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MORNING BRIEFING

But can he solve the housing crisis?

August 18, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

If Mark Spitz is any example, the media will still be enamored of Michael Phelps 36 years from now when the 2044 Games are held.

Or as Richard Hinds of the Sydney Morning Herald put it, "Unless someone runs a 60-minute marathon or pole vaults clean out of the Bird's Nest, you can consider nominations for the athlete of the Beijing Olympics well and truly closed."

Meanwhile, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald pointed out that the swimmer has been busy away from the Water Cube.

"Between events, in his spare time, Phelps has freed Tibet, solved the crisis in Darfur, brokered a human-rights policy with the Chinese government and refurbished the Great Wall," Cote wrote.

"It has been a fabulous Olympics for the entire American swimming program, whose men's and women's teams in Beijing include not only Phelps but also several other people whose names I can't recall."

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Trivia time

Seattle Mariners knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on Sunday became the fifth major league pitcher to throw four wild pitches in an inning. Who were the other four?

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Oh, chute

Wanting to get the English soccer season off to a flying start, Burnley hired seven parachutists to drop into its stadium for the home opener.

Six of them made it. The seventh landed on a grandstand roof and had to be rescued by firemen, delaying the kickoff by almost half an hour.

Look for Burnley to go down.

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Seeded No. 1

Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News says that Brett Favre "will find out that, in New York, hayseed is a health food."

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Rebeckham

After teenage British swimmer Rebecca Adlington won her second gold medal of the Olympics while setting a world record in the 800-meter freestyle, England's Observer was looking ahead to 2012.

"She is a strong favorite to win twice more in London and for one golden fortnight Becky will be more famous than Becks," the newspaper said. "All she needs now is the non-singing spouse, Tom Cruise's mobile number and the fridge reserved exclusively for salad."

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Trivia answer

Walter Johnson, Phil Niekro, Kevin Gregg and Ryan Madson.

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And finally

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in St. Louis is closing its doors forever, leaving employees speechless.

"In fact," wrote the Seattle Times' Dwight Perry, "it was so quiet, eyewitnesses said, that you could hear . . . nah, too easy."

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grahame.jones@latimes.com

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