Brokaw's Little Joke Makes Some News at the NCAA Convention

NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw, emcee of the NCAA awards luncheon in New Orleans, figured he'd loosen things up by leading off with a zinger.

"I'm honored that you invited me to come," Brokaw said, "especially when for $10,000 and a new convertible you could have had the top running back prospect at SMU."

That got a laugh from the audience, but not from SMU Athletic Director Bob Hitch.

Hitch, who wasn't at the luncheon, said: "I wish he hadn't said it. But I'm not going to get into an argument with a national guy. I usually don't win many of those. In fact, I don't win many at the local level."

Was he offended?

"Of course," he said. "He could have said TCU just as easily."

In a column on the Sullivan family, owners of the New England Patriots, Frank Luksa of the Dallas Times Herald wrote: "These people couldn't even build a stadium right. Urinals in the visitors' locker room were installed about a foot too high. Short players, usually running backs, had to stand on a box to--well, you know."

For What It's Worth: The only other time a team from Boston played for the NFL championship was in 1936 when the Boston Redskins faced the Green Bay Packers.

The game was slated to be played in Boston, but Redskin owner George Marshall, disgusted with the lack of support by the city that year, had the game shifted to the Polo Grounds in New York. There, before a crowd of 29,545, the Packers, led by Hall of Fame receiver Don Hutson, defeated the Redskins, 21-6.

The next year, Marshall moved the Redskins to Washington.

Trivia Time: Who is the only player to lead in rushing in two different Super Bowls, playing for two different franchises. (Answer below.)

How futile were the Rams Sunday? Peter King of Newsday summed it up best with this breakdown: "The Rams had 16 drives. Ten ended in three plays. None was longer than six plays. None covered more than 27 yards."

Chicago Bear holdout Todd Bell lost some bargaining chips when Dave Duerson, his replacement at safety, was named to the Pro Bowl. Now, Al Harris, the other holdout, finds himself in a similar fix.

The man who replaced Harris at linebacker was Wilber Marshall. It was Marshall who finished off the Rams with a 52-yard touchdown run after recovering a fumble.

Add Marshall: When he scored Sunday, it wasn't the first time he had ruined one of John Robinson's afternoons.

In 1982, Robinson's last year as the coach at USC, the Trojans opened at the University of Florida where Marshall proved to be be a one-man wrecking crew for the Gators.

He made 12 tackles, 4 for losses, and continually ran down Trojan tailbacks from behind as the Gators won, 17-9.

From Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune, refusing to concede the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Bears: "Chicago is the city of broad shoulders and narrow trophy cases."

Trivia Answer: Wendell Tyler. In 1980, he gained 60 yards in 17 carries for the Rams as they lost to Pittsburgh, 31-19. In 1985, he gained 65 yards in 13 carries for San Francisco as it beat Miami, 38-16.


Chicago Bear quarterback Jim McMahon, looking forward to the Super Bowl in New Orleans: "I'm ready for Bourbon Street, but I don't know if Bourbon Street is ready for me."

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