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That Was a Tough Schedule

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Now that he has finally made it to Notre Dame, Lou Holtz should find it easier to prepare his teams for games against the Naval Academy.

He said it presented a problem when he was starting out at William & Mary.

“We never believed we could beat the Naval Academy,” he said. “We had better athletes, but it was a mental block. Finally, we convinced our players that we could beat Navy.

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“On the balcony of the second tier of Navy’s stadium, they had words printed that said Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Saipan, Bataan, Corregidor and Coral Sea.

“Our players, who were warming up, looked up and said, ‘Man, we can’t beat these guys.’

“I asked, ‘Why not?’ They said, ‘Look at the schedule they played.’ ”

How strong is Lawrence Taylor, the All-Pro linebacker for the New York Giants?

Linebacker E.J. Junior told Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer of the time they went bowling before the East-West Shrine Game.

“He got ready to bowl and he picked up the ball and threw it,” Junior said of Taylor. “It didn’t hit the lane until it was halfway down the alley. It knocked down all the pins--and the fiberglass backing behind the pins. You could see people walking around back there. It was a sheer act of brute strength. We kind of quietly backed away and left the alley. I’d never seen anything like that.”

Trivia Time: Former Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss, who died last Friday, made the only unassisted triple play in World Series history in the 1920 series between the Indians and Brooklyn Dodgers. The series produced another notable first by a Cleveland player. What was it? (Answer below.)

Said security officer Stanley Baroski of Harrisburg, Pa. after subduing Gerry Cooney during a scuffle in one of the town’s taverns Monday: “Larry Holmes got $8 million and I got $7.50 an hour.”

Add Cooney: He wasn’t exactly a favorite of Cus D'Amato, the crusty fight manager who died last month.

Here’s what D'Amato said after watching the Cooney-Holmes films a couple of times: “Cooney is what we called in the old days a ‘game quitter.’ This is to say he won’t lay down, but he’ll take punishment. But he’ll quit as far as winning the fight is concerned.

“Cooney would not compete, and he felt he wasn’t going to win that fight. He wasn’t trying that hard. The fight was close, closer than we originally thought.”

The Explorer: Said Atlanta Coach Dan Henning after the 38-10 loss to Kansas City, dropping the Falcons to 2-12: “I’ll search and find something positive from this.”

No word yet.

For What It’s Worth: If Auburn’s Bo Jackson decides to sign with the Angels, he will be only the second Heisman Trophy winner to opt for baseball.

Vic Janowicz, the 1950 winner from Ohio State, signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A catcher, he played 83 games in 1953-54, hitting only .214. He then signed with the Washington Redskins, but after two seasons, an automobile accident ended his career.

Trivia Answer: Outfielder Elmer Smith hit the first grand slam home run in World Series history. He hit it off Brooklyn pitcher Burleigh Grimes, who died Sunday, two days after the death of Wambsganss.

Quotebook

Houston Rocket Coach Bill Fitch, recalling his days as coach of the expansion Cleveland Cavaliers: “We were the only team in history that could lose nine games in a row and then go into a slump.”


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