Morning briefing

Times Staff Writer

Melrose has a hair apparent

The time has come for Barry Melrose to put an end to the madness, after Brady Arneson, a three-year-old from Red Wing (Minn.), was named the winner of the Hockey Moms Magazine's 2008 Minnesota Mullet Contest.

A few questions jump to mind: There's a Minnesota Mullet contest? There's a Hockey Moms magazine? There's a town called Red Wing? Do Detroit fans know about this?

Arneson, though, was No. 1 with a mullet, the Red Wing Republican Eagle reported, sporting the locks that in hockey circles have come to symbolize Melrose as much as a crooked stick brings Marty McSorley to mind.

"A lot of hockey kids want their hair to hang out of the back of their helmet," said Scott Arneson, Brady's father.

This wasn't a first for the Arnesons. Blake Arneson, Brady's older brother, also had his Melrose-ish head crowned in 2005.

It may, though, be the last for the family.

Brady posed for his photo wearing a University of North Dakota hockey jersey. That's as big a fashion faux pas as there is in Minnesota.

Trivia time

How many years did Melrose coach in the NHL before becoming an ESPN analyst?

Obama's offense

Presidential candidate Barack Obama took a moment off the campaign trail to fill the lane on the fastbreak.

Obama dropped by Chapel Hill for a pickup game with current and former North Carolina players, including Tyler Hansbrough and Sam Perkins, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

Still, even though Obama handled Kansas better than the Tar Heels did, no one seemed willing to pass Barack the rock.

Finally, North Carolina Coach Roy Williams hollered, "You've got the future president of the United States wide open."

Of course, when Obama did make a shot, those watching resisted the urge to chant, "Barack Chalk Jayhawk."

Vox populi

David Beckham is No. 16 in Time magazine's online poll of the top 100 most influential people of the year.

Imagine if he'd played in more than eight games with the Galaxy last season.

At No. 19?

Nelson Mandela.

Outsourcing of jobs?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, expressing his happiness with FIBA rules changes that will make the international game closer to the NBA, wrote on his blog, "If the rules are close enough, it creates the remote, but still possible opportunity for international officials to become NBA officials.

"That would expand the talent pool by thousands, which is a good thing."

Sounds like someone is tired of berating the same old faces year after year.

Keep on truckin'

USC tackle Sam Baker gave a video behind the scenes tour of his pickup truck, available for viewing on, during which he acknowledged the substantial financial contributions he has made to university.

Baker pointed out he bought the cheapest parking passes, "thinking they'd just look at the pass and I could park anywhere. And that wasn't the case. Since I've been at USC I've probably gotten, I would say, over 100 tickets. . . . We've gone through everything, towed, booted. Everything."

Gee, Sam, couldn't you have just finagled a handicap placard? Oh, wait, wrong Los Angeles university.

Trivia answer

Melrose spent three seasons with the Kings, getting them within three victories of hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1993. Then McSorley . . . ah, never mind.

And finally

Talk show host Jay Leno weighed in on Roger Clemens' latest controversy involving an alleged affair that started when the girl was 15 years old, "Apparently, Roger Clemens has been playing in the minors."

Rim shot, please.


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