THE YEAR IN REVIEW : Beyond the Notes, Quotes and Numbers Comes a Lighter Look Back at the Way They Were in 1988

Times Staff Writer


Problem Was, the Teacher

Did Understand Geometry

CS Northridge football Coach Bob Burt, on the academic problems of one of his players: “He’s not a valedictorian, but he’s not a bad student. He just had a problem with a geometry instructor.”


Yak, Yak, Yak

Hart basketball Coach Greg Herrick, after a loss: “That was the most horrible officiated game I’ve seen in 15 years. We were jobbed. That was the worst officiating I’ve ever seen. That was brutal. That was horrible. An evenly officiated game and we win by 10 points.”

Except They Were Shorter,

Slower and Bad


L. A. Baptist Coach Maury Neville, after watching a high-scoring, no-defense game between Montclair Prep and Marshall Fundamental: “That was like an NBA game.”

Like, Gag Me With the Kremlin

Soccer player Cam Rast of Royal High, on his visit to the Soviet Union with a U. S. Junior team: “It was awesome. Moscow is a nice, clean city. It was awesome. Playing for the United States of America is awesome.”

38, Same as His Points


Cleveland’s Damon Charlot, who guarded Fairfax’s Chris Mills, on Coach Bob Braswell’s instructions: “Braz told me that by the end of the game he wanted to know what size underwear Mills wears.”

And That Ridiculous Headlock Foul . . .

Duane Heller of San Fernando, after fouling out of a basketball game: “It was ticky-tack. One time I was fronting my man and I had my arm wrapped around his body. And they called holding.”



On the Perpendicular Bars . . .

UCLA gymnast David Mariel of Northridge: “What really ticks me off is when people come up to me and ask, ‘Hey, aren’t you a gymnastic ?’ They don’t even know the word for it.”

Then Sit Down and Have a Doughnut

Chris Schallert, formerly of North Hollywood High, on the torture of preparing for a marathon: “It just takes too much out of you. It really beats you up physically. It takes a lot out of you mentally, too.”


I’ll Have the Uppercuts to the Chin, Senor

Boxing manager Dan Goossen of the Ten Goose Gym in North Hollywood: “I can speak enough Spanish to get by in any boxing ring or any Mexican restaurant.”


Yellow Rose of Bulgaria?


Tennis player Chris Groff, who transferred to Cal Lutheran from Texas Tech, on an upcoming trip to Bulgaria: “I’m looking forward to going there. It can’t be any worse than Lubbock.”

And a Really Nice Spare Tire

Boxing promoter and publicist Bill Caplan of Northridge, beating the drum at the start of 250-pound George Foreman’s comeback: “He is like a vintage car parked in a garage for 10 years. He’s got no wear and tear and plenty of miles left.”

This Is Called a Baseball . . .


Highland Hall baseball Coach Davey Desmond, on the orientation of A. J. Rushton, an outfielder from Australia: “In the middle of our first game, A. J. turned to me and said, ‘Oh, I get it. Three swings and you’re out.’ ”

A Personal Foul

Bobby Ray McMahon of Van Nuys, self-confessed basketball nut, on his obsession: “One morning my wife wakes me up and tells me it’s 15 to 8, and I asked her who was winning.”



Like Cracking It Over Mike’s Head

George Kirchgassner, host of a baseball tournament in Florida, removed a picture of himself and Simi Valley Coach Mike Scyphers from his wall in reaction to the team’s behavior and Scyphers’ decision to withdraw after a loss midway through the tournament. Said Kirchgassner: “This picture can go in the garbage can. I wanted to use this frame for something else anyway.”

Unfortunately, We Only Have 11 or 12 Fans Returning

Dieter Hochheimer, coach and general manager of the California Kickers professional soccer team, which averaged 1,200 fans a game: “We expect to have an excellent team this year. We will have 11 or 12 players returning from last year.”


Beyond What?

Ex-CSUN baseball Coach Terry Craven, explaining why he refused to discuss the reasons for his resignation: “Obviously, you can get into some very, very minute details about, ‘What do you really mean by this, and what do you really mean by that?’ I don’t think it needs to go beyond that.”

Yeah, Coach, I’ve Got a 2 . . . a 4.0. Yeah, That’s the Ticket

Granada Hills distance coach Bob Augello, reacting to the news that one of his runners had been declared academically ineligible: “I had no idea he was having any problems. He told me everything was going fine.”


And This Guy Is Academically Eligible?

Cleveland High announces that a starting infielder is academically ineligible, but will be replaced by a player who suffered a broken hand a month earlier trying to catch a line drive bare-handed.


Skeleton Crew


Pitcher Tim Nedin of Canyon High, after a game played in frigid, windy conditions: “In the eighth and ninth innings I felt like I didn’t have any skin on my body.”

