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Words Worth 1,000 Pictures When Walsh Runs Off Trap

It must be college football season. Stanford Coach Bill Walsh has thrown out the ceremonial first insults.

He once zinged USC by questioning its collective intelligence. Last year, he labeled Washington a football factory and made the Huskies so mad that Walsh sent a case of wine to the coaching staff as an apology. Come this fall, the soapbox is the book, “Rough Magic,” a behind-the-scenes look at the 1992 season, Walsh’s first back at Stanford.

Writer Lowell Cohn was given full access to coaches’ and team meetings. Among Walsh’s comments:

--On Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz, who blamed his team’s 33-16 loss to Stanford in part on the Irish being in mid-terms: “Lou Holtz is just a brat. Very bright, outstanding coach, but he’s a little spoiled brat.”

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--On USC: “This team we’re playing is yesterday . . . a team of the ‘60s trying to hold on to the past. . . . We beat Yesterday U.”

Add Walsh: “Anybody whose name appeared in the book, I wrote ‘em a letter,” the Cardinal coach said sheepishly. “I’m not mad at Lowell. He’s a nice guy. I’m mad at myself for not realizing what would happen.”

Trojan Coach John Robinson, for one, didn’t seem bothered.

“Bill’s an old friend of mine,” he said. “He said the same things we all tell our teams. We don’t say them with a writer in the room.”

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Trivia time: Who has the longest active losing streak in NCAA Division I-A football?

Record redux: As part of the filming of the TBS documentary, “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream,” which chronicles Aaron passing Babe Ruth to become baseball’s all-time home run leader, he was reunited with Cliff Courtnay and Britt Gaston. They are better known as the teen-agers in bell bottoms who tried to congratulate him near second base during the record-breaking trot.

“I always wondered what happened to those guys,” Aaron said. “Looks like they turned out OK. They sure do have something to tell their kids about.”

Courtnay and Gaston, both 37, have become successful businessmen. They could also have had another kind of record--jail time--for the stunt, but when the two came to trial, Aaron helped to get the charges dropped.

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“I told the judge they meant no harm,” Aaron said. “Really, I was kind of surprised more people didn’t come out of the stands.”

Cardinal sins: Mark Lamping was recently named president of the St. Louis Cardinals, and his 12-year-old son didn’t take the news well.

Said Lamping: “He sort of had a funny look in his eye and he said, ‘Dad, they stink! All of the kids are going to make fun of me.’ ”

Trivia answer: Kent, with 16 consecutive losses.

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Quotebook: From Jay Leno: “Anybody watch the Little League World Series? I thought it was kind of sad. Michael Jordan struck out three times.”


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