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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

For Collins, It Qualified as Coaching No-Brainer

January 01, 2002|Mal Florence

Washington Wizard Coach Doug Collins did not stick, wisely, to his usual substitution pattern when Michael Jordan scored 24 points in the first quarter Saturday against Charlotte.

"When he's on a roll like that, you just ride it," Collins said. "You don't start getting cute, start running plays for other people. That's when you coach yourself right out of there."

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More Jordan: Asked if he had seen coming Jordan's 51 points against the Hornets, Wizard guard Chris Whitney said, "What am I, Miss Cleo? No one knows how he does it. He just does it."

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Trivia time: Who holds the Rose Bowl game record for touchdowns? (Hint, it's a tie.)

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The winner is: Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News presents his "Bernies," revealing what kind of year it was in sports. A sampling:

* "Wanna Bet Who Will Be Missed Least Award--To the departing Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Mark McGwire and Juan Antonio Samaranch."

* "This Is No Longer a Working Number Award--To the defunct XFL, the Dennis Miller of football leagues."

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Soccer is easier: Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News on the greatest hits of 2001:

* "Soccer star Rio Ferdinand has a strained knee tendon suffered when he kept his leg propped up on a coffee table for too long while watching TV, and I know first hand how painful that can be."

* "This wasn't the first time an Al Davis suit was rejected. Happens to him all the time in the fashion world."

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Selling himself: Chicago Bear quarterback Jim Miller, dismissing speculation that his team is eyeing Drew Bledsoe as his replacement for next season: "I laugh. You're getting the same quarterback. You are going to pay a guy $100 million, and you are going to get the same exact thing as what me and Shane [Matthews] are.

"He might have a better arm, but other than that, he's not going to scramble any more. He's not going to do any more."

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Take that: Bryon Russell of the Utah Jazz, after scoring a season-high 19 points against the Boston Celtics: "They dare you to shoot the outside shot. And I'm the wrong person to dare."

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Looking back: On this day in 1930, USC routed Pittsburgh in the Rose Bowl game, 47-14.

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Looking back again: On this day in 1976, UCLA defeated Ohio State in the Rose Bowl game, 23-10. The Bruins had lost to the Buckeyes during the regular season, 41-20.

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Trivia answer: Sam Cunningham of USC and Eric Ball of UCLA, four each, in the 1973 and 1986 games against Ohio State and Iowa, respectively.

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And finally: Fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco liked Will Smith and the fight scenes in "Ali" but says the film contains "a horrible mishmash of wrong information and wrong dates."

Ali's wives, Sonji and Belinda, showed up at the wrong fights, Pacheco wrote in the Tampa Tribune, and, "The most amazing omission is overlooking how Ali conquers his three years in exile."

Shunned by the Muslims, Pacheco says, Ali toured white college campuses, which gave him the broad base of acceptance that he now has.

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