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Morning Briefing: Bryce Harper sends secret message to Dodgers (OK, maybe not)

Will Smith starred in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
(NBC Productions)

Bryce Harper made his spring training game debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, and his choice for walk-up music was interesting.

Harper came to the plate with the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” playing.

The song is an unusual choice. It’s the story all about how the title character’s life got flipped — turned upside down. It seems he was in west Philadelphia (where he was born and raised), chillin’ out and shooting some b-ball outside of school. A couple of guys who were up to no good started making trouble in his neighborhood. He got in one little fight and his mom got scared and sent him to live with his uncle and aunt in Bel-Air.

So, yes, it’s a story about how a guy finds out Philadelphia isn’t for him and ends up in Los Angeles. Strange choice for a walk-up song for a new Philadelphia Phillie.

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Mom knows best

One of the best TV shows on right now is “Mom,” starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney. Thursday’s episode centered on Christy (Faris) dealing with an addiction to sports gambling.

There’s a scene in the episode where Christy and Tammy (Kristen Johnston), waitresses in a sports bar, are dreading working 12-hour shifts during March Madness.

The owner of the bar, Adam, played by William Fichtner, launches into a speech to motivate them. Slowly, you begin to realize he is cribbing the famous speech by former Buffalo Bills coach Lou Saban.

“If we die, we die together,” Adam said. “You can get it done, you can get it done. And what’s more, you’ve gotta get it done.”

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In a text message to Buffalo News reporter Alan Pergament, Nick Bakay, an executive producer on the show, said he wrote the scene as a tribute to Saban.

“I’ve been obsessed with that speech ever since I saw it on NFL Films as a lad,” texted Bakay. “I was playing in the writers’ room and we all thought this episode was the perfect spot for it — especially with Bill Fichtner delivering it. All the Buffalo stars aligned.”

Bakay is from Buffalo, and Fichtner narrated the ESPN “30 for 30" episode “Four Falls of Buffalo,” about the team’s Super Bowl losses.

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Fight, fight!

Some people go to auto races to see a crash. But maybe those people should go in case a hockey match breaks out.

Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell were trying to qualify for Sunday’s NASCAR race in Phoenix when they had a disagreement about McDowell not getting out of Suarez’s way on the track. After qualifying, Suarez went over to talk to McDowell about it. McDowell shoved him, Suarez took him down, and others intervened to break it up.

What was the big deal?

“Just lack of respect. Track position is big in these races these days and you have to qualify well to have a good stall on pit road. ...” Suarez said. “Just a lack of respect. Everyone here in the garage knows the second [qualifying] lap is the good one. You have to try to get out of the way if somebody is coming for a hot lap. He didn’t. He killed me in one corner. I thought he was going to get out of the way in that second corner and he didn’t, and I almost wrecked him. And I think he was disappointed because I was trying to wreck him afterward. But that’s racing.”

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McDowell had a different view of it, saying, “Just miscommunication on the racetrack. We all kind of waited until the end and you just had a lot of traffic. So, just unfortunate. He was upset that I held him up on his good lap and then he tried to crash us. So I just didn’t appreciate it.”


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