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Rooney Missed a Golden Chance

It was noted in this space the other day that Art Rooney made the U.S. Olympic boxing team in 1920 but did not participate. It may have cost him a gold medal.

The lightweight champion that year was Sammy Mosberg of the United States. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Press, Rooney beat Mosberg in the Olympic trials and beat him again after the Games.

Said the Press: “Rooney had two pro fights, winning both, and then retired from the ring.

“In his hell-raising days, although he denied that he ever liked to fight, Rooney seemed to do quite a bit of it. For pocket money, he and his brother, Dan, who later became a priest, went to carnivals and took on the house fighter. Anyone in the crowd could accept the house fighter’s challenge and earn $3 a round for as long as he lasted. The Rooney brothers’ only problem was to make sure the house fighter lasted.”

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Add Rooney: It was his contention that football players were no match for anyone who had boxed. Said the Press: “When a former Pitt tackle named Luby DeMeolo debated the point, Rooney sent for boxing gloves, moved the furniture in his office out of the way and proved to DeMeolo’s satisfaction that he knew what he was talking about.”

Trivia Time: What college football coach set a record by going winless in eight straight bowl games? (Answer below.)

The Sporting News ran this letter from John V. McHale of Lackawanna, N.Y.: “The biggest myth being promulgated in college sports is that of the success of the University of Iowa football program.

“Here is Iowa’s record in the last three years against teams ranked in the Top 10: 1985-86, beat Michigan, lost to Ohio State and UCLA; 1986-87, lost to Michigan and Ohio State; 1987-88, lost to Tennessee, Michigan and Michigan State. That’s seven losses in eight games!

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“Iowa has played 10 nonconference opponents in the last three years, and only one, Tennessee, went on to play in a bowl game.”

Note: Iowa’s nonconference opponents this season are Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State and Hawaii.

Philadelphia Eagles center Dave Rimington, recently acquired from Cincinnati, is called “the fat kid” by Coach Buddy Ryan, but Rimington said, “When he called me fat, I just told him I was happy to be playing for a coach whose clothes I could wear.”

Now-you-know Dept.: Courtesy of UPI, here are the names of those six pure-bred German shepherds that guard the home of Ivan Lendl in Greenwich, Conn.: Misha, Vashik, Pluto, Aztec, Nadia and Caydon.

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From Arnold Palmer, 58: “If I die tomorrow, well, I’m playing golf. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. My father played 27 holes the day he passed away and enjoyed every bit of it. Not the passing away, of course.”

Trivia Answer: Paul (Bear) Bryant of Alabama. He was 0-7-1 in 1968-75. He then won seven of his last eight bowl games, including two for national championships.

Add Bryant: When he received an NCAA award for breaking Amos Alonzo Stagg’s record for wins, he said, “The last time I received anything from the NCAA it was probation.”

Quotebook

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Agent Michael Barnett, promising that Wayne Gretzky won’t try to join wife Janet Jones in the film business: “His interest in acting is commensurate with her desire to play left wing.”


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