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Maybe Bowman Needs to Cut Off His Crust

Shawn Burr, who played for the Detroit Red Wings before Scotty Bowman traded him to Tampa Bay last season, criticized his former coach.

“Basically he has the personality of a . . . sandwich,” Burr said. “He is the most disrespectful person I’ve ever met. He’s just a mean man with no social skills. You can’t argue with his success as a hockey coach, but the way he treats people--that’s not right.

“I could tell a million stories.”

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Here’s one: When Bowman called Burr into his office last spring, he reportedly asked the player what he thought of him.

Burr obliged, saying: “Scotty, you’re 60 years old, you play with toy trains, you use a duck call to make line changes. I think you’re [crazy]. There’s something wrong with you. I think you’re a joke.”

And, surprisingly, he was traded.

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Trivia time: What is the NCAA Division I basketball record for most overtime periods?

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No room: Chicago Bull media director Tim Hallam on the huge demand for credentials: “It’s like a wedding. You invite 200 people. Now the 201st to 225th who would have been there are very hurt. You have to draw the line somewhere.”

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Cigar bonding: Wayne Gretzky and wife Janet Jones are on the cover of this month’s . . . Sports Illustrated? Hockey Illustrated?

No, Cigar Aficionado magazine, both smoking cigars.

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Said Wayne: “I like mild, creamy cigars, usually about a 44 ring size.”

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Outraged: Utah Jazz President Frank Layden on the Orlando Magic players’ revolt against former coach Brian Hill: “Conspirators. Twelve Judases. Can you imagine this happening to Red Auerbach?”

No, but then Brian Hill is no Red Auerbach.

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The big three: Todd Phipers in the Denver Post: “Something to look forward to on NFL draft day: Barring trades, Bill Parcells, Mike Ditka and Dan Reeves pick in that order to start Round 1.”

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Minor memories: Terry Francona, the Philadelphia Phillies’ new manager, recalled when he briefly managed Michael Jordan for double-A Birmingham, Ala.:

“I’ll bet no other club had ‘Hard Copy’ following the team bus on a regular basis.”

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Game-show host: NBA television commentator Bob Costas, on restrictions imposed on him by NBC: “I’m not fulfilling a journalism role. I’m fulfilling a master of ceremonies role.”

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Trivia answer: Seven. Cincinnati defeated Bradley, 75-73, on Dec. 21, 1981.

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And finally: Cincinnati Red catcher Joe Oliver, whose salary has gone down every year, on why he didn’t fire his agent last winter:

“After all those years, I felt I owed him the benefit of the doubt. It turns out he got all the benefit and I got the doubt.”


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