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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

You Never Know What to Expect, Except Wins

November 22, 2001|Mal Florence

Skip Bayless in the San Jose Mercury News: "I haven't seen a team look so average, then on cue, so unstoppable ... I haven't seen anything quite like the 7-2 49ers, who are turning pro football upside down. They defy logic and doubt...

"The 49ers are on course to set an NFL record for procrastination. They're the kid you knew in college who started cramming at about sunrise for the 8 a.m. exam and aced it.

"Somehow this team can switch to daylight saving time near the end of almost every game. Three times in four tries it has won in overtime."

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Trivia time: Who is the only Heisman Trophy winner to come from a team with a losing record?

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It can be done: Florida tailback Earnest Graham, who suffered a twisted knee in Saturday night's 37-13 victory over Florida State, says a Seminole may have intentionally twisted it under a pileup.

Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden scoffed at such a notion, saying: "In the history of college football, I've heard of people twisting an ankle, but how are you going to twist a knee?"

Uh, apply pressure?

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Gruden bandwagon: Hubert Mizell of the St. Petersburg Times has joined the chorus of writers saying that Notre Dame should hire the Oakland Raiders' Jon Gruden as its next coach.

"If it takes $3 million a year, pay him. Irish football fortunes couldn't be better spent. ... At 38, he's a terrific NFL coach. Magnetic personality. Blond and bombastic. Workaholic. Determined grit in that sneering face."

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Brrr! Atlanta Falcon Coach Dan Reeves, the halfback for the Dallas Cowboys in the "Ice Bowl" 1967 NFL championship game against the Packers in Green Bay, still gets chilled thinking about it.

"I remember that when the official blew his metal whistle and then pulled it out of his mouth, skin came with it because the whistle had frozen to his lip. And there was no halftime show because the band's instruments froze."

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Bad grip clue: Jerry Greene in the Orlando Sentinel: "Mike Ditka said one reason he wanted to draft Ricky Williams instead of Edgerrin James is that he didn't think much of James' handshake.

"Another example of why Ditka spends his Sundays sitting on a CBS stool instead of standing on anybody's sideline."

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His kind of game: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Now this rugby score from over the weekend: England 134, Romania 0. The Sunday Times of London summed it up: 'Chariots on fire.' The electric scoreboard at Twickenham had to be reprogrammed with the game in progress to handle triple digits.

"Steve Spurrier would have loved it."

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Looking back: On Thanksgiving Day in 1932, USC defeated Washington, 9-6, in Seattle before a crowd of only 22,061.

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Looking back again: On Thanksgiving Day in 1936, USC and UCLA played to a 7-7 tie before an estimated crowd of 90,000 at the Coliseum.

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Trivia answer: Paul Hornung of 2-8 Notre Dame in 1956.

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And finally: Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News: "Chris Assenheimer is the guy who didn't vote Ichiro rookie of the year, and boy does he look like one."

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