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The Inside Track | SECOND THOUGHTS

Covering All the News That's Fit to Ridicule

July 30, 2001|CHRIS DUFRESNE

Recapping the news while praying not to get an e-mail from Sandy Alderson about my "quip" count.

News item: ESPN plans to make a movie out of "A Season on the Brink," John Feinstein's best-selling book about a season spent with former Indiana Coach Bob Knight.

Second thought: Family-based ESPN may have to change the title to "Season on the Bleep." I opened at random to page 161 of Feinstein's book and found a typical tirade, Knight on guard Steve Alford: "[Expletive] Alford, how many times do I have to tell you about finding your man? How many [expletive] times?"

Hello, ESPN script doctor: Steve, it would please me and your teammates if you could more vigorously find the man you are covering.

Casting?

If this was a late-night HBO production, I'd go with Andrew Dice Clay as Knight and Ralphie from Sopranos' fame as Alford.

Inside gossip: The part of the furniture piece Knight chucked across the court against Purdue will be played by a method-acting folding chair at Wickes.

News item: Deion Sanders retires from pro football.

Second thought: We hear Sanders wants to spend his free time fishing. As equipment goes, he's got everything covered--except for a tackle box.

News item: Lance Armstrong wins Tour de France.

Second thought: Five of my headline suggestions that were rejected by the New York tabloids:

"TOUR DE LANCE"

"LANCE A LOT"

"DON'T MESS WITH U.S. MALE"

"PEDAL TO MEDAL"

"RIDER HITS FOR CYCLE"

News item: Dodgers move into first place.

Second thought: HBO's "Real Sports" is sending a follow-up team of reporters to investigate.

News item: Atlanta Brave pitcher Greg Maddux extends streak without a walk to 58 1/3 innings.

Second thought: The guy throws fastball, curve, changeup, paints the black on the inside and outside corners. And now he gets the high strike?

News item: Chargers contemplate relocating training camp from San Diego to Riverside.

Second thought: What next, citizens of Bora Bora looking into time shares in Juneau, Alaska?

News item: Ryan Leaf has been a model citizen since signing as a backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, telling the St. Petersburg Times: "If people are looking for headlines, I'm not going to give it to them. I'm too much at peace."

Second thought: We hear Leaf's turnaround has been so complete he's going to intercede on behalf of a man mired with contractual and off-field image problems . . . agent Leigh Steinberg.

News item: Bobblehead dolls make a comeback.

Second thought: It makes a man wax nostalgic. I'll never forget the year Ram owner Georgia Frontiere gave her players Cabbage Patch dolls after a bitter playoff loss.

You should have seen the faces light up on those 300-pound linemen.

News item: California Horse Racing Board votes to allow advertising on jockeys' apparel and saddle cloths.

Second thought: I'm no handicapper, but beware of horses sponsored by Elmer's glue, Aunt Kate's Cooking Molasses and Geritol.

My best bet saddle cloths: Vivrin, Starbucks, Jolt.

News item: Ian Woosnam says he won't fire caddie Miles Byrne despite last week's British Open gaffe.

Second thought: It would be horrible P.R. for Woosnam to can Byrne now but, rest assured, Byrne is a goner. Here's how Woosnam will break the news: He'll call 15 caddies into a room and toss one out.

News item: Cash-strapped San Jose State announces it will spend virtually no money on running back Deonce Whitaker's Heisman Trophy campaign.

Second thought: Here's my campaign pitch, and it costs nada. It's a takeoff on Chicago politics under Mayor Richard Daley: Don't Vote Deonce, vote Detwice.

News item: University of Pittsburgh star receiver Antonio Bryant arrested for using plane ticket purchased on an unauthorized credit card.

Second thought: Pitt Coach Walt Harris says of his Heisman Trophy candidate: "We believe strongly in Antonio Bryant."

What's not to believe?

Last September, Bryant was suspended for using a university phone-access card. In January, he was cited for disorderly conduct.

We predict nothing but NFL success for the junior receiver. Bryant became only the second sophomore to win the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation's best receiver.

The first sophomore to win was the troubled but talented, and now stupendously rich . . . Randy Moss.

News item: Dodgers get pitcher James Baldwin in trade with Chicago White Sox.

Second thought: Geez, am I getting old. There was a time acquiring a pitcher with a 5.04 lifetime earned-run average could cost you a pennant. These days, it can win you one.

News item: Wrestling great Dan Gable considers a run for governor in Iowa.

Second thought: Wait, don't tell me, the campaign will be "no holds barred," right? I don't know his political leanings, but Larry Owings may be the only man with a chance to put the political pin on Gable.

Gable finished his high school and collegiate career with a record of 181-1. Owings was the one, defeating Gable, 13-11, in the finals of the 1970 NCAA championships.

News item: Next season's NBA schedule is announced to much fanfare and hoopla.

Second thought: Steve Martin and I haven't been this jacked up since the new phone books arrived.

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