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PEOPLE

Dec. 24, 1973
Dec. 24, 1973

Table of Contents
Dec. 24, 1973

Bowl Games
Sportsman
  • By Robert F. Jones

    He is Jackie Stewart, the 1973 World Driving Champion, who has brought to his sport a combination of qualities unique in its history: a marvelous physical talent; the intelligence and perspective to be an eminent spokesman for auto racing; and the discipline to retire at the peak of his career, a simple yet infinitely complicated personal act that few celebrated athletes have ever achieved. It is for the sum of these characteristics that Stewart is named Sportsman of 1973, a year that offered two other distinguished candidates. One is Secretariat, the winner of the Triple Crown whose triumphs focused a degree of public attention on horse racing that it had not received in a quarter century. The other is O. J. Simpson of the struggling Buffalo Bills, who added his own special stimulation to the pro football season and set an example of spirit and perseverance for every professional athlete as he broke Jim Brown's alltime NFL rushing record.

The Power
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Departments

PEOPLE

The ultimate put-on: Frenchy Fuqua, Pittsburgh Steeler running back and the flashiest dresser in football (if not the whole world). To underline his lavender jumpsuits, floor-length capes and Cavalier hats, he has ordered a pair of glass-heeled shoes, each heel to be filled with water and contain a live tropical fish selected from his aquarium to match the color of the day's outfit.

This is an article from the Dec. 24, 1973 issue

Best matched sets: The tennis whizzes, Jimmy Connors, co-No. 1 among the nation's men, and Chris Evert, No. 2 among the women. Strong runners-up were Equestrians Mark and Anne Phillips, Schick-shucksters Mark and Suzy Spitz, Weight Watchers Chris and Lynne Taylor and Designated Switchers Fritz & Sue and Mike & Marilyn. Or was it Fritz & Marilyn and Mike & Sue?

Most incongruous change of occupation: World flyweight boxing champion Chartchai Chionoi of Thailand, winner of the title three times in the last seven years. Bored with boxing, he will give it up in favor of raising lotus flowers.

Worst overstatement: Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler. After learning the Big Ten's decision to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl, he said, "This is why kids are losing respect for America."

Worst likeness: Runner Jim Ryun, trying to resemble a baseball player in another episode of Superstars competition on ABC. He missed by a mile and failed to qualify for the finals this spring.

Subliminalist sub: Bob Lurtsema, understudy to the Minnesota Vikings' four Norsemen and a virtual unknown until he began appearing in a TV ad campaign as Benchwarmer Bob. An instant folk celebrity—and richer—he allowed that he would prefer to be parted from the bench more often, "but now I'm worried it might damage my image."

Cloudiest crystal ball: It belongs to Horse Trainer Art Warner, who said of Jockey Sandy Hawley, "He's the worst rider at the track." Hawley went on to break Willie Shoemaker's season record of 485 winners and Saturday passed the 500 mark.

Best likeness: Actor Ernest Borgnine running to klieg light as the late Vince Lombardi in television's Portrait: Legend in Granite.

Most improved bettor: Senator Charles Mathias of Maryland, who wagered a basket of Chesapeake Bay oysters against Senator Herman Talmadge's bushel of Georgia peaches on the outcome of the Peach Bowl game. The last time Mathias made such a bet he lost, and had to pony up an elephant.

Most trusted: Stan Musial, who scored first in a poll aimed at finding the most believable sportsman. On a list of 192, Joe Namath ranked 156th, Muhammad Ali 190th.

Best recovery: UCLA's Bill Walton, who survived a bee sting in August and a Wolfpack bite in December.

Longest wait: Henry Aaron's 186 days between tries for homer No. 715.

Coldest hot air: The ballyhooed Atlantic crossing of Balloonist Bob Sparks. He missed by a continent, landing off the coast of Newfoundland.

Surest needle: Former Giant and Ram Defensive Tackle Rosey Grier. He published a book on needlepoint.

Least appreciated: Olga Korbut, the little Russian gymnast. First the International Gymnastic Federation became exercised about her "dangerous show-business" acrobatics and threatened to ban her backward somersaults. Her Soviet bosses did a parallel flip over the cult of personality that had grown around her. Nyet, they said, and nyet again when, injured in practice, she failed to win in the European championships.

Biggest draw: James Gronen, the 14-year-old whose soapbox racer was dragged along to a quicker start and the national championship by a hidden magnetic device rigged by his uncle, Robert Lange Sr. The All-American Soap Box Derby sponsors disqualified the winner, saying no soap. The race wouldn't wash.

Most unbearable: Michael Gilbert of Albion, Maine. Having lost 1,300 chickens to wild foxes, 500 eggs to human thieves and a calf to rustlers, he dug into some bear, a gift of a sympathetic friend. Result: trichinosis.

Worst diagnostician: Charlie Finley, Oakland A's owner who confused Mike Andrews' fumbleitis in the second World Series game with a chronically aching shoulder. Finley's doctored report failed to pass a board of his peers.

Most implausible rookie: Fairleigh Dickinson University Hockey Center John Pierce. He scored four goals and five assists in his team's first five games, not bad considering that Pierce is a) a freshman, b) 41 years old, and c) assistant pastor at St. Anne's Church in Fair Lawn, N.J.

Biggest mismatches: Bobby Riggs versus Margaret Court; Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs.

Cookiest crumble: Canadian bicyclist Jocelyn Lovell, three-medal winner at the 1970 Commonwealth Games. He received-a six-month suspension from the Canadian Cycling Association for stealing a box of cookies at a hotel in Spain and will miss the upcoming Commonwealth Games. "For 30¢," he snapped, not so gingerly.

TWO PHOTOS