Hail Mary Falcons IIFormer NFL star Billy "White Shoes...

Off the beat

November 06, 1991

Hail Mary Falcons II

Former NFL star Billy "White Shoes" Johnson enjoyed seeing the Atlanta Falcons get a 17-14 victory over the San Francisco 49ers with a Hail Mary pass Sunday.

Johnson, who as a Falcon figured in a similar play against San Francisco eight years ago, was watching on television this time, when receiver Michael Haynes caught Billy Joe Tolliver's pass.

"When Mike caught the ball in the crowd, I said, 'What? Not again,' " said Johnson. "It's ironic that it happened on the same field to the same team. I really think it's the No. 81. I wore No. 81, and Mike wears No. 81."

The rarefied air of expansion

The National League released findings from a study on how a baseball will be affected by the altitude in mile-high Denver. Among the conclusions, for what they're worth:

* A batted ball will travel 9 percent farther than at sea level.

* A curveball that breaks 14 inches at sea level will break 11 inches in Denver.

* Hitters will have .003 of a second less to hit a 100-mph fastball.

* Outfielders will be able to throw the ball 9 percent farther.

Presumably, the seventh-inning stretch will be unaffected.

The quote

Minnesota Twins announcer Bob Casey, speaking to the crowd after a bomb threat was received by phone during during a 1970s game at old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn.: "Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic. We have been informed by the Bloomington police department that there will be an explosion."

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