"Nice" is a word that may well have lost its meaning in sports. The modern athlete, as we have come to know him, is scarcely the nice guy he was seen to be in decades past. If we are to believe what we read and hear of him, he's closer to Jack the Ripper than Jack Armstrong. In the composite, he may be perceived as a greedy, materialistic, disloyal, ill-mannered, showboating good-for-nothing alcoholic dope fiend. The sports pages overflow with his misdeeds—his car wrecks, his cocaine busts, his barroom brawls, his suspensions, his financial improprieties, his divorces, his paternity suits, his endless contract negotiations, renegotiations and re-renegotiations, his strikes, his jail sentences. Only the most gullible among us could find any vestige of the all-American boy in this rotter. And yet in our zeal to catch him up we have embraced cynicism as feverishly as our forebears did booster-ism. The modern athlete, to his own considerable dismay, is subjected to a public examination that his lionized predecessors couldn't have imagined. Athletes in other times were hardly saints, but they were certainly better protected from probing critics.
Some good might actually come from all this public exposure. If nothing else, we may at least expect athletes of the future to be a bit more circumspect. In the meantime, we, the public, should examine ourselves. Are we, in our ravenous consumption of bad news, passing up the good? Sports still haven't lost the capacity to lift us out of our lives for a time and replace the humdrum with moments of exhilaration. And the odd part of it is, there are, despite all we hear, some rather nice things going on out there. Furthermore, there are still some nice guys left in sports. Lots of them. Let us then set aside for the time our obsession with wrongdoing and take a walk on the sunny side. Let us rejoice in those moments in this last year—and there were many of them—that caused us to pause in our workaday lives and, without embarrassment or fear of being stigmatized as naive, simply say, "That's nice."
Reggie Jackson isn't exactly famous for being a nice guy. Too bad, because he definitely can be one. When Reggie read about a badly burned 6-year-old, David Rothenberg, lying in critical condition in an Orange County, Calif, hospital, he decided to do something helpful. The youngster was truly a tragic victim, left to die in a fire set by his own deranged father. Jackson was profoundly moved by the boy's plight, especially when he learned that young David had inquired, on awakening from surgery, "How's Reggie Jackson doing? Is he out of his slump?" Reggie showed up at the hospital, unannounced, unrequested and unpublicized, and entertained the injured boy with baseball stories. "I think he was thrilled," said Reggie. "He acted a little more upbeat." Jackson continued to visit David on an almost daily basis and he donated uniforms and other baseball gear to an auction raising money for the boy's further treatment. He also gave David a uniform of his own. All this without the customary Jackson fanfare. "I was just doing what we should all do," said Reggie, "and that's pay attention to another human being." David is recovering from his horrible injuries and is back in school in his hometown, Brooklyn. He is often seen there wearing an Angels' cap.
In 1950, someone not so nice stole the one-iron Ben Hogan used with such devastating effectiveness at the U.S. Open at Merion, which Hogan won in a playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio. In the confusion on the last regulation hole the day before, the club, featured with Ben in a LIFE magazine photograph, was carted off by a larcenous souvenir collector. But here's the nice thing: Hogan got the club back in '83, 33 years after it was stolen. Jack Murdock, a golf club collector from Raleigh, N.C., had heard rumors that the famous club was still in circulation among collectors. Murdock found it and traded four other clubs for it. At a Wake Forest University Hall of Fame banquet, he told pro Lanny Wadkins that it might be Hogan's missing club. "I could tell it had been hit a lot by someone who knew what to do with it," Murdock told SI's Armen Keteyian. "I knew because it had a worn spot the size of a quarter down in the sweet spot."
February 8, 1984
Murdock believes he knows how Hogan must have felt on that afternoon in 1950. "Can't you imagine hitting that one-iron all day," he says, "then coming up to the last hole of the Open, needing a 220-yard shot, with all the pressure, the fans lining the fairway. You hit a great shot, then, just a few minutes later, the next time you see your bag the club is gone. It just tore me up. I felt the club ought to be back where it belonged—with Ben Hogan."
Murdock asked Wadkins to take the club to his home in Dallas and show it to Hogan the next time he visited with him in Fort Worth.
Several months after he gave the club to Wadkins, Murdock received this letter: "Dear Mr. Murdock, Just a note to thank you for allowing me to see and possess my old No. 1 iron. I likened this to the return of an old, long lost friend. Sincerely, Ben Hogan." Hogan subsequently donated the club to the USGA Golf House in Far Hills, N.J., where it is on display. Now that's nice.
