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Quotables: Taking a pass on a Hail Mary

October 6, 2008 | 12:37 pm

Pat Haden Sports are filled with ordinary quotes, and then, once in a while, a refreshing, clever moment comes around. The latter happened twice in the last few days.

First, it was Pat Haden, Rhodes Scholar, successful investment banker, former USC and Rams quarterback and current NBC commentator on Notre Dame football. The Irish had a one touchdown lead on Stanford Saturday in South Bend, and the Cardinal was pushed back hopelessly deep in its own territory as time ran down.

"I don't think they'll try a Hail Mary pass at Notre Dame," Haden said.

Then, there was Steve Asmussen, trainer of superstar horse Curlin, winner of more than $10 million in purses, who was asked after a workout by the horse at Santa Anita Monday morning if, indeed, his horse runs in the big showdown against Big Brown, if that would be the final race for the celebrated 4-year-old before being retired to the stud barn.

"Nobody has told me that," Asmussen said, "but maybe that's because they don't want to see me cry openly."

-- Bill Dwyre

Photo: Former USC and NFL quarterback Pat Haden in May 2007. Credit: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times