The Raiders are run by Al Davis, a man who would wear a sweatsuit to a funeral," syndicated columnist Norman Chad says. "The 49ers are run by Dr. John York, a man who married Eddie DeBartolo Jr.'s sister.

"Davis has forgotten more football than York will ever know; then again, York has forgotten more clinical pathology than Davis will ever know."

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