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DAN SHAUGHNESSY

Soccer footnotes and other pieces

Picked-up pieces while dusting off my 8-track cassette of ``Brass Bonanza," official theme song of the Hartford Whalers:

No phone calls to my home tomorrow morning after 10 a.m., please. I'll be locked in an air-conditioned, soundproof room, watching every second of the US vs. Ghana in World Cup action (either that, or sticking needles in my eyeballs). I understand our lads are intent on winning it for Freddy Adu.

Life Imitates Art Dept.: You can be sure Ron Shelton felt a chill when he watched Phil Mickelson implode at the US Open Sunday. Shelton and John Norville co-write ``Tin Cup" in 1996, a film in which Mickelson played himself in a cameo. Ten years after, Phil did a pretty good impersonation of the Kevin Costner character, and a lot of Monday's newspaper headlines referenced Shelton's classic flick. ``His sin was also what makes him great -- arrogance," said Shelton, who also wrote ``Bull Durham" and pitched in the Orioles system. ``The gods gave him a break on that first shot, but when he needed to go to his No. 7 and wedge, he kept trying to hit the impossible shot." Shelton has a new baseball film in the works, tentatively titled ``Our Lady of the Ballpark." Naturally, his lead character winds up pitching for the Red Sox.

Time for the Patriots to put Gary Glitter's ``Rock & Roll, Part 2" on the shelf. The artist just got sentenced to three years in a Vietnamese prison for sex crimes involving underage girls -- not his first offense. The NFL has recommended teams cease using the tune. Even though the song added some extra color when Foxborough fans tossed snow in the air after Tedy Bruschi's TD interception return against Miami a couple of years ago, it's time to say goodbye to anything associated with Glitter. ``I don't anticipate the song is going to be used this year," said Patriots publicity czar Stacey James.

It just never stops for the poor folks who live in America's File Cabinet. Hartford got used by Bob Kraft when he was trying to find a home for the Patriots, and now Hartford has to watch the Whalers win their Stanley Cup in the hockey hotbed of Raleigh, N.C. At least things worked out for Peter Laviolette, a Franklin native who almost became coach of the Bruins. Laviolette's contract is up, but the Carolina owner says they'll keep the champion coach.

We love Bronson Arroyo -- great hair and all that -- but his 9-3 record and 2.47 ERA are a strong indictment of the National League. The senior circuit stinks right now, and the Sox are truly thankful for interleague play.

Four of the eight College World Series finalists are from the ACC, which explains how tough it is for Boston College to field a competitive baseball team in the nation's best conference. The Eagles were stunned a couple of weeks ago when head coach Pete Hughes packed up and left for Virginia Tech, but the program has been turned over to capable assistant Mikio Aoki.

Forget about the Johnny Damon treatment; it'll be nothing but cheers when Pedro gets the ball here next Wednesday.

If you haven't read Tom Verducci's Sports Illustrated piece on David Ortiz, find a copy at the dentist's office. Like Big Papi, Verducci is at the top of his game.

Here's hoping Mark Cuban does not buy a baseball team.

New Wild director of hockey operations Chris Snow should take Chuck Waseleski with him to Minnesota. The Maniacal One could be the Bill James of the NHL.

Say what you want about Curt Schilling (and I have), the big guy knows how to demonstrate some class. He left a bottle of champagne for Frank Robinson yesterday. Frank managed young Curt and put Big Schill on the straight and narrow. Schilling wanted to thank Frank for helping him get to 200 wins.

Now that Mike O'Connell is a consultant and scout for Los Angeles, will the Kings be more aggressive in their attempts to take captain Brian Boyle out of the Boston College lineup next year?

Think Ben Roethlisberger is a daredevil? Patriots special teams star Larry Izzo will be in the cockpit of a Blue Angel in Westfield tomorrow. ``I believe he will be wearing a helmet," said James.

Seeing the Mets in first place reminds me of ``Frequency," one of the underrated films of our time. Rent it.

Keep an eye on Notre Dame's Jeff Samardzija . The Cubs picked him in the fifth round two weeks ago, and the 6-foot-6-inch righty is already in their farm system, though he plans to return to South Bend to catch passes for Charlie Weis in the fall. Charlie didn't know much about the tall wideout when he took the job, but Weis and Notre Dame baseball coach Paul Mainieri drove to Wrigley Field last summer and Mainieri told Weis that Samardzija would be his top receiver. Samardzija caught 15 touchdowns for the Irish. He has the tools and toughness of former Bronco Ed McCaffrey. A choice will have to be made.

Red Auerbach still believes Len Bias was a clean athlete who just got carried away and celebrated too hard the night after he was drafted. Red was never the same after Bias died. Neither were the Celtics.

Bret Hedican is a lucky man. Already married to Kristi Yamaguchi, now he gets his name on the Stanley Cup.

My absolute favorite thing about soccer is stoppage time. The whole world is watching and one guy on the planet knows how much time is really left. At any moment, the guy with the watch can throw up his hands and say, ``That's it." Really adds to the drama.

Professional athletes and their families can be just like the rest of us sometimes. Jonathan Papelbon's mother called the Globe because she hadn't been able to get her son's official Globe medallion. ``I like to collect things like that because it might mean something to him when he's older," said Sheila Papelbon.

The Red Sox will honor their 1986 American League champions when the Mets come to Fenway next week. Oil Can Boyd, Bruce Hurst, Marty Barrett, Wade Boggs, Dwight Evans, and Jim Rice are among those who've said they're coming. Roger Clemens can't make it. He's the only guy who's still playing. No word yet from manager John McNamara, but the Sox say Bill Buckner had to decline an invitation because he is visiting colleges with his son. Too bad on Buckner. There'd be some justice if he came back and got a standing ovation in the wake of the Sox' World Series win.

In the immortal words of Stephen Stills, what a field day for the Heat.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. His e-mail address is dshaughnessy@globe.com.

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