The Check’s in the Garage

Mike Steurer of Granada Hills, chief mechanic for his auto-racing brother, on a gigantic replica of a check for $10,000 the racer was presented in a victory ceremony: “The giant, fake check is real nice. I’m sure we can buy a lot of engine parts with it.”

Mommy . . . Joey Lost My Asbestos Suit


Glen Steurer, the auto race driver: “I’ve had three broken ribs, a broken thumb and got burned pretty bad on my leg once. But those are all things that can happen to you playing on a swing set.”

Perhaps If There Was Wagering . . .

Marie Meyers of Canoga Park, a potential Olympian in the equestrian event called dressage, on her sport: “Dressage is very boring. It’s very boring to me, and it’s my whole life.”

No, That’s Not My Name


Hart baseball Coach Orlin Leroy Murray, on why he goes by the nickname of Bud: “Would you want to be known as Orlin?”

So I Say To Him, ‘Lemme Tell You Something, Doc’

Mike Millett, Chatsworth volleyball player: “I was walking by the age of nine months. The doctor said, ‘You shouldn’t be able to do this. Your muscles shouldn’t be developed.’ ”



Desert Trout

Fisherman Bobb Kramer of Ventura, reacting to a West German court ruling that catching a fish was a form of cruelty to animals: “I think it’s ridiculous. That’s people like the damn Sahara Club and rest of the yo-yos who feel like that.”

Ring Around the Fender

Thousand Oaks golfer Wayne Case, describing an auto accident involving a friend while the two were playing in an Australian tournament: “He wrecked the right side of the car. He said it was all crushed in and had kangaroo stains all over it.”


That, Of Course,Is Why I’m Here

Martin O’Doherty, a player on the Young Irelands, a Gaelic football team based in the Valley: “Comparing a local player to one in Ireland would be like comparing softball to professional baseball. The best player here wouldn’t make it on a low-level club team in Ireland.”

In the Red Corner, Piiii . . . CASSO

Boxing official Marty Denkin, commenting on the state’s neurological test, part of which requires a boxer to recognize shapes: “They don’t have to be Vincent van Gogh to draw the pictures. But if they can’t remember what they just looked at, or if the doctor draws a square and then the boxer draws a circle, you’ve got some problems.”


I’ll Take What’s Behind Sheet No. 3, Monty

Dan Goossen, manager of boxer Jesus Poll, claiming neurological tests that Poll failed were culturally biased: “There are people in this world who, to them, a door is a bed sheet. That’s the only door they’ve ever seen. So if you ask this guy what a door is and he points to a bed sheet, is that a mental problem or a cultural problem?”


Much Like the Other 13 Times


Bill Bender, manager of boxer Robert Lewis, after his fighter was knocked out, sending his ring record to an unglamorous 9-14-3: “Tonight he just got caught by a good punch.”

That’s a Better Idea

Golfers Mike Reed and Kevin Norwall, after playing 147 holes without a break over a 15-hour stretch: “The Southern California record is 162 holes in one day. I guess we’re going to have to do that next year. Or maybe we won’t.”

But the Fans Knew It Wasn’t


CSUN soccer Coach Marwan Ass’ad, on the game’s failure to draw much interest in the United States: “The problem with the North American Soccer League is that the organizers treated it like baseball and football.”

And Then I Laugh

Helen Knight, after capturing the El Caballero Country Club ladies’ championship by 14 strokes, winning the event for the astounding 31st year in a row: “I get quite a bit of kidding from the other women each year. They ask why they even bother to have a club championship. I tell them because maybe they’ll win it.”

His Ears Were Close Together, Too


Dallas Cowboys administrator Joe Bailey, on strange departures by rookies from the team’s Thousand Oaks training camp: “One guy packed up and said he was going home because the lockers were too close together. He said they were so close together, he didn’t even want to try.”

Well, Except for Fast Ben

Former world champion gymnast Kurt Thomas, on training habits of Newhall’s Charles Lakes: “You can’t work out only one hour a day and be an Olympic champion.”



And Zucchini Is Like Golf

Squash player Cam Mersola of Burbank: “Squash is a lot harder game to play than racquetball. Squash is more like tennis.”

It Certainly Does

Golfer John Tamburro of Tarzana, after breaking his putter in anger and using a borrowed putter to qualify for the U. S. Amateur: “The most ridiculous thing is it’s almost exactly like the one I threw and broke. It shows how much of a mental game golf is.”


Well, They Do Have Better Uniforms

Matt Goldfield of Thousand Oaks, a self-confessed baseball fanatic, on his cable TV preferences: “You know what? I’d rather watch the Padres and the Braves than the Playboy Channel.”

