Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

This Big Loss Really Bruined Their Appetites

September 07, 2000|MARK HEISLER

Thanks for your money, now go home: Not that those 25,000 Alabama fans who came out for the Crimson Tide's opener against UCLA didn't have a great time, but the Bruins' upset did put a crimp in some tourists' weekends.

"Firsthand reports said some of the faithful canceled dinner reservations and holed up in their hotels . . .," wrote Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News.

"Maybe that's why the three couples, wearing red and feeling blue, spent Saturday night at B.B. King's in Hollywood. After UCLA 35, Alabama 24, depression set in among the Crimson Nation, and a blues club seemed like the right place to be."

*

Trivia time: Who is the only player from a losing team to be named most valuable player of the NBA finals?

*

Go anywhere: It looks like more woe for the Arizona Cardinals, who lost their opener. The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley says the reason is always the same: owner Bill Bidwill.

"Fact is, if Bidwill disappeared, so would the animosity for professional football in the Valley," Bickley said. "And a stadium vote would actually have a chance."

Said Lomas Brown, a former Cardinal tackle now with the New York Giants: "The person I really feel bad for is Coach [Vince] Tobin. He's a great man and a good coach, but how long can they keep losing players? Their owner doesn't do what it takes to win."

*

Whistle blower: Penn State insiders were aghast that a reserve sophomore tailback, Larry Johnson Jr., ripped Coach Joe Paterno after the Nittany Lions' 0-2 start.

Johnson didn't merely criticize Paterno's schemes but his personnel decisions and the offensive line.

"I'm not doubting the system," Johnson said. "It's just, you know, put the right players in there and the right things will happen."

Asked how he feels about his line when he's handed the ball, Johnson said, "I expect the worst."

The next time he saw Paterno, he could expect the worst too.

*

It's a funny game: Critics were largely positive about ABC hiring Dennis Miller, which Fox thinks is gentler treatment than it got for hiring Jimmy Kimmel from "The Man Show" to pick games last season.

Kimmel additionally delights in gags antagonizing broadcast partner Terry Bradshaw.

"How many writers a year ago jumped on us for having Jimmy Kimmel on our show picking games?" Fox Sports President Ed Goren told the Baltimore Sun. "And how many of those same writers will take that approach with Dennis Miller?"

*

Dear Dennis: You can zing Tennessee Titan owner Bud Adams' hair, but you'd better leave Al Michaels alone.

*

The secret is out: The Philadelphia Eagles, 5-11 in 1999, won their opener, 41-14, against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

And why? Because they drank pickle juice to keep from cramping in Dallas' 109-degree weather. Or at least that's what trainers at the University of Georgia believe.

Several Bulldog football players suffered cramping last week against Georgia Southern, so they're drinking the salty green liquid at practice and plan to partake Saturday against South Carolina.

Yum.

*

Trivia answer: The Lakers' Jerry West in 1969.

*

And finally: Dallas Coach Don Nelson, on breaking up the trade that would have brought Christian Laettner to the Lakers, so he could acquire Laettner: "Oh, we broke it up. No question. That was as bad a trade as I've ever seen come down the pipe for Detroit. And we really liked Christian Laettner, so we started talking logic to them [Pistons]. We said, 'Why would you do a bad trade when you can do a good one?' "

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|