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Push-Button Cash Is Green Frosting on Capitalist Cake

Sport gets a lot of credit for helping break down international barriers. But a recent episode involving Frank Musil, the Calgary Flames’ Czechoslovakian defenseman, probably says more about a cross-cultural gap between East and West.

Said Musil: “I’d never seen anything like it. (My friends) said, ‘Do you want some money?’

“I said, ‘Well, sure, but where am I going to get it?’ And they just punched a few numbers and all of a sudden, money came out of the wall.

“I just couldn’t believe it. Things like that North Americans take for granted. It doesn’t come as a common thing for us.”

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Trivia time: Six former USC assistant football coaches went on to head-coaching jobs in the NFL. Name them.

Classroom without walls: College football coaches love to motivate their players with the notion that playing in a bowl game is an experience they will never forget.

After what the Richmond News-Leader called a “quick, disciplined look at Bourbon Street,” a couple of Sugar Bowl participants know what it means to have been chaperoned in New Orleans.

Tennessee quarterback Andy Kelly, a native of Dayton, Tenn. (population 6,140), said: “You don’t see a lot of things like that where I come from.”

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And Virginia center Trevor Ryals said: “What was it like? Let’s put it this way: There weren’t a lot of choir groups singing on the street corners. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’d like to come back some time when I’m in a position to enjoy it.”

Add bowl experiences: During their visit to the Phoenix area for the Fiesta Bowl, three Louisville players--defensive tackle Dan Gwanger, punter Klaus Wilmsmeyer and quarterback Browning Nagle--walked out of a club in Tempe shortly before it burned to the ground.

Gwanger told the Louisville Courier-Journal: “It was wild. We were standing outside ready to leave when we saw all this white smoke coming from the roof, and then the fire trucks came and we got out of there.”

No injuries were reported.

Hold the balloons: Because the 1992 Republican National Convention will take place in Houston from Aug. 17-20, and because convention officials must have access to the Astrodome for 26 days beginning in late July, the Oilers will be forced to play at least three exhibition games on the road and the Astros will set a major league record for the longest trip in history.

Said Astro Manager Art Howe: “You have to try and look at the bright side. If we have to play one month on the road, then we must have to play a month at home, also.”

Public power play: Sportscaster Keith Olberman’s 1990 “Year in Review” show on KCBS-TV aired Jan. 12, so the statute of limitations on this sort of thing must be open-ended.

For auld lang syne, here’s the “Best Bet” from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Dec. 31 edition:

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“The North Stars ring out the old year with a game against Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings at 7:35 tonight at Met Center. Fans are invited to come down to the ice after the game and skate.”

Trivia answer: Al Davis (1957-59), John McKay (1959), Don Coryell (1960), Joe Gibbs (1969-70), Wayne Fontes (1971-75) and John Robinson (1972-74).

Quotebook: Seattle Seahawk Coach Chuck Knox: “There’s two things in coaching. One is winning and two is misery.”


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