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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Most Often, Spurrier Can Handle the Truth

January 03, 2002|Mal Florence

Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald, on Florida football Coach Steve Spurrier: "The scoreboard is truth. That's why [he] likes it so much, because of the way it puts winners and losers in their place.

"[He] can be very small about some things, but he's very big on truth, often to his detriment, so over the years that scoreboard has become his greatest ally and friend, validating him, and his methods....

"Nobody believes in Spurrier as much as Spurrier does, and that's why he is the most relentlessly interesting person on college football's big stage, even as he spends the collision-filled 60 minutes standing off to the side of it."

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More Spurrier: "How can you ever get in trouble being too honest?" he said. "They accuse me of a lot of things, but they can't ever accuse me of lying. What's the popular term now? Politically correct? It would be easier to be politically correct. But I'd rather be right than politically right."

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for rebounds in a regular-season NBA game?

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Something to quack about: Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News on Oregon's convincing 38-16 victory against Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl and the Ducks' claim to the national championship:

"It was never a football game as much as a thumb in the eye of the bowl championship series. The Fiesta Bowl had to be, for one team or the other, confirmation that college football is run by idiots, or computers, which is just as dangerous....

"It was one big game too far for Colorado and one big game just enough for Oregon, now entitled to petition consideration as the best college football team in the land."

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Ripping Rasheed: Ken Rudolph of Fox Sports Net's "Best Damn Sports Show Period" had this zinger last month:

"At a ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles, prior to the Lakers-Clippers game, Kobe Bryant was commissioned as an honorary ambassador to the city of Kobe, Japan.

"No word yet as to whether the city of Moron, Cuba, will be extending the same honor to Rasheed Wallace."

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Zzz: Hank Wesch in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Commenting on the winds of change that have swept over the Big Ten men's basketball coaching fraternity over the last seven years, leaving only Purdue's Gene Keady from the old guard, Michigan State's Tom Izzo says: 'The [coaches'] meetings aren't as good anymore. The only one left is Gene, and we have to revive him half the time."'

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Calmer time: When asked what's new entering the 2002 golf season, David Duval said, "Nobody is suing me."

A year ago, Titleist sued Duval for breach of contract and he filed a countersuit. The case was settled in arbitration.

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Trivia answer: Wilt Chamberlain, 55, while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors against Boston on Nov. 24, 1960. The previous record was 51 set by the Celtics' Bill Russell on Feb. 5, 1960.

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And finally: Bill Walton commenting to the Denver Post on former Nugget coach Dan Issel's ethnic slur to a fan after a game in December:

"As a former player, I know that coaches and players alike are trained to handle distractions.... A veteran like Issel, who has been involved with pro basketball for more than 25 years, should have known better."

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