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And you get your own plane

Morning Briefing

July 27, 2007|Robyn Norwood | Times Staff Writer

For some politicians, the campaigning never stops.

Pro football writer Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union-Tribune at first didn't recognize the voice on the phone that identified himself as, "Old No. 15."

Then he put it together: Jack Kemp.

The former congressman was calling to seek Magee's influence: Kemp asked for support in his bid to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Magee wrote in Pro Football Weekly.

"Would you rather be in the Hall of Fame than [be] president of the United States?" Magee asked the former Republican vice presidential candidate.

"I think being president would be an inch or two above being in the Hall," Kemp told him.

Trivia time

Tony Gwynn, who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, N.Y., had a career .338 average and won eight National League batting titles.

How many times in his 20 seasons did Gwynn have more doubles than strikeouts?

Dogs get their day

Here's the latest from the promotion-crazed Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League: Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day.

Fans are invited to bring their dogs to the game Sunday and sit in a special section at Long Beach's Blair Field.

The team will destroy Vick T-shirts and jerseys and is offering free admission to those who bring the apparel. Only fans with paid tickets are eligible to bring their dogs.

And it looks like a fad: The Los Angeles Riptide of Major League Lacrosse is holding a Dog Day on Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

The old college try

NCAA President Myles Brand would wince if he read what Brandon Lang, the sports handicapper portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in the 2005 film "Two for the Money," said about college sports and gamblers in an interview with ESPN.com:

"They're college students, middle-aged businessmen -- they're the people who crave action every single night.

"There was a time, in the winter, when the NBA and NHL were the only real betting options between football games each week. We never used to have a MAC game on Tuesday night followed by a Conference USA game on Wednesday, an SEC game on Thursday and an ACC contest on Friday....

"And why bet two or three NBA games where guys don't always seem to show up every night when you have a college football game on Tuesday where you know the players are going to give maximum energy and effort?"

Try something

Let's see, the Ducks won the Stanley Cup and now the San Jose Sharks have a new logo. Something that "emphasizes speed, strength and determination." Something with more teal on the nose. OK.

More golf gizmos

A couple of more area tinkerers have advanced in competition for the Golf Channel series "Fore Inventors Only," a contest to decide the best golf gadget.

John Haggar of Montrose and Matt Baird of Toluca Lake made the cut with the "Tour Axis," a vest with two small bags that attach under the armpits.

The idea is to keep the bags tucked under each arm during the practice swing "to achieve a repeatable motion."

The things we do for golf.

Trivia answer

Twelve -- and in one additional season, he had the same number of doubles as strikeouts.

And finally

Cal Ripken Jr., the former Baltimore Oriole also going into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, on what the approach of induction day has been like:

"Everywhere you go, people are congratulating you," he said. "Like I've said before, it's like you're getting married again or you're having kids again. It just feels good, and it's all building to a crescendo."

robyn.norwood@latimes.com

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