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Sizing up the rivalry in Oregon

Times Staff Writer

Rivalries being what they are, it’s hard to say there are many better than the one involving the University of Oregon and Oregon State. Get serious here. What’s worse than something called the “Civil War”?

Usually, whatever’s going on in Eugene and Corvallis is far from civil.

And now, just in time for the college football season, the whole rivalry thing has taken on a new dimension.

Literally.

So cue the yell leaders.

Our board’s bigger than yooour board. Our board’s bigger than yours . . .

Ouch, that hurts.

Oregon is erecting a new video board at Autzen Stadium that’s 88 feet wide and 33 feet high, Ryan White of the Oregonian reported. That makes it bigger than the board at Reser Stadium that Oregon State installed before last season.

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The board at Reser Stadium had been the biggest in the Pacific 10 Conference.

So what’s the next step for the Beavers? Contacting the board of directors, probably.

Trivia time

Which Major League Baseball team was the first this season to attract 2 million fans on the road?

He saved the game

Jerome Holtzman, the legendary Chicago baseball writer whose death at 81 was announced Monday, is well-known for having created the formula for a “save” in 1959, adopted by MLB in 1969.

What you may not know is that Holtzman’s “save rule” was the first statistic adopted as an official baseball rule since the “run batted in” in 1920.

Now batting . . .

First he’s allegedly canoodling with Madonna, now Alex Rodriguez is joining the same team that represented Britney Spears.

Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger, has signed with the Beverly Hills-based William Morris Agency after six months negotiating a deal designed to “burnish his appeal as an athlete with appeal beyond his sport,” according to reports.

Other current and former agency clients include John Travolta, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson, Willie Nelson, the Rolling Stones and Michelle Wie.

The annual revenue of WMA is estimated at about $275 million -- or the same as what A-Rod will earn over the term of his Yankees contract.

Drumroll, please

If Nick Faldo, captain of the European Ryder Cup team, really has persuaded Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain to be part of his “backroom” staff, as the London Sun reports, what kind of retaliation should we expect from Paul Azinger, Faldo’s U.S. counterpart?

Let’s say Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee (maybe he’ll bring Pam Anderson along too).

Sopranos = soccer

According to a report by Reuters, Italian police said that an organized crime gang tried to acquire Serie A soccer club Lazio “through third parties using funds gained from violence and intimidation.”

Rome police have served arrest warrants to 10 people.

Don’t you bet David Stern wishes Tim Donaghy were one of them?

He’s no loser

How to Make the Most Out of Losing, by golfer Rocco Mediate:

He charmed a lot of folks when he lost to Tiger Woods in a 19-hole playoff at the U.S. Open -- apparently enough of the right ones so that he was invited to the LG Skins Game in November at Indian Wells.

Trivia answer

The Boston Red Sox, passing the mark Sunday against the Angels in front of 44,164 at Angel Stadium.

And finally

Will Ferrell, who accepted Tiger Woods’ ESPY for “Best Male Athlete,” and later appeared on the “Late Show” with David Letterman, said Woods probably didn’t know Ferrell was accepting the trophy for him: “I don’t think so . . . technically, I get to keep the ESPY. He’s got enough of them.”

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thomas.bonk@latimes.com


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