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All This Protection for a Goat? Quarterback Has to Be Jealous

The U.S. Naval Academy’s mascot, Bill XXVI, has been in seclusion. He has chewed his rough-grass hay in secrecy before today’s Army-Navy game, far from the prying hands of West Point cadets--at least the Navy hopes so.

The Angora goat will be the star of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Navy mascot, accepting pregame accolades and a cake for the many Bills who trod before him.

But these are hazardous times, reports Tom Bowman of the Baltimore Sun. Bill’s predecessors have been kidnaped from their pens, thrown into cars and driven north toward the Hudson River. To assure it won’t happen again, extra precautions include barbed wire and a security alarm at his Naval Academy dairy farm pen.

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Trivia time: When and where was the first Army-Navy game played?

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Persistence: Navy’s Jack Dalton missed six consecutive field-goal attempts against Army in 1910 before finally making one for a 3-0 victory to preserve the Middies’ undefeated season. Navy did not give up a point during the season, finishing 8-0-1 with a scoreless tie against Rutgers.

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High praise: Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union Tribune recently asked Hall of Famer Bill Walton if the Nets’ Derrick Coleman was the most underrated player in the NBA.

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Big Bill’s reply: “Well, Michael Jordan was, but he’s not playing anymore.”

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Future Bruins? Offspring of former UCLA basketball stars are prominent in Southland high school circles. Among them are Rasheed Hazzard, son of Walt, at Venice; Kris Johnson, son of Marques and City 4-A player of the year, at Crenshaw, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr., son of Kareem, at Brentwood.

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Perfect record: An airball on a free throw is basketball’s equivalent of golf’s shank. Garfield Smith of Boston Celtics once stepped to the line for a three-to-make-two situation and missed the rim, the backboard and the net on all three.

“I probably could have come closer if I’d sat the ball down and walked away,” Smith said.

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Friendly passenger: Raymond Floyd flew to Australia last week in Greg Norman’s private jet to play in several tournaments, including the Greg Norman Holden Classic.

“You don’t know what he charged me for the ride out,” Floyd said. “I’ll have to win the damn thing to get back home.”

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Different era: When Jerry Tarkanian was coaching, a Nevada Las Vegas basketball ticket was one of the hottest items in Las Vegas. Now, university officials are giving them away and still fighting anemic attendance figures.

Only 2,091 tickets were sold for last Saturday’s exhibition against the Australian national team. Another 12,493 were given away, according to UNLV ticket coordinator Kathy Smith. A total of 6,127 showed up for the game in the 18,000-seat Thomas & Mack Center.

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Trivia answer: In 1890 at West Point, N.Y. Navy won, 24-0.

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Remembering James: Former world racing champion James Hunt left enough money in his will for his brother to arrange a wake “in the style he knows I would wish.”

Hunt died June 15 of a heart attack at age 45. His will included $7,500 for his brother Peter to arrange the wake.

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Quotebook: Charles Barkley, on himself: “Being Charles Barkley all the time is a grind.”


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