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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Peeling Layers to Find Real Sapp

November 28, 2001|Mal Florence

Former Tampa Bay defensive tackle Brad Culpepper, commenting on Warren Sapp, the Buccaneers' dominating defensive lineman:

"Warren Sapp is an onion. There are a lot of different layers to him

"There's part of him that needs to be a tough, street-leather type of guy. He's an interesting cookie. Living in his shoes is different than living in everyone else's."

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Trivia time: The Associated Press national college football poll was inaugurated in 1936. Which school was the first champion?

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He wants to know: Phil Mushnick in the New York Post: "You gotta love statements issued by players through their teams.

"Lamar Odom's latest drug suspension, he tells us in a statement, was for 'experimenting with marijuana.' What does that mean, he got tired of smoking it? He added some to a souffle?"

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More Mushnick: "Who's Teaching Whom? Part I: We're growing both sick and tired of TV panderers gushing about how avuncular Cris Carter took Randy Moss under his wing to teach him how to behave like a pro. Moss still acts like a punk, while Carter's on-field behavior now resembles Moss'."

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Predictable spin: Michael Holley in the Chicago Tribune, commenting on the Detroit Lions, the Bears' next opponent: "For the next several days, you will hear the Bears say wonderful things about the Lions and Detroit. They will tell you that the Lions are really a good team that tripped on a losing treadmill opening day and has been face down ever since.

"The 0-10 record? Well haven't you ever had a string of bad days at the office? It could happen to any of us."

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Futile decree: Baltimore Raven Coach Brian Billick ordered his players not to discuss teammates' "abilities or potentials" after tight end Shannon Sharpe criticized quarterback Elvis Grbac.

Said syndicated columnist Norman Chad: "Brian Billick issuing a gag order on his Ravens is like Keith Richards banning drug use on the Rolling Stones."

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Why not? Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Finding a fair way to determine a college football champion isn't easy, but Dave Mercado of Alameda suggests:

"'Let's follow soccer's example and have the two best teams at the end of the season fight it out. Each team gets five field goal attempts, and the winners get to take off their pants and run around the field for an hour."'

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Trivia answer: Minnesota, followed by Louisiana State and Pittsburgh.

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And finally: Jon Saraceno of USA Today, commenting on Mount Union College of Alliance, Ohio, where players pay tuition, buy their socks, wash their uniforms:

"Like with many Division III schools, the dubious phrase 'student athlete' is not an oxymoron.... In 16 seasons as head coach, Larry Kehres has had only one player who didn't graduate after playing four seasons.

"[Yet] Mount Union football is a bona fide dynasty, winning more games than any [other] school since 1990 [145-7-1]."

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