It's especially nice when a great athlete overcomes a personal failure and turns it into a triumph. There were three notable instances of this in 1983, three occasions on which the "can't-win-the-big-one" stigma was surmounted by once-frustrated stars. Let's look at these with pleasure.
There are few athletes more popular, both for talent and personality, than Julius Erving, the "Dr. J" of the Philadelphia 76ers. Erving is undeniably one of the great all-around players in the history of basketball, a brilliant shooter, rebounder, playmaker and defensive star, an inspirational leader and, above all, a team player. His soaring drives to the basket for implausible dunks have also made him one of the game's most exciting players. He spent five years in the old ABA and led the New York Nets to two league championships. But in six NBA seasons, all with Philadelphia, he'd come up empty. The 76ers reached the finals in 1977, '80 and '82 and were turned back each time, to the Doctor's terrible frustration. The '77 loss was particularly galling since Philadelphia had taken a two-games-to-none lead and then had lost the next four.
Erving was the only player left from that team in '83. He was 33, and he had the sense that, though his airborne genius was mostly intact, time was running out on him. Besides, this was a Philadelphia team built more to accommodate Moses Malone's dominating inside game than the Doctor's flights. If Erving were to win his championship ring, it had to be soon. He had been thwarted long enough, although when asked about past failures, he protested vigorously. "I don't feel incomplete or inadequate in any way because I haven't won an NBA championship," he said. "I don't lie awake nights and think about it. I know I've given my best to the public, and the rest is really out of my hands. I can accept that."
In '83 the Sixers blasted their way through the playoffs, losing only one game. In the finals they played the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The champions fell just as the others had in the first three games, but things got tighter in the fourth. The Lakers opened up a 16-point lead in the second quarter and were still ahead by 11 at the end of the third. Methodically, the Sixers fought back. They tied the score with 2:02 remaining in the contest when Erving stole a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pass and scored on a slam. The Doctor then put his team in the lead to stay with a three-point play with 59 seconds remaining. "It was his game," said 76er forward Bobby Jones. "He said he was taking over." The final score was 115-108. Erving had scored 21 points. It was the first 76er championship since 1967. The Sixers had become the first team to go through the playoffs and the championship series with only one defeat. Their captain, the good Doctor, at last had his ring. But he didn't gloat. "I've always tried to tell myself that the work itself is the thing, that win, lose or draw, the work is really what counts," he said. "As hard as it was to make myself believe that, it was the only thing I had to cling to each year, that every game, every night, I did the best I could.
"When we lost in 1982,1 don't think I've ever been so set back. Then, for us to win in record fashion, well, it's almost as if it wasn't real. Even now there is a reluctance to put it behind me."
Erving's fans also shared his joy, in a way that few other athletes have seen. He believes there are many reasons for this—the length of his career, starting with those relatively obscure days in the ABA, his openness with the press, his charity work. "I've thought about how important our winning was to some people," he says, "maybe more important for others than it was for me. I've survived before and I will flourish again, but for many people who follow me and my career it wasn't time for L.A. to be champion again. It wasn't time for any other city to be champion except Philadelphia."
Or any other player except Dr.J.
The 1983 Indianapolis 500 was Tom Sneva's 10th, and though he'd finished out of the top six only four times, Indy was becoming his personal nightmare. In the 1975 race, his second, he was passing a slower car on the second turn of Lap 127 when he clipped its left front wheel. Sneva's car raged out of control, cartwheeled across the track and exploded in a ball of fire against the wall directly beneath the luxury suites that line the southeast curve. It was a horrifying and presumably fatal crash, but Sneva survived it, and after a week in the hospital for treatment of serious burns, he was back behind the wheel three weeks later.
"There was never a question about wanting to drive again," Sneva recalls. "The question was, would I be able to drive on the ragged edge. Everybody draws the line between being in and out of control, but some do it with a crayon and others with a sharp pencil. I wasn't sure if I could find that fine line again. It was a difficult experience. At first I treated the accelerator gingerly."
Only for a while, however. In 1977 he became the first driver to exceed 200 mph in qualifying, but he lost the race to A.J. Foyt by less than 30 seconds. In 1978 he again had the best qualifying time, but again finished second, losing to Al Unser by 8.9 seconds. In the 1980 race, driving a backup car, he started 33rd and last, but actually led for 16 laps, a brilliant demonstration of the skills that have won him two national driving championships. But for the third time, he finished second, losing to Johnny Rutherford by 29.89 seconds. He had become racing's perennial bridesmaid. In jest, the drivers started calling him "Snively."
