Just Call Him the Late, Great Isaiah Rider

Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer commenting on controversial Isaiah Rider of the Portland Trail Blazers:

"Known for being a wonderfully gifted player and a prolific scorer, he is also recognized for habitual tardiness, making as many excuses as baskets.

"His former coach in Minnesota said Rider must have had 42 flat tires during his stay with the Timberwolves."

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Trivia time: Who was the first player selected in the NFL's inaugural draft in 1936?

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Rah, rah: The New Orleans Saints have eliminated their cheerleading squad, prompting this remark from cheerleading director Darlene Bonis on the underachieving football team:

"We've been with them through thick and thin, and Lord knows there's been a lot more thin than thick."

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Don't bet on it: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Clip & Save (Deion Sanders' advice to pressboxers): 'When are you media gonna realize that people are going to look up to us, no matter what, so you might as well build us up.' "

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Waah! Hartford fan Doug Harbec, 27, on Whaler owner Peter Karmanos, who is moving the team elsewhere after 18 years in Connecticut:

"I hate him. I'll fight him on center ice. He took my team from me. You can't rip people's hearts out. It's not fair."

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Ouch! In honor of Chicago Bull Coach Phil Jackson, a Zen practitioner, Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune said: "What did the Zen Master say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything."

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The 10-point shot: Henry James of the Atlanta Hawks doesn't lack for confidence. When asked what his shooting range was, he replied: "Where's the exit?"

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Kachooo! Kevin Mitchell of the Cleveland Indians eats Vick's VapoRub. "My grandmother told me it was good for colds," he said. "It sure blows out those sinuses."

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Honest answer: When Cleveland Cavalier Coach Mike Fratello yelled at Bob Sura for his poor defense against Philadelphia 76er rookie Allen Iverson, Sura said:

"He's going right by me. What do you want me to do?"

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Looking back: On this day in 1980, Bill Rodgers won his third consecutive Boston Marathon. Rosie Ruiz was disqualified eight days later when it was discovered she didn't run the entire distance.

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Trivia answer: Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago, the first Heisman Trophy winner. He elected not to play pro football.

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And finally: Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times on the long-suffering Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new uniforms:

"There is a pirate ship on the shoulder. There are crossed swords on the helmet. There is red and pewter and 'Buccaneers' written in a script that looks as if it will bite.

"But none of those are the best part of the Bucs' new threads. The best is this: So far, there no cleat marks on the chests."

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