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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Finding a Way to Pursue His Course

July 12, 2006|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

The bartender at your neighborhood pub supplying one last round. Or a substitute teacher at an area high school navigating the waters of teen angst.

Just the job history for a potential player on your local NFL team, right? Assuming you have a local team.

That precise job path occurred in the 1970s when 30-year-old rookie Vince Papale made the Philadelphia Eagles. His seemingly implausible story will be coming to the screen next month, with Mark Wahlberg portraying Papale, in the movie "Invincible."

As it turns out, Wahlberg's love rests with another sport featuring a smaller object.

"Well, my biggest interest is golf," he told the website, IGN Filmforce. "I'd rather be playing golf than anything."

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Add Invincible: Playing Dick Vermeil, the coach taking a risk on Papale, is veteran actor Greg Kinnear.

That must have been some audition. Uh, Greg, you don't need to read any lines. How about just crying on cue?

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Trivia time: Where did Papale go to college?

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Foes and friends: It was a memory jolt watching Pete Sampras warm up and then play doubles Monday night with Ramon Delgado in a World TeamTennis match at Newport Beach.

Delgado dealt Sampras one of his more devastating French Open losses in 1998, beating him in straight sets in the second round.

"I was thinking about that too," said their Newport Beach Breakers teammate Rick Leach during the warmup session.

And so was Sampras: "Yeah, he took me down there."

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Add Sampras: He was asked Monday when was the last time he played doubles on the tour.

"Moscow," Sampras said.

That, of course, wasn't a tour stop, but the U.S. Davis Cup winning final in 1995 against Russia, the scene of Sampras' virtuoso performance. His epic showing -- winning two singles matches and helping win the doubles point -- was the last time the U.S. has won the Davis Cup.

After that, he actually did play doubles on a few occasions on the tour.

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Mai T: Todd Christensen wrote about his Pro Bowl initiation 20 years ago, recalling the instant evaporation of bravado after he had knocked Lawrence Taylor to the ground.

"I leaned over to give him a hand up, that condescending aid you give an opponent to let him know that he is the vanquished -- you have seen more than a few of them in the World Cup," Christensen wrote in the Daily Herald of Utah. "As I leaned down a little closer to help, the unmistakable aroma of rum from the Mai Tais he must have imbibed, both the night before and in the morning, wafted into my nostrils.

"Way to go, Todd: You just knocked down a guy that was three sheets to the wind. That is all you need to know about the importance of all-star games."

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Trivia answer: St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

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And finally: Alain Migliaccio, to reporters on his client Zinedine Zidane's red card for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final: "He was very sad for everything that happened, but this is life. He is a human being, not a god."

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