Sneva grew up in a racing family in Spokane. His father raced sprint cars; his older brother was killed driving one. His two younger brothers drive Indy cars. Sneva is a bright and ordinarily cheerful man, a onetime junior high school principal, but in his near fanatical quest for perfection in his cars and because of his undiplomatic penchant for speaking his mind, he had earned an unwanted reputation for being hard to get along with.
But Sneva is a professional, and though he had endured serious injury and repeated frustration at Indianapolis, even though he blew half a dozen engines in the trials and qualifying, he was prepared for the maximum effort this time around. He took the lead about halfway through the race after the pole-sitter, Teo Fabi, dropped out early with a broken fuel-in-take port. Al Unser, the 4-year-old three-time Indy champion, doggedly pursued him, trading leads with Sneva for much of the race. On the 169th lap Mike Mosley lost control directly in front of Sneva. "I just tapped the brakes and prayed that he stayed against the wall," Sneva said. "If he comes off the wall, I'm done." Fortunately, Mosley's car hugged the cement, and Sneva safely passed him. When the green light restarting the race came on for the last time on Lap 177, Unser's 21-year-old son, Al Jr., who, it was later determined, illegally passed several cars under the yellow light, burst past both his father and Sneva. The senior Unser then passed his son, who stayed in front of Sneva, effectively running interference for his father. "I tried to help my dad," Al Jr. acknowledged. "I knew I was out of contention to win so I thought I might as well get between Dad and Sneva and try to mess somebody up."
Sneva felt properly "messed up." "I was standing up in the cockpit for about five laps," he said. "That's how concerned I was." Although his Texaco Star March 83C was easily the fastest car at this point, he couldn't maneuver it past Al Jr.'s skillful blocking. And the turbulence from the Unser car was affecting Sneva's performance. Sneva was feeling some of the old frustration again. Would filial devotion make him a bridesmaid once more?
His opportunity to break free of the Unsers finally came on the 191st lap, nine from the finish, when the front-runners ran into slower traffic. Sneva, who is considered one of the better drivers at maneuvering through congestion, passed Junior down the front stretch, then with all four wheels under the white line at the first corner, he lapped Dick Simon. He took Unser Sr. on the backstretch, pouring it on now at speeds up to 196 mph. "The fuel light was winking at me," he said, "and I was winking back at it." He passed the checkered flag 11 seconds ahead of the senior Unser, a winner at long last. "This feels a lot better than being a bridesmaid," he said. He was Snively no more.
She was being acclaimed as the greatest woman tennis player ever, better than Helen Wills Moody or Maureen Connolly or Billie Jean King or, yes, Chris Evert Lloyd. She had won 11 of 12 tournaments so far in 1983, including Wimbledon, and had won 66 of her 67 singles matches, losing only to Kathy Horvath in the French Open. Since Jan. 1, 1981, she had won 36 of 46 tournaments and 238 of 255 singles matches. She had won six Grand Slam titles—four Wimbledons and a French and an Australian Open. She had earned nearly $6 million in prize money, more than any other tennis professional, man or woman.
But Martina Navratilova hadn't won a U.S. Open in 10 tries. Some of her defeats were especially disheartening. In 1976 she was upset in the first round by Janet Newberry. In 1979 she reached the semifinals, then lost to teen-ager Tracy Austin. In 1981 she reached the finals but lost to Austin again, easily winning the first set 6-1, but dropping the next two 7-6, 7-6. Afterward, she sobbed uncontrollably, winning, if nothing else, the sympathy and compassion of her American audience. The following year came another great disappointment when she was defeated in the quarterfinals by her doubles partner, Pam Shriver. But late last summer she was back for one more try. Navratilova had reached the finals by demolishing a succession of opponents, losing only 15 games in six matches. But her opponent in the finals would be Evert Lloyd, who had won the Open six times.
Evert Lloyd and Navratilova would be meeting for the 54th time in their 10-year duel for supremacy in the women's game. Martina had won 10 of their last 13 matches, but Chris held the overall lead at 30-23. The two rivals are studies in contrast. Evert Lloyd plays the backcourt game, depending on expert ground strokes; Navratilova is an aggressive serve-and-volley player. Evert Lloyd, who weighs 114 pounds, is seemingly fragile; Martina, a physical-fitness addict, is a tightly muscled 145. Their personal relationship is sharp-edged. "I've had seven great years," Evert Lloyd remarked last year. "Martina has had but two—that's really all she's had." Evert Lloyd considered their contrasting histories in the Open a psychological advantage for her. Would Martina feel the pressure of her past and fail once again?
