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The Inside Track | Chris Dufresne SECOND THOUGHTS

Count on STN for Full Coverage of Half-Truths

January 26, 2003|Chris Dufresne

The motto here at cable channel Second Thoughts Network (STN) is "all innuendo all the time," a synergy-inspired, blanket-coverage concept that spans in Scoop Scope our 10-hits-a-day STN.com to the ever popular, "OK Darn Sports Program, Comma!"

STN "information men" have been stationed in crevices all week in advance of today's Super Bowl in San Diego and have unearthed the kind of inadmissible-in-court hearsay that allows our libel lawyers to drive what LeBron James drives.

STN vows never to let truth stand in the way of a story.

Here's what STN has overheard/concocted and/or ripped off from competing media outlets, always claiming ownership of a report by prefacing stories with a simple declaration of "STN has confirmed":

Win or lose, 73-year-old Oakland Raider owner Al Davis will not retire.

"Retire to what?" Davis told STN. "I don't play Bing-uh."

STN: "Bing what?"

Davis: "Bing-uh."

Davis aide: "Bingo."

Gardening has also been ruled out as an option -- no dry cleaner in the world can guarantee removing grass stains from white slacks.

Pete Rose will play a prominent role in today's Super Bowl halftime ceremonies.

Baseball's all-time hit leader reportedly is ready to admit he gambled on his own sport and is looking for a vehicle to get back in good graces. So, at the end of the halftime show titled "Back Taxes," Rose will pop out of a giant IRS file at midfield and declare what we've all known for 13 years: "I did it!"

Before the game, Davis will file an eminent domain lawsuit claiming he owns the territorial rights to both end zones at Qualcomm Stadium, thus ensuring a legal Raider victory (note: STN sourcing is not rock solid on this).

Motor-mouth Tampa Bay Buccaneer receiver Keyshawn Johnson has cut off media access but will accept written questions in the huddle from reporters during lengthy instant-replay challenge delays.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been meeting privately with a "fake smile expert," believed to be a former used car salesman, in the event he will have to present the Lombardi Trophy to Davis.

Tagliabue has also rehearsed an ice-breaking line to ease the inevitable postgame tension. Tagliabue will say to Davis, "Gee, Al, we usually meet in a court, not on a field."

Longtime adversaries Marcus Allen, Davis and Al Michaels have patched up their bitter differences. Davis told Allen he was sorry for keeping the Hall of Fame tailback on the bench in an attempt to ruin his career; Allen told Davis he was sorry for scoring that prima donna touchdown against Washington in Super Bowl XVIII and wished he ran more like Mark van Eeghen; Michaels said he was sorry for ever agreeing to interview Allen for that 1992 "Monday Night Football" halftime piece.

STN has confirmed Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coach Jon Gruden has asked for, and received, permission from the NFL to miss today's Super Bowl so he could return home to work an additional day on the game plan.

San Diego Police have implemented an "open-cell" policy to handle Raider Nation. Drunken fans will be allowed to let themselves in and out of area jails as needed. The system is modeled on the old Mayberry plan used with town drunk Otis and Sheriff Andy Taylor.

A quick read and react to other headlines:

News item: Oakland Raider lineman Lincoln Kennedy says Gruden "had kind of a Napoleonic complex."

Second thought: No one knows more about Napoleons than the Raiders, who have employed Napoleons McCallum, Kaufman, Harris and, if you believe Kennedy, Gruden.

If you look at it strictly in terms of housing and real estate, Raider team headquarters is a Napoleon complex.

News item: Michael Vick will miss Pro Bowl to have bunion removed.

Second thought: We've stashed this note in our "way too much information" file.

News item: Golfer Phil Mickelson uses medicine ball as part of rigorous off-season workout regimen.

Second thought: The toughest part was getting the medicine ball to stay on the tee.

News item: Golfer Greg Norman pays

$70 million for 285-foot aluminum motor yacht.

Second thought: One economist said if you combined Norman's $70 million with the

$85 million Oracle founder Larry Ellison spent on his attempt to win the America's Cup, you could heat a small town in Rhode Island for a year.

Add Norman's yacht: The craft performed beautifully in tests but tended to list a bit when approaching major ports.

News item: Andy Roddick defeats Younes El Aynaoui, 21-19, in grueling fifth set of Australian Open tennis match.

Second thought: Aynaoui had a chance to win, but his last-second field-goal attempt was wide right.

News item: Top LPGA player Annika Sorenstam says she welcomes the chance to play in a PGA Tour event.

Second thought: There's this terrific tournament played down South, started years ago by Bobby Jones. Only the best golfers are invited. I suggest Annika get started on the paperwork.

"Dear Hootie ... "

News item: USC retires Carson Palmer's

No. 3 jersey.

Second thought: Trojan fans say if there was a retired jersey playoff system in college football, and not that stupid bowl championship series, Palmer's jersey could beat any retired jersey out there right now.

News item: Dodgers are up for sale.

Second thought: Forget Dave Checketts. There is one investment group out there no one is talking about as a possible buyer. This conglomerate is worth hundreds of millions, and the members know how to play hardball in negotiations. In his last business deal, on top of a wad of money, one guy got the other side to throw in access to a private jet.

What group has the kind of cash to make a pitch for the Dodgers?

The Dodger pitching staff.

News item: U.S. Olympic Committee's image reaches "all-time low."

Second thought: The new USOC motto, translated from Latin, is Low! Lower! Lowest!

T.J. Simers' column appears on S2.

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