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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

A Few Things Are Backward Down Under

September 21, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News, writing from Sydney: "The word from home is that the TV ratings for the Olympics are, to put it indelicately, in the toilet, which, of course, would flush counterclockwise here. Man, I can watch that for hours.

"OK, there are some obvious problems. For one it's no longer really summer, the traditional time for the, uh, Summer Games. Once Labor Day is past, all right-thinking American are concentrating on either football or subliminability.

"And there's the tape-delay issue, which must account for the insistence here on saying 'G'day' even at night. Shouldn't there be a statute of limitations on local color?"

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Trivia time: Who holds the Pacific 10 Conference career record for rushing, including bowl games?

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General thinking: Daniel B. Roddy in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "[Bob] Knight was reputed to hold the soldier-slapping Gen. George S. Patton Jr. as a hero.

"Unlike Knight, though, Patton was able to survive his suspension for overbearing conduct by not re-offending.

" 'I know that he admired Patton, but Knight was no Patton,' said Carlo D'Este, a Patton biographer. 'Patton could control his temper. Knight couldn't.' "

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A distinction: English professor Linda Bensel-Meyers, referring to the Tennessee athletic department officials who fought her about going public a year ago with accusations of academic fraud involving football players there:

"Their concern is to keep them [players] eligible. And keeping them eligible is quite different from keeping them educated."

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Identity problem: The Vancouver Canucks still aren't sure who's who when it comes to the Sedin brothers.

Markus Naslund claimed to be the only one certain he could tell the difference between twins Henrik and Daniel--and Naslund comes from the same town in Sweden as the Sedins and played with them in hockey's 1999 world championships.

Other players say it's too tough to identify the twins without the help of numbered jerseys.

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Appropriate: Tom Shales of the Washington Post says NBC should begin each night's telecast [of the Olympics] with the introduction to the "Star Wars" films:

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . ."

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Looking back: On this day in 1994, the North Carolina women's soccer team won its 89th consecutive game, setting the unofficial record for the longest winning streak in college sports.

The Tar Heels' 5-1 victory over North Carolina State broke the mark of 88 in a row set by the UCLA men's basketball team under Coach John Wooden during the early 1970s.

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Low, low round: Larry Nelson, who will play in the SBC Senior Classic, presented by Ralphs, at Wilshire Country Club Oct. 23-29, recently shot a 58 during a pro-am round at The Golf Center at Kings Island in Ohio.

It could have been a 57, but Nelson missed a 15-foot putt on the final hole.

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Trivia answer: USC's Charles White, who gained 6.245 yards from 1976-1979.

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And finally: Bernie Lincicome in the Rocky Mountain News, commenting on Oakland Raider fans last Sunday: "Nothing is more repulsive than an Oakland crowd with its shirts off, and on this sunlit day more tattoos were exposed than on the deck of the USS Norfolk.

"Shirtless, the stands look like a book of wallpaper samples. Between plays, Raider fans played connect-the-scars on each other."

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