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These Footballers Run the Most Incredible Interference, Hands Down

Cal State Fullerton abandoned its football program a decade ago, but its gridiron past hasn’t been forgotten.

The just-out “Ultimate Book of Sports Lists” mentions the school in a chapter on incredible excuses of athletes. To wit (or half-wit): “Cal State Fullerton football coach Gene Murphy said that one of his players claimed he was late because he had ‘pulled his wrist while running.’ ” Maybe the lad was running on his hands.

No excuse for this: I can’t believe that “Sports Lists” failed to include any of the colorful injury stories of ex-California Angel pitcher Brian Anderson.

Once, Anderson said that he cut his finger as he tried to pull up a jammed atomizer plunger from a bottle of cologne. On another occasion, he burned his cheek testing an iron to see if it was hot (It was!).

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And then there was the disastrous taxi ride he took to a shop in Beverly Hills, which left him with a sore elbow. He said it stiffened because he had draped his pitching arm across the top of the back seat during the 20-minute ride.

Stupid driving tricks: On a CHP Web site, Vince Stickel spotted this week’s prize-winner: a guy who should ride in nothing but taxis (see accompanying).

Conspiracy! Like many people, I’ve always blamed TV weathercasters for heat waves, cold spells, rainstorms, droughts, etc. This, I see now, is foolish. I should have been blaming the National Weather Service.

As Peter Duffy points out, the NWS tipped its hand the other day when it sent out a bulletin revealing that it planned to shroud L.A. in the morning (see accompanying).

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Unclear on the Concept: You may have heard of the 99 Cents Only stores, which, as the name implies, carry nothing costing a buck or more. I’ve noticed a new competitor, a string of 98 Cents Plus merchants (see photo). It’s that plus sign that caught my eye. Sort of a big loophole. I mean I recall buying a candy bar once from a vending machine in a Honda dealer’s showroom. I guess Honda could legitimately claim it was running a 75 Cents Plus dealership.

On a cheerful note: Nick Novick’s murder novel “Dead Lawyers” is set in Newport Beach, which brings to mind the line by Danny DeVito in the 1989 movie “The War of the Roses”: Question: “What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?”

Answer: “A good start.”

MiscelLAny: The elimination of the Lakers from the NBA playoffs means, of course, that they won’t make a repeat visit to the White House. Which may be a relief to the capital. On one visit, President Bush revealed that he’d asked Laker reserve Mark Madsen not to perform his trademark (and awkward) dance. “I’m afraid the Secret Service might react violently if you did,” Bush said.

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012 and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.


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