Morning Briefing: Mack Brown had a reunion with a former player in the most unusual place

Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown
Mack Brown
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

North Carolina football coach Mack Brown, 67, had a knee replaced Monday. OK, hope everything’s fine, but what’s the big deal about that?

His knee was replaced by a former player who is now a doctor.

Dr. Michael Bolognesi, a defensive back with North Carolina from 1989 to 1993, performed the surgery. Brown coached the team from 1988 to 1997 and was hired in November to coach the team again.

“How cool is it that one of our former players replaced my knee yesterday,” Brown said in a statement. “We talk about building young men so they can be productive husbands, fathers and citizens.


“Carolina produces a lot of special people and I’m happy we were able to play a small part in Mike’s development because we counted on him and he, along with the rest of the surgical and anesthetic team, did a tremendous job.”

If Bolognesi has any sense of humor, he made the coach do some up-downs before the surgery.

Belmont in the lead

With horse racing’s Triple Crown series moving to the Belmont Stakes, many fans still are concerned after the 26 horse deaths this season at Santa Anita.


Belmont Park, site of the Belmont Stakes, however, is one of the safest in the country.

Belmont Park’s 2018 fatality rate of 0.98 per 1,000 starts is significantly under the national average of 1.68, compared with a 2.42 fatality rate at Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, and 2.33 at Pimlico Race Course, which hosts the Preakness.

“They’ve just turned the corner” on track safety, said Mick Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory in Lexington, Ky., at a Tuesday news conference.

“Not all the racetracks have kind of turned that corner where they feel like this is how they manage it. And that’s really where they’re in the lead.”

Tyler Gaffalione, who won the Preakness aboard War of Will, says, “I love the track at Belmont. Every time I’ve gone there it’s been very consistent. It feels like every horse gets over it well. It plays fairly. You can be in front. You can come from behind. I think they do a tremendous job.”

Tom not-so-terrific

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has filed for trademark protection of “Tom Terrific” to protect the phrase for use on clothing and trading cards.

Baseball fans in New York, specifically of the New York Mets, are not happy. To them, and many baseball fans, there is only one Tom Terrific: legendary Mets pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.


The Mets also are not happy and appealed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday to deny the claim, then went to Twitter to take their case public, tweeting out a photo of Seaver in his prime with “Hey @uspto, with all due respect to @TomBrady...There’s only one #TomTerrific to us.”

Meanwhile, fans of the animated series “Tom Terrific” reflect on that show and wonder, “What about us, what about us?”

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