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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He Doesn't Have Much Use for NFL Scouts

February 28, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, commenting on the NFL scouting combine:

"Now, like most of you, I don't quite understand the whole concept behind the combine.

"Don't these NFL scouts get cable? Are they afraid they're going to draft the leading rusher in NCAA history, and he's going to show up at camp and reveal himself as a 52-year-old dental technician with untreatable bunions?

"Truth is, for all the poking and prodding and inspecting, the geniuses still pick gems such as Ryan Leaf, Mike Junkin and anybody the Bengals have chosen in the past decade."

*

Trivia time: Who holds the NCAA Division I men's record for single-game rebounds?

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Ace is an ace: Don Zimmer drew a large ovation in the New York Yankee clubhouse Friday, one day after the 70-year-old coach got his first hole in one at Wentworth Country Club in Tampa, Fla.

"He said it bounced a couple of times and went right in," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said. "He said, 'Of course, I shot a 135.' The players gave him an ovation. I didn't bring up the 135."

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Sweet swinger: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "The curmudgeon Ty Cobb handed out compliments infrequently, yet said of Eddie Mathews, 'I've seen only three or four perfect swings in my time--and this boy has one.' "

Mathews, the Hall of Fame third baseman, died recently at 69.

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More Sherrod: "Despite his $20-mil annual windfall at Boston, Manny Ramirez still lives in a $700 apartment, drives a '96 Chevy and sez his ear diamond is a $40 fake.

"Before you put him down as a pennypiker, learn that Manny has bought new houses and cars for his mom and four sisters."

No outer limits: Montreal Expo outfielder Vladimir Guerrero on baseball's plan to call the high strike this season:

"I'm a free swinger. They can put the strike zone wherever--on third base, in left field. It doesn't matter to me."

How about the concession stands?

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We like it: David Letterman on his "Top 10 Rejected XFL Team Names:"

* Florida Felons, Dallas Deadbeat Dads, Philadelphia Parole Offenders, Cleveland Carjackers."

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Way off base: Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: "George Steinbrenner says the Rangers hurt baseball by giving A-Rod all that money. That's rich! Steinbrenner giving lessons in fiscal prudence!

"That's like Darryl Strawberry advising players on how to avoid drugs and alcohol."

*

Mr Clean: Toronto Raptor forward Charles Oakley claims that 60% of NBA players use marijuana.

On his syndicated radio show, Keith Olbermann says: "Sixty percent. This is a revision of the previous unofficial estimate, which was: everybody except A.C. Green."

*

Looking back: On this day in 1960, the U.S Olympic hockey team scored six goals in the third period to beat Czechoslovakia, 9-4, and win the gold medal at Squaw Valley, Calif.

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Trivia answer: Bill Chambers of William & Mary, 51, against Virginia on Feb. 14, 1953.

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And finally: Because of a snowstorm in New Jersey on Thursday, attendance at the Meadowlands for the Devils-Sabres game was 6,023.

That's a huge crowd compared with the night of Jan. 22, 1987, when the Devils defeated Calgary, 7-5, in front of 334 die-hard fans.

The opening face-off was delayed nearly two hours as Devil players fought snow and traffic to reach the arena. One player, Peter McNab, abandoned his car on the turnpike and slogged the final two miles to the rink.

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