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Bowl Defeat Has Hurricanes Seeing Red

It’s not easy being a Miami Hurricane. You go 9-3 and fans talk about the season as a disaster. Of course, that 29-0 loss to Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl might have something to do with that.

The talk at this time of the year is normally of an encore. Not in 1994. It’s of revenge.

“Miami’s dead? Come play us then,” defensive tackle Warren Sapp said.

A rugged schedule includes games at Arizona State, West Virginia and Syracuse. Florida State, Washington and Boston College will be among the challengers at the Orange Bowl, where the Hurricanes have 57 consecutive victories, matching Alabama’s NCAA record for the longest home winning streak.

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So when ESPN commentator Lee Corso predicted that Miami would lose to Arizona State, Washington and Florida State, Coach Dennis Erickson had a response ready for a booster club meeting.

“There’s no way Arizona State is going to beat us,” he said. “Washington beating us in the Orange Bowl? Are you kidding? And there is no way Florida State is going to come down here and beat us.”

Don’t worry about clipping and saving that comment. You can always look on Florida State’s bulletin board.

Trivia time: A.C. Green has the longest streak of consecutive appearances among current NBA players, but who is the current leader for consecutive starts?

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Racket racket: Should anyone have been surprised when Jim Courier announced earlier this week that he was taking a hiatus from tennis? Not anyone who remembered the sight of one of the game’s most talented players--No. 1 only 13 months ago--reading a novel during changeovers of his match at the $3-million ATP World Championships last November, one of the most lucrative tournaments on the tour.

“Beside the feeling that we’ve been down this burnout road with tennis players before, the most disturbing facet of Courier’s decision is that he’s among the players who have tried hard to be more than a tennis robot,” Johnette Howard writes in the Washington Post. “For the last three years especially, Courier was actively searching for something beyond tennis. And it seemed important to him to make choices that reeked integrity.

“He eschewed the air-conditioned luxury hotel suites the other tennis pros chose at the Barcelona Olympics and stayed in the athletes’ village to get what he called ‘the full experience’ of the Games. After winning his second French Open title, he surprised and charmed the Parisian crowd by delivering portions of his victory speech in French. He grew sick of the road, but tried to make the best of it by making time to see the sights in Rome or London or Khartoum when tennis took him there.

“As far back as 1991, Courier’s traveling coach, Brad Stine, was counseling Courier to take a two- or three-month break before his Angst consumed him. Stine, who was fired earlier this year, had Courier pegged, it seems. And Courier just didn’t want to hear it anymore. Maybe now he does.”

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Nice knowing you: When Jim Hess accepted the job as football coach at New Mexico State five years ago, one reason was a promise from the administration to pump additional money into the recruiting budget. He should have read the small print.

The schedule.

“They told me they’d raise the budget a couple of hundred thousand dollars each year,” Hess said. “But they didn’t tell me I’d have to play Florida and Arizona to get it.”

He does, consecutively, on the road to open this season.

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Trivia answer: John Stockton, with 363.

Quotebook: Jimmy Johnson, on Fox-TV colleague Terry Bradshaw: “Terry talks before he thinks, but I don’t think it would make any difference if he thought first.”


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