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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Somehow, We Think Tiger Will Be OK

February 11, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Bernie Lincicome, writing in the Rocky Mountain News: "Tiger Woods has not won a golf tournament in, gulp, his past six. This is like Shaquille O'Neal making a free throw in . . . wait, bad example. This is Pavarotti forgetting the words to 'La donna e mobile' . . . wait, too pretentious.

"This is Tom Hanks not being nominated for the Oscar . . . wait, too incredible to imagine.

"What I'm trying to say is, this is big. Every Tiger failure diminishes us all. If we can't look at a leaderboard and see Tiger's name, we have lost our center. The world becomes a chilling and sinister place. If Tiger fails, what chance do the rest of us have?"

Maybe Woods can come from two shots behind at the Buick Invitational today and restore order to the world.

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Trivia time: What is the longest-standing men's track and field indoor world record?

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No, not that! Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post, on Chicago Bull Coach Tim Floyd: "[He] was suspended for a game and fined 10 grand for berating an official. Now for the real story.

"The league office told him, if it happens again, he has to stay on the bench and watch the Bulls play every game for the rest of the season."

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More Armstrong: "Latest XFL innovation: 15-yard penalty for excessive sportsmanship."

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Cover story: Charlie Puleri, quarterback of the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL, was asked how he would react to coming off the field after an interception and being asked for an immediate reaction by a TV reporter.

"I'll probably say I'm not a quarterback," he said. "I only play one on TV."

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More like vinegar? Jean Van de Velde, the French golfer and noted lover of the good life, when asked at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am whether he drinks California wine:

"I didn't know that you called that wine, but yes."

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Cushy job: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "We used to think Tiger Woods' caddie had the best job in the country until we found out that Bobby Knight will get $55,000 from http://sandbox.com to fill out an NCAA basketball bracket.

"Now, that's March Madness."

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Trivia answer: Long jump, 28 feet 10 1/4 inches, by Carl Lewis in 1984.

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And finally: Graeme Francis, a South African pro, was playing in the Sun City Pro-Am at Lost City Golf Club when he hit his ball into a crocodile pit near the 13th green, according to Golf World.

Because there were no crocodiles near his ball, Francis climbed into the pit, played his second shot onto the green and two-putted for a bogey.

But after signing his scorecard after the round, Francis was informed a local rule prohibits players from playing out of this "peculiar" hazard, and he was disqualified.

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