For Robinson, Rose Bowl Was Brief Encounter

John Robinson will make his fourth trip to the Rose Bowl as a head coach with USC on Jan. 1, but he was there first as a player, with Oregon in 1958 when the Ducks lost to Ohio State, 10-7.

"I played end and got in for about the last seven seconds," Robinson recalled. "Ohio State had a big All-American lineman [Aurelius Thomas] and when the game ended, he hugged me and said, 'You played a great game.'

"I said 'thank you.' "

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Trivia time: Who are the four semifinalists in the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf, to be played Dec. 30-31 in Scottsdale, Ariz.?

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Bring 'em back: The NBA may regret losing its replacement referees when it comes time to balance its books. In 5 1/2 weeks, the replacements suspended 27 players for a total of 29 games. By contrast, writes Bob Fedas of the Boston Globe, only 21 players were suspended all of last season.

That adds up to a lot of revenue from fines.

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Symmetry: The Lakers' starting lineup of Cedric Ceballos, Elden Campbell, Vlade Divac, Anthony Peeler and Nick Van Exel made six field goals each Wednesday night in a 109-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

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Ouch: Comedy writer Argus Hamilton, quoted by Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle, on UCLA's Terry Donahue moving to CBS as a football analyst: "After 22 years in the public eye, he'd like a little privacy."

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Different strokes: Art Modell, are you listening?

After Cleveland Indian General Manager John Hart signed free-agent pitcher Jack McDowell for $10 million over two years, he explained the philosophy of the baseball team:

"Dick Jacobs [the team owner] kept saying, 'This city is a baseball treasure, and because of that we have to do whatever we can to win.' "

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Wants the Worm: Doc Rivers, the San Antonio Spur veteran point guard, thinks it was a mistake to let go of Dennis Rodman, despite the commotion he wrought with his changing hair color and his off-the-wall comments and behavior.

"All that stuff means nothing," Rivers said. "Dennis is a basketball player. We miss more than just his rebounding. We miss his attitude, his air of toughness. He put fear into people."

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One man's view: This is how Arizona Republic columnist David Casstevens viewed the Mike Tyson-Buster Mathis Jr. fight:

"A convicted rapist earned $10 million by knocking out a fat man in a mismatch promoted by an ex-con who remains under indictment for insurance fraud.

"As Don King would say, only in America."

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Climate change: As former Philadelphia Eagle Coach Buddy Ryan neared the end of another disastrous season with the Arizona Cardinals, columnist Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote: "Ryan must be feeling the same heat he once felt in Philadelphia. At least in Arizona, it's a dry heat."

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Trivia answer: Masahiro Kuramoto, Barry Lane, Mark McCumber and David Frost. One of them will collect $1 million.

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Quotebook: Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller, after watching Philadelphia's Vernon Maxwell score 22 points in one quarter: "He looked like me out there."

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