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MORNING BRIEFING

It's time to change the plugs and points

October 14, 2008|Pete Thomas | Times Staff Writer

Seen and heard on TNT, during a studio analysts' debate about NBA point guards:

Charles Barkley: "I love Steve Nash, but this is Chris Paul's and Deron Williams' league right now. I always say that Chris Paul is driving and Deron Williams is in the back seat."

Reggie Miller: "Where's Steve Nash?"

Barkley: "He's in the trunk."

Trivia time

Maurice Richard was the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season, doing so in 1944-45 in 50 games. Who was the next to score 50?

Caught in the act

Little did the University of Central Florida's Joe Burnett know ESPN's cameras would catch him in the act of directing a one-fingered salute to fans during Saturday's game at Miami.

Now the big question facing the Knights is how Coach George O'Leary will discipline the star cornerback.

Writes Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "At the very least, Joe Burnett should issue a public apology and let the world know that UCF does not stand for Uncouth Flip-off."

Jay is no John

Jay Cutler of the Denver Broncos last week boasted of having a stronger arm than legendary Broncos quarterback John Elway. Cutler then went out and, with an interception and a fumble, led his team to a 24-17 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Writes Woody Paige of the Denver Post: "The old man with the inferior arm might have rallied his team. The young man didn't."

Run for cover

The Raiders' top draft pick in 2007, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, was erratic at best during Oakland's 34-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Russell completed 13 of 35 passes for 159 yards and numerous attempts were almost intercepted.

Should fans be worried? Writes Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: "What if Russell is a scatter arm? What if that huge right arm of his is a bazooka in the hands of Mr. Magoo?"

Are you experienced?

Fark.com, channeling Jimi Hendrix, after the Matt Cassel-led New England Patriots were pounded by the Chargers at San Diego on Sunday, 30-10: "Cassels made of sand fall into the sea, eventually. Where is our Tom Brady?"

Looking back

USC fans can relate to this date in 1939, when unranked Duquesne upset top-ranked Pittsburgh, 21-13. The Dukes, under coach Buff Donelli, finished the season 8-0-1 and ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press poll.

Still-unranked Oregon State, which defeated the then-No. 1 Trojans on Sept. 25, will not climb that high.

Trivia answer

Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, also of the Canadiens, in 1960-61.

And finally

From the Seattle Times' Dwight Perry: "Our state's major football teams -- the Seahawks, Washington and Washington State -- are a combined 2-15, losing by 63, 53, 49, 41, 38, 34, 28, 26, 25 and 24 points.

"So when's the Lingerie Football League opener again?"

--

pete.thomas@latimes.com

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