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MORNING BRIEFING

Stanford fans are guaranteed satisfaction

August 27, 2008|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

Of course, we are all familiar with money-back guarantees on purchases of everything from clothing to appliances to Venetian blinds.

But football games? That's what they're doing at Stanford, where buyers of certain season-ticket plans have the chance for a "Gridiron Guarantee" option.

The premise: You say you didn't get the proper entertainment value at the end of the season.

The pitch: You get the cost of your season tickets refunded.

It's the brainchild of the Cardinal sports marketing department, which is trying to fill up the refurbished 55,500-seat Stanford Stadium. In its first two years, there haven't been any sellouts.

Trivia time

When was the last time Stanford had a winning record, and who was the coach?

A fan

Ricky Williams has sat out most of the last two seasons for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, but Bryant Gumbel went to bat for him on HBO's "Real Sports." Said Gumbel: "If you're tired of typical jocks you've got to like someone like Williams, who doesn't drink the league's Kool-Aid and who's capable of saying, as Ricky did, that he loves to play football but he hates being a football player."

Fearless forecast

If you don't want to know who's going to win Super Bowl XLIII, stop reading now. Or, maybe keep reading. The final score will be Patriots 30, Cowboys 16, according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

Last word

Nielsen estimated that the telecasts of the Olympics reached 4.4 billion, or two-thirds of the world's population, according to Brandrepublic.com.

No mittens?

Here's a reminder that the World Series starts when the weather could be less than ideal -- Oct. 22: There is a new notice posted on MLB.com Shop that jackets, fleece, hooded sweat shirts and assorted pieces of fall gear are on sale now. This will serve as your only notice.

Trivia answer

The Cardinal was 9-3 in 2001 in Tyrone Willingham's last year.

And finally

Gymnast Shawn Johnson told David Letterman that her friends thought she was just some recreational kid that did cartwheels: "Until about last year when I came back from [the] Worlds and they kind of saw me on TV and they were like, 'You weren't joking.' "

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thomas.bonk@latimes.com

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