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And the Rest, as They Say, Is History

Times Staff Writer

Cade McNown, UCLA’s all-time passing leader, whose pro football career ended in 2003 because of a shoulder injury, earned a degree in history from his alma mater last month, and two months ago got married.

He met his bride, Cristina, about a year and a half ago, but the relationship did not get off to a great start. Cristina had just moved to L.A. from the Bay Area and had never heard of McNown. After their first meeting, about all she knew about him was that he once played football and was friends with Wayne Gretzky.

“The night after I met Cade,” she recalled, “I called my best friend, Leah Forester, and told her I had met a good-looking guy who said he used to play football. Leah hadn’t heard of him either but called a friend of hers, who told her, ‘I think he is Wayne Gretzky’s driver.’ ”

Trivia time: Who is the only UCLA quarterback to have won two bowl games in one calendar year?

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One possible exception: The McNowns accompanied Terrell Owens to Hollywood last week for a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel show. Cade McNown and Owens developed a friendship when McNown spent part of the 2002 season with the San Francisco 49ers.

Owens is known for not liking quarterbacks, but apparently that doesn’t apply to third-string ones.

Required reading: During the taping, Kimmel asked Owens about his problems with Jeff Garcia in San Francisco and Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

Said Owens: “I just bought this book called ‘How to Treat Quarterbacks.’ ”

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Heavenly explanation: In 2000, Owens celebrated a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys by running to the midfield star and thrusting his arms toward the heavens. Former 49ers receivers coach George Stewart told the Dallas Morning News that team chaplain Earl Smith might have had a role in Owens’ celebration.

Stewart said the chaplain told Owens the day before the game that there was a hole in the roof of Texas Stadium “so God could look down on the Cowboys.” And he added, “So if you score, go to the star and let God see you. Look up to the sky and praise God.’ ”

Looking back: On this day in 1995, John Daly won the British Open at St. Andrews in a playoff against Italy’s Costantino Rocca, who forced the playoff by sinking a 66-foot putt on the 18th hole.

Trivia answer: Matt Stevens, who was the Bruins’ quarterback when they beat Iowa, 45-28, on Jan. 1, 1986, in the Rose Bowl and Brigham Young, 31-10, on Dec. 30, 1986, in the Freedom Bowl at Anaheim Stadium.

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And finally: In his new autobiography, Owens, in describing his quick comeback from a broken leg while with Philadelphia in 2004, says, “If you’ll forgive me for saying so ... nothing short of heroic.”

He has since said he was misquoted, that he never used the word “heroic.”

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times wrote that Owens “is reportedly so mad he hasn’t spoken to himself in days.”

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Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.


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