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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Honchos Must Have Plenty of Free Time

May 22, 2003|Mike Hiserman

A not-so-instant replay:

Seventy-eight years after they defeated the Chicago Cardinals in what was widely accepted as the NFL championship game, the Pottsville (Pa.) Maroons finally might get their due.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Wednesday said the league will investigate why the Maroons were stripped of their 1925 league title.

The situation: Six days after they defeated Chicago, the Maroons played the Notre Dame all-stars in what was billed as a "world championship" game at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. To be settled was the question of whether college or professional players were better.

The Maroons won, 9-7, but instead of reveling in the pro league's success, NFL president Joe Carr ruled that Pottsville had infringed on the territory of the Frankford (Pa.) Yellow Jackets, another of the league's teams. Pottsville was fined $500 and disqualified.

"We were asked to reassess it, that the punishment was not appropriate to the offense," Tagliabue said. "We will be looking at that issue."

Great. While you're at it, the Raiders have a 1972 "Immaculate Reception" and a 2002 "Tom Brady Tuck" they'd like you to check, and the Buffalo Bills request your opinion on a certain "Music City Miracle."

Good sport: The Chicago Cardinals were declared 1925 NFL champion, but owner Chris O'Brien refused to accept the title, saying championships should be won on the field, not in an office.

As the good folks of Pasadena will tell you, he'd never make it in ownership today.

Trivia time: The Milwaukee Brewers' Geoff Jenkins hit home runs in three consecutive at-bats Wednesday in a 10-0 victory over the Padres, the second time in three seasons he has accomplished the feat. What team was the last to have a player hit three home runs in a game twice in a season? Hint: It's also the only team to have two players hit three consecutive homers in the same game.

Percentage point: If you think the basketball is brutal in the NBA's Eastern Conference, comedian Jay Leno reminds us that's not all that's rough on the right coast. In a recent "Tonight Show" monologue, he referred to the series between the Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets as "the places-nobody-wants-to-live [conference] final."

He added, "According to a newspaper poll ... 75% of New Jersey residents rate their state as a good or excellent place to live. The other 25% are reported missing."

Hot stuff: Noting the name of Jim Rome's new ESPN sports talk show "Rome is Burning," comedian Alex Kasberg came up with an appropriate sponsor -- tough actin' Tinactin jock itch and athletes foot spray.

Trivia answer: Milwaukee, and Jenkins was not involved. Jeromy Burnitz hit three homers, though not in consecutive at-bats, on May 10, 2001. Burnitz and Richie Sexson each hit three consecutive home runs in a 9-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 25, 2001.

And finally: San Francisco Chronicle reader Mike Gaynes offers this baseball advice:

"South Korean rookie pitcher Jung Bong is 4-0 for Atlanta, but the Braves probably shouldn't pitch him in Shea Stadium.

"Because? Nobody hits off a Bong like the Mets."

-- Mike Hiserman

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