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Voodoo Lady Gets Job Done for Saints

They’ll take wins for the Saints any way they can get them in New Orleans, or help from any quarter.

A New Orleans radio station last week had a voodoo ritual to remove the hex it said had hung over the Saints for 18 non-winning seasons.

Voodoo priestess Ellen Hendrick brought her eight-foot Burmese python and a box of paraphernalia to WQUE at the invitation of the station.

Hendrick, 49, chanted in a low monotone while a teen-age assistant waved the snake--named Macumba--in the air. Two young girls closed their eyes and swayed to a slow drumbeat as Hendrick lit candles, filled a bag with herbs and waved a small plastic statue of Jesus in the air.

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Last Sunday, the Saints got their first victory of the season, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-13.

When San Diego Padre third baseman Graig Nettles caught sight of Charles Kerfeld, Houston’s 275-pound pitcher, he turned to an Astro player and remarked: “When did you guys get Denny McLain?”

Paul Connor, rookie coach at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., inherited a program with twins Greg and Ken Wilson. Then he went out and recruited three more sets of identical twins.

“It was very coincidental,” Connor said. “We didn’t recruit them on purpose. Some of my friends say I did it so I would only have to spend half as much time recruiting.”

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Confusion has reigned. Connor has sent linebacker Tim Franklin into drills with the secondary, and defensive back Tom Franklin to work with the linebackers. Two of the twins have scrawled names on their helmets. At one point, the exasperated Connor asked one brother in each set to change his hair style to aid in identification.

The players have used the situation to their advantage.

“When we yell at them for mistakes, they always point a finger at the other one,” Connor said. “You don’t know if they are kidding or serious.”

When Ram nose tackle Greg Meisner finally signed a contract and reported to the team, it didn’t take him long to get the feel of football again. “Boli welcomed me back,” Meisner said. “Gave me one of his famous cobra butts.”

Boli is guard Russ Bolinger, a 10-year pro who replaced the injured Dennis Harrah at Seattle Monday night.

“Boli uses his head better than anybody I’ve seen,” Meisner said. “If he hits you with it, he can put you out.”

Meisner said he wasn’t hurt.

“I’ve been hit in the head too many times, on and off the field,” he said.

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“Remember when we were playing the Giants two years ago and somebody knocked Lawrence Taylor’s helmet off?” Meisner asked. “That was Boli. Cobra butt.”

Quotebook

Early Wynn, Hall of Fame pitcher, on the baseball pension fund: “What the hell do I need with a dental policy when I don’t have half my own teeth?”


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