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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Noting Mir and Leaf Together Is Just a Coincidence

March 27, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle:

* "The Russians are just sick about the Mir space station exploding to pieces after 86,320 orbits.

"The thing had a bumper-to-bumper 86,000-orbit warranty."

* "Ryan Leaf signs with Tampa Bay, says, 'This was the best thing for me . . . to rejuvenate my career.' You can't rejuvenate what was never juvenated.

"What Leaf is most likely to be hearing a year from now: 'Yo, barkeep, can you rejuvenate my screwdriver?' "

*

Trivia time: Which are the only two father-son combinations to have won NCAA basketball championships as players?

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Have you researched it? Pete Carroll, USC's new football coach, commenting on a key member of his staff:

"Norm Chow is arguably the best offensive coordinator in the history of college football, certainly in terms of championships and wins and people he has coached."

The key word here is "arguably."

*

Box-office hits or misses? Jerry Greene in the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel on some movies that will be remade with new stars you should recognize:

* "Hannibal"--starring Mike Tyson.

* "The Abyss"--starring the XFL.

* "Dumb & Dumber"--starring Gary Sheffield and Frank Thomas.

*

Wrong victim: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post:

"They must not have cable in Venezuela. How do we know this? The Indians played a recent exhibition game there and Larry Dolan, the team's CEO, had his pocket picked.

"Evidently the thief didn't know that today's players have more money than the owners."

*

Cool it, Bill: Bob Kravitz in the Indianapolis Star:

"I admit to appreciating Bill Walton's unusual candor on television, but I've got to say, the man is flat wearing me out.

"I mean, just a few seconds of silence. Now and then. Please."

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Looking back: On this day in 1985, UCLA defeated Louisville, 75-66, in a National Invitation Tournament semifinal game in New York.

The Bruins went on to win the championship, defeating Indiana, 65-62.

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Trivia answer: Marques Johnson, UCLA, 1975, and Kris Johnson, UCLA 1995; and Henry Bibby, UCLA, 1970, '71 and '72, and Mike Bibby, Arizona, 1997.

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And finally: Keith Olbermann on Fox Sports Net:

"Is soon-to-be-44-year-old [Dodger] reliever Jesse Orosco wearing number zero-zero because he's been around so long that his speedometer just turned over?"

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