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Morning Briefing

August 20, 2007|Pete Thomas | Times Staff Writer

It's Heads, he wins in this contest

The first 2,000 fans arriving for the Portland Beavers' baseball game Saturday against the Las Vegas 51s received bobblehead dolls of the heretofore unheralded Bob L. Head.

That's Robert Leroy Head of Maquoketa, Iowa, to be precise.

Fans voted him winner of a months-long promotion that sought applications from Bob L. Heads around the nation.

His campaign slogan: "No matter what the score, I am always a Head."

Trivia time

The San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson, who has 9,176 career rushing yards through 95 games, could become only the third NFL back to gain 10,000 yards in 100 or fewer games.

Who are the other two?

'Nothin' pure in this world . . . '

Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun attended a recent roller derby game -- as that sport attempts a comeback -- featuring teams called the T's and A's.

Players were tattooed and sported multiple body-piercing ornaments. They used such names as Stalker Channing, Rocky Hard Place and Booty Licious.

Writes the columnist: "It may not be your old man's roller derby, but I suspect Billy Idol would love it."

A growing sport

There are 501 NFL players weighing 300-plus pounds, with a few pushing 350. In 1988, only 17 players topped 300 pounds.

For perspective, consider that the Denver Broncos had no 300-pounders on their Super Bowl teams of 1977, 1986 and 1987. Now they have 15 -- and rank only 19th league-wide in the heft category.

Soon there will be 400-pound linemen colliding in the trenches, and the question will have to be asked: Has this become a freak show?

On the lighter side

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, a top candidate for a head-coaching position, entered training camp 60 pounds lighter than he was at the end of last season.

"There's not too many fat guys that are coaches," Ryan, now a waif by comparison at 290 pounds, conceded to the Baltimore Sun. "I don't see how weight can make you a better coach. But I guess if you're the face of the franchise, that's important as well."

Bruins are No. 1!

The Trojans may hold that distinction heading into football season, but at least one national publication, the forthcoming Lindy's, lists the Bruins as preseason No. 1, poised to win the basketball championship.

"There are just too many quality ingredients to stop the Bruins' march to a third consecutive Final Four," the magazine proclaims. "And without Florida to get in the way this time, this one leads to the program's 12th national championship."

Stating the obvious

In light of the recent passing of Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto, Briefing unearths an old but timeless quote from Yogi Berra, upon hearing that Yankees teammate Joe DiMaggio was going to marry Marilyn Monroe:

"I don't know if it's good for baseball, but it sure beats the hell out of rooming with Phil Rizzuto."

Trivia answer

Eric Dickerson (91) and Jim Brown (98).

And finally

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder to the Arizona Republic, regarding the dwindling home attendance:

"There have been times when it's so quiet in here that you can hear the bullpen phone ringing. And that can't be good for the confidence of a pitcher who is struggling out there."

--

pete.thomas@latimes.com

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