Writers Beginning to Bore Sampras With Bland Label

Pete Sampras talking to Pat O'Brien in Inside Sports magazine about his bland image:

"I'm just not controversial. They (fans) want me to be someone that I'm not--yelling at an umpire, throwing a racket.

"They want me to do something that's worth writing about. Well, maybe I'm not the boring one. Maybe it's the people who are writing who are boring."

Trivia time: When was the last time that USC beat UCLA and Notre Dame in football in the same season?

Jurassic Park II: Joe Tofflemire, Seattle Seahawk center, tripped on the stairs entering his garage recently and chipped a bone in his wrist.

While on all fours--and cursing--Tofflemire's son came in and asked, "Daddy, are you playing dinosaur?"

Quack, quack: Joe Namath guaranteed a victory for his underdog New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl--and he delivered.

Now Oregon Coach Rich Brooks is making a similar prediction, saying the Ducks will "stun the college football world" by beating heavily favored Penn State in the Rose Bowl game.

Namath backed up his boast on the field; Brooks has to rely on his headset from the sideline.

Court comedian: Eddie Sefko in the Houston Chronicle: "The Rockets already have had rookie referee Tom Donaghy twice this season.

"Donaghy is getting a reputation around the league because he's a Jerry Seinfeld look-alike, especially when he opens his mouth to make a call, which is often."

Late fame: Robert Parish of the Charlotte Hornets, assessing his career when he played for the Boston Celtics:

"For my first 11 years in Boston I was never considered a great center. We won championships. I was an All-Star, but I wasn't any good.

"Then, in the last three years, all of a sudden I was a Hall of Famer. Go figure."

Collector's item?The Chicago White Sox mailed out four 1994 World Series tickets to each season ticket-holder.

"We wanted to remind them of what might have been," promotions director Rob Gallas said.

FYI: Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers caught 16 passes against the Rams last Sunday night, the third highest total in a single game in NFL history.

The record? Tom Fears of the Rams caught 18 passes on Dec. 3, 1950, against the Green Bay Packers.

Looking back: On this day in 1980 Roberto Duran, saying "No mas, no mas," quit with 16 seconds to go in the eighth round in New Orleans, allowing Sugar Ray Leonard to regain the WBC welterweight title.

Trivia answer: In 1981, USC beat UCLA, 22-21, at the Coliseum and Notre Dame, 14-7, at South Bend, Ind.

Quotebook: Gene Stallings, Alabama football coach, on quarterback Jay Barker: "He never loses his poise. He's always in control. If it weren't for Jay, I don't know where we'd be."

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