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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Venus' Father Lobs a Few Toward Rivals

September 12, 2000|JERRY CROWE AND MAL FLORENCE

Richard Williams kept his reputation for outrageousness intact after his daughter, Venus, defeated No. 1-ranked Martina Hingis and No. 2 Lindsay Davenport on the way to succeeding younger sister Serena as U.S. Open champion.

"If Martina or Lindsay can't step up their games and reach the bar we've set, or one of the younger players, Venus or Serena will win the Open every year," he told the New York Post. "I don't think they can raise their game to the bar we've set. I can't see Hingis getting any better. And Lindsay is getting old and slower.

"You know, Hingis is an inch shorter than when I first met her. She should come to me and say, '. . . I want you to help me. I want to be better.' And I could help her. I've got a friend in Compton, and when he's not high, he's a surgeon. He could saw her legs off and attach new legs that are a couple of inches taller. Her legs are too short to run the ball down."

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Trivia time: Who are the only track and field athletes to win gold medals in the same event in four consecutive Olympics?

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Miller time: Skip Bayless of the Chicago Tribune wasn't impressed with comedian Dennis Miller's "Monday Night Football" shtick on Sept. 4:

"Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford could turn a game between also-rans into an event. Miller turned an event [St. Louis vs. Denver] into football for nerds.

"Miller came across like some naive fantasy football novice who wandered into the booth and said, 'Gee I get to act like a broadcaster.' "

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Wait a minute: "To bid for the Olympic Games is the aspiration of the 1.3 billion Chinese people," says Liu Jingmin of the Beijing 2008 Olympic bid committee.

Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel wonders: 'Did they ask for a show of hands?"

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Ultimate insult: Broadcaster Joe Garagiola, in an interview in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, recalling when he played catcher for the Pirates in 1952:

"We lost 112 games out of 154. [Ralph] Kiner would make an out and everybody would leave the park. It was embarrassing, 'cause they walked across the field . . . while we were still playing."

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Mob scene: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "A headline on a story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: 'The North Carolina alumni will return as the new men's head basketball coach.'

"That Tar Heel bench is going to be awfully crowded."

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Sock it to 'em: San Francisco Giant commentator Mike Krukow on the sizzling radar-gun readings for relief pitcher Felix Rodriguez: "Felix throw his socks into the sock drawer at 91 [mph]."

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Record pace? Comedy writer Jerry Perisho on Colorado State backup quarterback Steve Cutlip: "Four arrests in 17 months--those are quality NFL statistics."

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Looking back: On this day in 1962, Washington's Tom Cheney set a single-game record when he struck out 21 batters in a 16-inning, 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Note: The Senators finished last in the American League that season.

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Trivia answer: Al Oerter in the discus in 1956, 1960, 1964 and 1968 and Carl Lewis in the long jump in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996.

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And finally: Bernie Lincicome, commenting on his move from the Chicago Tribune to Denver's Rocky Mountain News: "In sports writing, the writing is more interesting than the sports, and in Chicago it had to be. Chicago has two seasons: spring training and next year."

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