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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Second City Cranks Out Hollywood Version

November 20, 2001|Mal Florence

Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune, commenting on the surprising Chicago Bears:

"You've got to be a romantic to believe in this team. You've got to be a sucker for a sappy story, a fool for a ridiculous ending and a person who roots for the clumsy good guy to get the girl, who, by the way, is a zillionaire.

"The Bears are back in first place in the NFC Central. Don't ask me why this is happening because they can't get close to the reason. Nobody can."

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Still first in his class: Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News: "I love that deal where Jon Gruden, the Raider coach, covers his mouth with a clipboard when he's talking to his coaches upstairs.

"Gruden's so young, it looks like he's cheating on a sociology exam."

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Trivia time: Which school holds the Pacific 10 football record for consecutive games without a loss?

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More Lupica: "I'm just assuming [Bob] Knight's Texas Tech team opened up with William & Mary because they couldn't get a game against Mary & Mary."

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Is the wait worth it? Bernie Lincicome in the Rocky Mountain News: "A great World Series reminds us that until October, baseball is for recreational use only."

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More Lincicome: "Nick Van Exel's whining that the Nuggets are treated as 'scrubs of the league' means while we weren't looking somebody got a promotion."

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They can afford it: CBS' Craig Kilborn, on Mark McGwire's retirement: "McGwire walks away from a $30 million, two-year contract extension--while his agent walks away from a new Porsche and a summer home in East Hampton."

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Cushion effect: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Fight promoter Don King hit his head on the ceiling of his private jet when it hit unexpected turbulence last week.

"He wasn't wearing a seat belt, but fortunately he was wearing the latest in protective headgear: his hair."

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Of course, he never loses: Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press, commenting on Phil Mickelson, who has won off the course too:

"Mickelson, home in Arizona to be with his newborn daughter, was seen at the World Series, apparently with some cash riding on the outcome.

According to the Business 2.0 Web site, Lefty put down $20,000 before the season on 35-1 odds that the Diamondbacks would win the World Series.

"That's a $700,000 payoff.

"A year ago, Mickelson predicted the Baltimore Ravens would win the Super Bowl. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he collected $560,000 on 28-1 odds."

It doesn't always work out that well for Mickelson.

The PGA Tour said he committed a "technical violation" of the rules in August for a $500 wager he made during a golf tournament at Akron, Ohio.

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Looking back: On this day in 1954, UCLA defeated USC, 34-0, completing a perfect (9-0) regular season.

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Trivia answer: California, 50, (46-0-4) 1920-1925.

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And finally: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Mr. Warmth: Texas Tech won the Red Raider tournament on its home court, but Bob Knight didn't hang around for the trophy presentation. 'I was thirsty,' he said."

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