I Swear, I’ll Hold My Breath

Football player Justin Fix, who quit the Canyon High team just days earlier, says he will return to Canyon: “I was thinking about playing at Palmdale. I had the papers and everything.”



And That Buick Was Quite a Struggle, Too

Cal Lutheran tight end Ken Whitney, after stunning teammates with a 600-pound bench press: “It was pretty hard.”

Now That Must Have Been a Tough Training Camp


Glendale College assistant John Cicuto, after 1 of his players dressed up as a woman for a part in the team’s talent show after 6 weeks of football practice: “A lot of the guys were saying, ‘Hey, this guy looks pretty good.’ ”

And This Was the First

Occidental College Coach Dale Widolff, on the singing debut of center Sean O’Brien, who bellowed out an operatic piece during his team’s talent show: “It was the best opera I’ve ever been to.”

Thank You, Bill


Pierce football Coach Bob Enger, on his team’s upcoming debut after a 2-year absence of football at the school: “Any football coach that has any of his mind left is going to be nervous. The players do fine in practice, but once they snap the ball (in a game) they hardly know their own name.”

Imagine That

Calabasas football Coach Larry Edwards, after his varsity team had to wear the soiled jerseys of the junior varsity team in its opener: ‘They were all dirty and smelly.”

Good Night, Coach


New CSUN baseball Coach Bill Kernen, on his players’ reaction to a practice schedule that began with weightlifting at 6 a.m. and ended with mandatory study hall at 9 p.m.: “The reaction has been that they’re real tired. They haven’t had a whole lot of time to think about it.”

Well, Do You Play Again

Next Week?

Sylmar Coach Jeff Engilman, after a loss: “We were pathetic. We didn’t block and we didn’t tackle. Can a team play any worse than that?”



And More Size, He’d Be Big

Moorpark College assistant football coach Will Thurston, on tailback Larry Roberts: “If Larry had a little more speed, he’d be an unbelievable runner.”

Also Looks Like That From Inside the Helmet


El Camino Real co-Coach Mike Maio, on parents’ complaints that he’s too rough with his players: “If I grab you by the face mask and say ‘Do this’, from the stands it might look like I’m beating you up.”

What the Heck, It Wasn’t His Money

A former associate of Barry Minkow, the Reseda whiz kid and founder of ZZZZ Best carpet cleaning who was convicted of fraud, testifies that Minkow paid people $26,000 over 6 weeks to pack the bleachers for softball games and cheer for his ZZZZ Best women’s team. Lasko said that Minkow paid youths $10 or $15 to cheer, but at one game Eugene Lasko said he screamed himself hoarse and earned a $100 Minkow bonus.

Tailback Norman Bates Takes the Hand Off


Pierce football Coach Bob Enger refused to allow his players to shake hands with an opponent after Pierce’s first game, saying he feared a midfield brawl: “I just wanted to make sure we didn’t have any psychos on our team.”

I Bet That Would Hurt

Kennedy Coach Bob Francola, asked what his father was shouting at him during his team’s 34-7 loss to Taft: “He was telling me I should have gone into aluminum siding.”

But I’d Never Do That in a Toledo Bus Station


Weightlifter Bob Lence of Newhall, on a 15-year streak of daily pushups: “Once I had to do them at 3 a.m. in a Toledo bus station to keep the streak going. It’s become like brushing my teeth.”

I’ll Talk to You Guys in 30 Years

Westlake football Coach George Contreras, explaining why he refused to talk to reporters and then ordered them off a team bus after a loss: “I’m a human being. And if Greta Garbo wants to be alone sometimes, so do I.”

Even Better Than Some 1-4 Teams


Channel Islands Coach Joel Gershon, after his team beat Newbury Park: “I think Newbury Park is the best 1-5 team in the history of high school football.”


One for Each Violation

Cleveland basketball player Adonis Jordan, after signing a letter of intent to play at Kansas before the school was hit with severe NCAA sanctions: “They had about 13,000 people there just for basketball practice.”


So Most of Them Played Dead

Royal football Coach Gene Uebelhardt: “I told the kids to play this game for someone they loved, either dead or alive.”


Never Up, Never In


Emilee Klein, 14, of Sherman Oaks, on the short putt she made to win the state women’s amateur golf championship: “All I could think was, what if I miss this? I was so nervous. I felt so nauseous I thought I was going to throw up.”

Camp Glendale

Glendale College assistant John Cicuto, after campus workers severed electrical lines and a gas line: “It was a great recruiting tool. ‘We’ve got a lot of stuff to offer you guys . . . no hot water, no lights, and sometimes you get a rancid smell that encompasses the campus.’ ”

They Blew the Woof Off the Place


CSUN basketball Coach Pete Cassidy, assessing his team’s performance in a loss to San Francisco State: “I thought we played like dog meat.”