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A Few Things Worth Mentioning

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle recalls some of the favorite quotes of the sports year:

“Empty Cup(p): A 53-year-old insurance auditor from Raleigh, N.C., hopes the Carolina Hurricanes win the NHL title some day.

“ ‘I’ve been looking to get back something for all the harassment I’ve been getting all these years,’ said Stanley Cupp.

“Awareness: Miami Dolphin Coach Dave Wannstedt has a one-track mind. When he looked around his house, he knew something was different but he didn’t know what. Finally, he realized something had been added: a grand piano.

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“ ‘How long has that been there?’ he asked his wife Jan, who replied, ‘Two months.’ ”

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Trivia time: Which school holds the Pacific 10 Conference record for net yards rushing in a bowl game?

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It’s only a game, pal: Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, commenting on the Dolphins’ season-ending 27-24 loss in overtime to the New England Patriots on Sunday:

“Choke, collapse, calamity. Embarrassment, disgust, humiliation. Ridiculousness, absurdity and a partridge in a pear tree. I mentioned ‘choke,’ right?

” ... Inexcusable. This was stunning, unfathomable and, in a football sense, nearly criminal, the Dolphins finding it impossible to hold an 11-point lead with five minutes to play against the Patriots at snow-banked Gillette Stadium.”

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What? Me again? Phil Moffat of Stanford holds the Pac-10 record for most punt returns in a game, 13, against Dartmouth in 1930.

It’s a record that probably will never be broken.

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Are you ready for this? Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times: “With corporate names on anything and everything these days, here’s one we can’t wait to hear: Ex-Lax. Official sponsor for the Olympic movement.”

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Hard road: ESPN’s Beano Cook on USC’s demanding football schedule: “Nobody has played a tougher schedule since Germany in World War II.”

Long ago and far away: There are 28 college football bowl games this year, but a few games are no longer scheduled. The Bluegrass Bowl was played once, in 1958 at Louisville.

Then there was the Aviation Bowl, hosted by Dayton in 1961. Don’t forget the 1937 Bacardi Bowl at Havana or the Dixie Bowl at Birmingham in 1948-49.

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Other short-lived events include the Cigar Bowl in Tampa, Fla.; the Camellia Bowl in Lafayette, La.; the Delta Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.; the Raisin Bowl in Fresno, and the Salad Bowl in Phoenix.

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Looking back: On this day in 1977, USC defeated Texas A&M;, 47-28, in the Bluebonnet Bowl at the Astrodome.

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Trivia answer: UCLA, 423 yards, in the 1986 Freedom Bowl game against Brigham Young.

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And finally: Bill Simmons, ESPN.com columnist:

“After the Rockets drafted Yao Ming last summer, I wrote that he’d get dunked on more than a cup of coffee at Krispy Kreme.

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“I called him ‘a disaster waiting to happen,’ even throwing in the portentous phrase, ‘Mark my words.’ The lesson, as always? I’m an idiot.”

-- Mal Florence


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