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‘Oh, Sure, and Your Other Son Plays With Michael Jordan’

If King rookie Vitali Yachmenev can’t believe his good fortune--he’s among the NHL’s top-scoring rookies and has played most of this season on a line with Wayne Gretzky--he’s not the only one.

Yachmenev, who is from Chelyabinsk, Russia, said the folks back home have been surprised too.

“My mom said they get the newspaper and nobody believed I am playing with Wayne Gretzky,” he said. “She had to tell them, yes, it is true.”

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Trivia time: What was unusual about the USC-UCLA games in 1936 and 1938?

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Bleating hearts: In preparation for the Dec. 2 Army-Navy football game, three West Point Cadets recently staged a pre-dawn raid on the Maryland farm where the Navy mascots, goats, are kept. The Navy’s reaction? “We knew Army cadets were involved, because they cut through two fences to get to the goats, and 15 feet away there was an unlocked gate”

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The no-show show: It was intended to be “Welcome Back Monica” week at the WTA Championships in New York. Excited about the return of Seles to the event she had won three years in a row, tournament organizers featured Seles’ photograph on the cover of the program and the draw sheets along with the headline welcoming Seles back to the tour after 2 1/2 years.

Only problem was Seles pulled out of the tournament the week before.

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Shady shorts: Imagine the surprise of spectators in the stadium at the World Track Championships in Goteborg, Sweden, when, as the leader in the men’s marathon raced toward the finish line, he suddenly reached into his running shorts.

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Martin Fiz was merely fulfilling his contractual obligations.

The Spaniard had been paid $6,000 to wear sunglasses during the race, but because he was not used to them, he stashed them in his shorts and put them on as he crossed the finish line.

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Trivia answer: Both games were played on Thanksgiving Day.

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Quotebook: New Jersey Net forward Jayson Williams, on the problems of having expansion teams in Canada: “It takes us three hours just to get Yinka [Dare] through customs. When they asked him what country he was arriving from, he said, ‘USDA.’ ”


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