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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

They Really Need to Take a Turn for Worth

November 11, 2001|Thomas Bonk

We're halfway through the NFL's regular season, so it's a good time to figure out who have been the biggest busts in the big-money signings derby. The early front-runners are Elvis Grbac of the Baltimore Ravens, Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings and Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins.

Grbac (five years, $30 million, $11-million bonus) has thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes.

Moss (eight years, $75 million, $18-million bonus) ranks 23rd in the league in yards receiving.

Taylor (six years, $42 million, $9-million bonus) has four sacks at defensive end.

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Trivia time: In his one year as coach at California in 1996, what was the record of Steve Mariucci, now the San Francisco 49ers' coach?

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Search me: According to Lycos, the most-searched-after athlete at its on-line site is ... Anna Kournikova. Michael Jordan is No. 2, followed by Allen Iverson, Derek Jeter and another tennis player, Jelena Dokic. Kobe Bryant is ninth and Tiger Woods 10th. But compared to Kournikova, what have they ever won?

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Clothes'd case: The Detroit Pistons are offering $5 upper bowl tickets at the Palace at Auburn Hills for tonight's game against the Portland Trail Blazers to any fan who turns in a piece of the team's old teal or maroon Piston gear.

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TV guide: They recently announced a new format for the fourth edition of the Battle at Bighorn, and so far, the only constant through all four is Woods. This is not a surprise, because he's the only reason the thing is being played in the first place.

The lineup for next July's Battle IV is Woods-Jack Nicklaus versus Sergio Garcia-Lee Trevino. If you think about it, we've had Woods against his peers (David Duval, Sergio Garcia), Woods against women (Karrie Webb, Annika Sorenstam) and Woods against the geezers.

Next: Woods against celebrities. Why? There's nothing else left.

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Soccer to me: There was some news made this week when English soccer players voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike in a dispute over television revenue.

If the players go through with it, the strike will be a first for English soccer players.

The closest they came to one before was in 1961, when Jimmy Hill forced clubs to abandon paying the minimum wage. This is a shocking history lesson ... not because a nasty strike was narrowly averted over pro athletes getting paid the minimum wage, but because you can just imagine how upset pro sports owners in the U.S. are going to be that they didn't think of it first.

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Trivia answer: Mariucci's Bears went 6-6, losing to Navy in the Aloha Bowl, 42-38.

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And, finally: Let's just say that Shannon Sharpe has confidence in his ability. The Ravens' tight end is three pass receptions short of Ozzie Newsome's record of 662 for a tight end. Sharpe believes Tony Gonzalez of the Kansas City Chiefs could catch him.

But, still ... Sharpe pointed out that Gonzalez is playing on a 2-6 team and that the Chiefs' tight end doesn't have three Super Bowl rings, like he does.

Says Sharpe, "Does he catch all these passes and be one of the guys that never won a championship? I have all these catches and three championships."

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