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Morning Briefing

Forget aces, a swan song seems likely

June 28, 2007|Robyn Norwood | Times Staff Writer

Maria Sharapova probably never had an ugly-duckling moment in her life, but she is getting a lot of attention at Wimbledon for the fluttering white tennis dress she describes as "Swan Lake-inspired."

Sharapova sounded slightly less elegant after learning a hawk is kept at the All England Club to control pigeons.

"A hawk?" she said. "Does the hawk usually bite the swan? I don't know, does it? Jesus, I might have to cut those pleats away."

The British papers, naturally, had a field day, especially after the 2004 Wimbledon champion had to work a little harder than expected in the second set of her first-round match.

"It is when the Siberian starts to feel a bit more tense that she ups the volume of her shrieks, grunts and other assorted noises," the Telegraph said. "She sounded less like a swan, more like an angry parakeet."

Trivia time

Of the following five players -- Erick Dampier, Todd Fuller, Kerry Kittles, Steve Nash and Samaki Walker -- four were taken before Kobe Bryant was selected by Charlotte with the 13th pick overall in the 1996 NBA draft:

Which one was taken later?

He's no Pats fan

Gordon Johnston, a Florida high school teacher, had successfully challenged the frisking of fans as they enter Tampa Bay Buccaneers home games, arguing the action violated his constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

But a federal appeals court overturned the decision this week, saying Johnston forfeited his right to challenge the constitutionality of the pat-downs when he consented to them.

The court also said Johnston was aware of the policy before entering the stadium, that tickets are merely "a revocable license to attend games," and noted that Johnston doesn't have a constitutional right to watch a football game.

Wait a second. Tampa Bay was 4-12. Was that football?

Bawl four

That was the back-page headline in the New York Post after Yankees pitcher Scott Proctor walked in the winning run in the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss Tuesday at Baltimore.

A walk-off walk.

You don't see that very often.

A syringe perhaps?

Barry Bonds has agreed to provide the Hall of Fame with a piece of memorabilia when he breaks Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs.

Earlier, Bonds left it uncertain if he would donate anything to Cooperstown when he said, "I'm not worried about the Hall. I take care of me."

But an emissary sent by the Hall of Fame came away confident Bonds will donate an artifact to "share that milestone with the American people."

We don't get the feeling the American people are very interested.

But we really do feel bad about this

Bonds' son, Nikolai, a San Francisco Giants bat boy, tore two ankle ligaments in a pick-up basketball game last week and might not be in uniform when his father sets the record.

Nikolai, 17, has been wearing a walking boot in the clubhouse, and his recovery is expected to take two months.

LOL, NCAA

The ever-waffling NCAA will reconsider its prudent decision to ban coaches from text-messaging recruits.

Based on the potential health-care savings if hundreds of eager young assistant coaches can avoid thumb surgery, we say the ban should stand.

Trivia answer

Nash. He was drafted 15th overall by Phoenix.

The others and their draft order: No. 8 Kittles, No. 9 Walker, No. 10 Dampier and No. 11 Fuller, who is no longer in the league and had a career average of 3.7 points.

And finally

Bruce Vaughan, a 50-year-old rookie on the Champions Tour, made two holes-in-ones Tuesday in separate rounds -- and found out with a phone call to his wife between rounds that the USGA called to let him know he had qualified for the U.S. Senior Open in Wisconsin.

"I guess I should have gone out and bought some lottery tickets last night," Vaughan said.

robyn.norwood@latimes.com

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