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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Cold, Hard Facts of 32 Degrees of Separation

July 23, 2003|Robyn Norwood

It's hot as Hades in half the country, which means it's time for the start of 32 NFL training camps.

All that means to Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News is this: "Thirty misguided, oversized rosters believe they have a chance to reach the next Super Bowl."

Among them:

"Carolina won't get there because Jake Delhomme, Rodney Peete and Chris Weinke rolled into one wouldn't make a quarterback.

"Arizona won't get there because it's Arizona. Sorry, Emmitt, but you knew that already.

"Oakland won't get there because Super Bowl losers don't get there a year later.

"Cincinnati won't get there, and don't even think about asking for a reason."

Cowlishaw's pick: The New York Giants over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Trivia time: In how many games must a player for an NHL champion appear to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup?

Love story: Former New York Met manager Bobby Valentine, reached by cell phone on the golf course by a reporter, was in the midst of analyzing the Mets' problems as he played, then interrupted himself after a shot.

"Wrong club. Same old story."

Wrote Ira Berkow of the New York Times: "That could have been a metaphor for his former team, as well."

Talking points: News and reaction courtesy of San Jose Mercury News reporter Tim Kawakami:

News: "Serena Williams pulls out of the Bank of the West Classic [this week at Stanford] at the last minute."

Reaction: "You can do that when you already own the Bank of the East, North, South and Midwest."

News: "Dennis Rodman announces that he's looking to sign with an NBA team."

Reaction: "Why can't he get a job at Fox Net just like every other burned-out former athlete?"

Trivia answer: 41 total with that team-- or one game in the Stanley Cup finals. (A team also may petition the NHL commissioner to add a player's name if extenuating circumstances prevented him from playing.)

And finally: Controversy has broiled following the decision by Georgia President and former Jim Harrick pal Michael Adams not to extend Vince Dooley's contract as Bulldog athletic director beyond 2004.

On Monday, Dooley took the unusual step of announcing what people in other corners of the land might take for granted: Academics are more important than athletics.

"I have been very concerned about the perception by some that the current controversy surrounding my future at Georgia is an issue of academics versus athletics," Dooley wrote.

"I have said both privately and publicly that academics must always be at the forefront and the top priority of any college or university ...

"I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support ... However, I have contacted several individuals that have been passionately active in the controversy surrounding my future and asked them to refrain from using my name or Georgia athletics in general as an issue."

Or, as headlined in the Athens Banner-Herald:

"Dooley calls off the Dawgs."

-- Robyn Norwood

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