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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

He's About to Throw His Visor in the Ring

January 09, 2002|Mal Florence

Hubert Mizell of the St. Petersburg Times has no doubts that Orr--that's Steve Spurrier's middle name--will succeed as an NFL coach.

"Never, never, never have I known a more competitive person. Pete Rose compares. Michael Jordan is of a similar mind-set. Playing against Orr in golf can be cutthroat. Challenge him at a poker table and ol' No. 11 tries to rake all your money.

"In darts, you become the target. He plays games a lot like Audie Murphy approached the war.

"Has there ever been a more intriguing free agent afloat in the NFL?"

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More Mizell: "Whether it's to be the Bucs, Panthers, Redskins, Chargers, Falcons or some other NFL franchise with ownership hunger for higher awards, I see Spurrier winning big. Challenging for Super Bowls.

"In all those NFL precincts, the buzz is huge, mostly in favor of an S.O.S. (Steve Orr Spurrier) hiring."

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Trivia time: Who holds the NFL single-game playoff record for touchdowns?

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Transformation: Glenn Rogers of the San Antonio Express-News writes that Jason Williams, who was criticized for his erratic play with the Sacramento Kings, is a more disciplined player in Memphis:

"Williams, while still tattooed and bald, has changed. His teammates no longer quake when he fastbreaks off a loose ball with time running out in a tight game.

"Instead, now Williams will look for an open lane to the bucket, or open teammates and feed the right guy with the proper, catchable pass."

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Deep pockets: Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: "George Steinbrenner buys up every high-ticket free agent in baseball, and he's got enough left over to kick in $400 million to build a new stadium.

"Why isn't this guy secretary of the treasury?"

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Sticking point: Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley, on guard Anthony Carter's medical quandary--whether to rest his back or have surgery: "It's his body. You're not going to stick a knife in anybody's body unless he wants to get stuck."

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Gangway! Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Possible play of the year: The Runaway Traylor--340-pound defensive tackle Keith Traylor's lumbering 67-yard return after intercepting a pass in the Chicago Bears' 33-13 rout of Jacksonville."

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Looking back: On this day in 1982, John Roche of the Denver Nuggets set an NBA record with seven three-point field goals in one quarter against the Seattle SuperSonics. The record has since been tied.

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Trivia answer: Ricky Watters, five, while playing for the San Francisco 49ers against the New York Giants in 1994.

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And finally: Steve Serby of the New York Post, getting a bit carried away with the Jets' last-second victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday:

"These are the sweetest victories, the ones where all you have is each other, and your life is on the line, and you reach down deep into a place you didn't know you had in you, and summon up all this heart and courage and nerve and shatter the ugly perceptions about you ... "

There's more, but we've run out of space.

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