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Morning Briefing

January 02, 2008|By Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Kiffin has

a full slate for Raiders

The Oakland Raiders ended the season with a 30-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers, dropping their record to 4-12 in Coach Lane Kiffin's first year.

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that by the first day of the new year, at the latest, the Raiders should be ready to attack the 2008 season.

He based that assumption on this quote from Kiffin after Sunday's loss: "We'll go back to work tomorrow and get this thing fixed."

Wrote Ostler: "There you go. Put in a new clutch, rotate the tires, wax the paint, badda-bing, the Raiders will be ready to roll."

Trivia time

The Washington Huskies, coached by Rick Neuheisel, finished the 2000 season with an 11-1 record and a No. 4 Bowl Championship Series ranking after defeating Purdue, 34-24, in the Rose Bowl. Who was the Purdue quarterback?

More Ostler

Wrote Ostler in another column: "Further proof that the Mitchell Report is shamelessly padded with filler and rife with inaccuracies. I'm in it, and misspelled. It's on Page 4 of Appendix C, which is hard to find, especially if you, like me, are unfamiliar with the Dewey Decimal System or Gray's Anatomy (the book, not the TV show).

"But there it is, citing me, Olster, Scott, as author of a 1996 column . . . that was somehow relevant to the steroid situation. Thus proving that I, or someone with a surname vaguely similar to mine, was on the cutting edge of performance-enhancing journalism."

And then this

Ostler on the University of San Francisco's hiring Eddie Sutton, 71, as basketball coach: "And John Wooden says, 'What am I? Chopped liver?' "

The columnist also notes that Phil Woolpert, who coached San Francisco to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, died in 1987 -- at age 71.

Some Guy

In better times for the Raiders, punter Ray Guy, nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, averaged 42.4 yards a punt from 1973 to 1986 and was known for his hang time, once hitting the Superdome's overhead scoreboard.

Guy told the San Jose Mercury News: "We had 11 players on our coverage unit -- 12 if you include the football."

The new hat trick

Dan Daly of the Washington Times points out that the old Gordie Howe hat trick -- a goal, an assist and a fight in a hockey game -- has taken on a new meaning in other sports.


Basketball: "Shaquille O'Neal hat trick -- a dunk, a blocked shot and an airball from the free-throw line."

Football: "Terrell Owens hat trick -- a touchdown catch, an excessive-celebration penalty and a postgame sound bite that gets shown on 'SportsCenter.' "

Other opportunities

Footage of NFL referee Jim Quirk's taking down Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett while breaking up a scuffle during the Packers' 35-7 loss to Chicago on Dec. 23 has been popular on the Internet and television. Also, the NFL fined Quirk one game in pay, which amounts to $8,150.

But not all is lost. Wrote Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "Quirk has since been signed as a free safety by the Dolphins."

More McKay barbs

Some of the late John McKay's postgame critiques of the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were 0-14, as shown on HBO's "Inside the NFL," recently appeared in Morning Briefing, prompting a few more from readers.

Allen E. Kahn recalled that when McKay was asked after a loss what he thought about his team's execution, he said: "I'm all for it."

From Bill Remy: "I remember him saying, 'If the meek shall inherit the Earth as the Bible says, then our offensive linemen are going to be land barons.' "

Trivia answer

Drew Brees.

And finally

The New England Patriots' Randy Moss set an NFL record Saturday against the New York Giants with his 23rd touchdown catch. Cris Collinsworth, in a comment made in September on "Inside the NFL," may have hit on why Moss had such a successful season.

"He is fresh," Collinsworth said. "He didn't play the last two years in Oakland. So he's healthy."


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