How to make a name for yourself

An eighth-grader's composition tests the patience of a teacher and the knowledge of a sports fan
April 09, 1973

Some history books say those giants from the land of the midnight suns, the Vikings, or nordiques, discovered America. They say this took place at about the time the crusaders were going to the Holy Land to recover the Golden Fleece, a valuable rams skin, from the Saracens. The knights, led by kings and cardinals, rode on chargers and had squires and falcons. These fighting saints had to battle terrifying lions and tigers, known in those days as bengals, as well as infidels.

Another group with a lot of saints was the Celtics, some of whose chiefs were giants. They wore tams but it is not likely that they discovered America because they were lakers rather than ocean sailors.

Finally, the Spanish kings wife, Queen Isabella, made Columbus one of her admirals and bought him three ships. She had to sell her jewels to pay the bills. Guided by the north stars and the prayers of his "padres," Columbus discovered America. His crew of ruffians and pirates were no angels.

Later the Pilgrims, who were descendants of the cavaliers, or long hairs, founded Plymouth Colony. They landed their schooners on some rocks. They left Holland because they did not want their children to speak Dutch or wear knickerbockers.

When the 76ers made the American Revolution, some of the tories, or royals, said that sea raiders like Captain John Paul Jones and patriots like Tom Paine, author of "the A's of Reason," were British nationals and should be hung as renegades. They said the same about the "canucks" to the north, who preferred to be called Canadiens (the French word for maple leafs).

The British soldiers who came to fight were called redcoats, or lobsters, because they dressed in reds, including red blazers and red sox. The Continentals favored blues but were poor and motley and most of them wore white sox. After Commodore Perry reported, "We have mets the enemy and they are ours," the rockets red glare showed that the stars and stripes was still there!

In peacetime many Yankees sought fame and fortune before the mast. Some became "oilers of the sea" and like Captain Ahab sailed on whalers searching the horizons for jets of spume that meant "thar she blows!" Other "oilers" worked as codfish and sardine packers or slaughtered golden seals and penguins. Sometimes the fishermen lost their nets to those troublesome twins of the deep, sharks and dolphins. And if Aeros, the goddess of love, kindled the flames of passion, sailors would "jump ship" to live with the South Sea islanders. There were many merchants and traders wandering around in the ocean storms.

Another way to get rich was to invest a few bucks with the bears and bulls of Wall Street. But you had to know your P's and Q's. There were many artful dodgers who sold risky stocks known as "high flyers." Quite a few immigrants lost their savings to these steelers and set out across the continent to seek their fortunes as 49ers. Some found gold nuggets in streams.

These trail-blazers had to expos themselves to many perils. Although the Indians were generally friendly, their warriors, or braves, sometimes tangled with the cowboys, who called their wild horses broncos. The braves, who rode pintos and phillies, were called "redskins" although their skins were actually different shades of browns.

When ranchers were threatened by fierce raiders like the Apaches and Black Hawks, the rangers were called in. The rangers, armed with repeating colts that fired six bullets, were led by colonels who carried sabres and rode on spirited ponies called pacers.

The pioneers had to be on the lookout for dangerous beasts, especially rattlers, cougars and mother bruins with cubs. The cougars, or wildcats, liked to hide in thickets of evergreens known out West as chaparrals.

Among the birds that travelers saw were eagles, hawks, bluejays, Brewers blackbirds and orioles and cardinals, both of which have red wings.

Today the children of these adventurers cross the continent in jets, some of which are supersonics that do not even have pistons. And spacemen, or astros, ride atop rockets in search of new Americas.

ED: This composition received an F from an eighth-grade teacher named Miss Phalon who noted: "This is a disgraceful and ridiculous paper—poorly organized and full of factual, grammatical and spelling errors. If you would spend less time reading sports magazines, Robert, perhaps you would have learned a little bit about your country's history and geography."

At least Robert knows the names of the 105 major league baseball, football, basketball and hockey teams. Do you? And the hometowns of the clubs? Underline the team names that appear in Robert's essay and just above them write the correct city.

THE TEST OF CHAMPIONS

Listed in order of appearance in the composition are the names of major league clubs

S.F. Giants
Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Vikings
Quebec Nordiques
Cleveland Crusaders
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Chargers
Virginia Squires
Atlanta Falcons
Minn. Fighting Saints
Detroit Lions
Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Bengals
New Orleans Saints
Boston Celtics
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Giants
Memphis Tams
Los Angeles Lakers
K.C.-Omaha Kings
Buffalo Bills
Minn. North Stars
San Diego Padres
Pittsburgh Pirates
California Angels
Cleveland Cavaliers
N.Y. Knickerbockers
Philadelphia 76ers
Kansas City Royals
Oakland Raiders
N. Eng. Patriots
Oakland A's
Ottawa Nationals
Vancouver Canucks
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Blazers
Boston Red Sox
St. Louis Blues
Chicago White Sox
New York Mets
Denver Rockets
Utah Stars
New York Yankees
Houston Oilers
N. Eng. Whalers
New York Jets
Alberta Oilers
Green Bay Packers
Calif. Golden Seals
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Nets
Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Sharks
Miami Dolphins
Houston Aeros
Atlanta Flames
New York Islanders
Milwaukee Bucks
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bulls
San Diego Q's
L.A. Dodgers
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers
Portland Trail-Blazers
Montreal Expos
Cleveland Indians
Golden St. Warriors
Atlanta Braves
Dallas Cowboys
Denver Broncos
Buffalo Braves
Philadelphia Phillies
Wash. Redskins
Cleveland Browns
New York Raiders
Chi. Black Hawks
New York Rangers
Texas Rangers
Baltimore Colts
Baltimore Bullets
Kentucky Colonels
Buffalo Sabres
Indiana Pacers
Carolina Cougars
Boston Bruins
Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cougars
Dallas Chaparrals
Philadelphia Eagles
Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Brewers
Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals
Detroit Red Wings
Winnipeg Jets
Seattle SuperSonics
Detroit Pistons
Houston Astros
Houston Rockets

ILLUSTRATION
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)