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MORNING BRIEFING

If Michael Vick needs a job, the UFL is waiting with open arms

Commissioner says the disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback could help bring widespread exposure to the league, which is planning to start this fall.

July 06, 2009|Mike Penner

Seeking headlines during this downtime in July before NFL training camps begin, the rumored-to-start-this-fall United Football League says it would welcome Michael Vick this season.

"One of the things that is important in our premiere season is to showcase the quality of talent and the coaches, and to be able to show outstanding players who find themselves in this quagmire the NFL creates," UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue said. "Michael Vick might be that kind of player because he is . . . a phenomenal talent, but he needs transitioning back into the NFL."

Vick would play for the Orlando franchise, which owns his rights. Orlando is one of four UFL teams -- New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco are the others -- planning to begin play in October.

Huyghue provided the key to any UFL news associated with Vick.

"[G]aining as much widespread exposure for the league as possible might be addressed with Michael Vick," he said.

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Trivia time

Fred Lynn hit the only grand slam in All-Star game history in 1983 against which pitcher?

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Getting a clue

Next to the architects' forgetting how not to turn right field into a home run launching strip, the biggest mistake created by the new Yankee Stadium this season has been its ticket pricing. Other sports have noticed, and at the AT&T National golf tournament this weekend, that meant free admission for young fans.

"We don't want to have what happened at Yankee Stadium," said Tiger Woods, host of the AT&T National, which allowed free admission to children under 12. "Tickets are so overpriced that you can't bring the family. We want to have everyone come out and enjoy being in a family atmosphere, walk around, have a good time and not have it cost an arm and a leg."

Woods said letting children on the course for free gives them exposure to the game they might otherwise never experience.

"Well, I mean, we want to have kids come out here and enjoy golf," Woods said. "A lot of these kids may not have an opportunity to ever be on a golf course or play golf. This is their introduction to the game, and we want it to be memorable. We want them to come out."

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Forget the calendar

An older fan provided a moment of levity during the AT&T National's pro-am event.

According to the Washington Post, as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo approached a tee shot, one Washington Redskins fan quipped, "Hit it like it's December."

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Trivia answer

San Francisco's Atlee Hammaker.

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And finally

From Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail, after the Ottawa Senators' Dany Heatley demanded to be traded and then invoked his no-trade clause: "Is this not like subscribing to eHarmony then refusing to date?"

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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