Martina suffered from prematch jitters. "Five minutes before the match my knees started knocking," she admitted, "and I thought, 'The time is now.' " She had defected to this country from Czechoslovakia during the 1975 Open and had become a U.S. citizen on July 21, 1981. The Open was now "my own national championship, so it is very different from any other tennis tournament."
Different in another way, too, because now people were actually rooting for her to succeed. "Usually I get people pulling for the other player because I'm the favorite," Navratilova said recently. "But at the Open I had very many supporters. They knew I had never won it and they realized how badly I wanted to win."
Navratilova took to the attack at the outset, dominating the net, forcing the pace. In the opening game she followed every serve—first or second—to the net. "When she does that," Evert Lloyd acknowledged, "I have only two choices, either to pass her or to hit the ball right at her. If I hit it to her, I'll lose the point 90 percent of the time.... She doesn't let me play my own game." In the second game Martina won four straight points after falling behind love-30. In the next game she served two aces. She won the first set 6-1. She won the second 6-3. She had her national championship, and as the crowd cheered her triumph she could be heard exulting, "The monkey's off my back." Afterward she said, "Even if I never win it again, no one can say I wasn't a real champion because I never won the U.S. Open. I wouldn't have considered myself a true champion until I had won it."
There is nothing quite like a champion at the top of his or her form. That's always a nice thing to see. But there is something even more gratifying in a villain finding redemption. There were two especially warm instances of this taking place in 1983.
On Dec. 9, 1977, as a midcourt fight broke out in a Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game, the Rockets' Rudy Tomjanovich rushed from one end of the court to play his usual role of peacemaker. His good intentions were lost, however, on the Lakers' Kermit Washington, who saw only another potential attacker. The 6'8", 230-pound Washington let fly a powerful punch that caught the onrushing Tomjanovich full in the face. This wasn't just another basketball fight, for Washington's blow was devastating and Tomjanovich suffered massive facial injuries that required corrective surgery. Washington was fined the unprecedented sum of $10,000 and suspended 60 days by NBA Commissioner Lawrence O'Brien, who used this unhappy episode to bolster his edict against fighting on the court. The Lakers then traded Washington to Boston, leaving the impression that they, too, had washed their hands of the culprit. Washington had become basketball's Public Enemy No. 1. He was a most unlikely villain. Bill Sharman, the Laker general manager, who had coached him for three seasons, said, "Kermit is just the opposite of mean. He's almost timid away from basketball. He's very humble and an extremely nice kid to work with." Jerry Krause, then a Lakers scout, said, "When I was scouting Kermit, I became so fond of him personally, I had to be careful that his personality didn't distort my judgment of him as a player."
Washington was unable to shake his evil reputation until the last few months of his career, in the winter of 1982. He played only 20 games for the Portland Trail Blazers that season, and yet, though suffering from painful back and leg injuries, he played so hard that Blazer fans took him to heart, an unfamiliar experience for one so maligned. "I think the most pleasant times he had in the NBA were the times in Portland," said Trail Blazer general manager Stu Inman. "He came to Portland terribly insecure. He was scared to death of failure. But this warmth that he sensed from the fans was there. He's a very sensitive person to begin with, who has been deeply hurt in the past. Now, in Portland, he becomes a kind of hero with the fans. I think Kermit had trouble understanding that. He kept asking himself, 'How come they keep clapping for me?' "
His injuries cut short that one rewarding season, but Washington worked hard in the off-season to get back in shape, and in the summer of '83 he approached Portland owner Larry Weinberg about returning to the team. His contract proposal stunned the usually unflappable Weinberg: Washington wouldn't sign for a penny more than the NBA minimum of $40,000. Here was a nine-year veteran demanding the lowest salary possible. Weinberg found himself in the curious position of arguing in favor of paying a player more, much more, than he was asking. Why, Weinberg asked, was Washington doing this? "Because I'll feel good about it," Washington replied. "I owe those people [the fans] so much." When Weinberg reluctantly agreed to underpay him, Washington brought forth an even more disarming proposal: Anonymously, he would give his salary away to the fans. By mail to the Trail Blazer offices, the fans should nominate worthy candidates for Washington's largess and the money should be distributed at halftime of home games. The gifts wouldn't go strictly to the needy but to those who would use the money to get back on their feet. "I really believe that the majority of people want to work," said Washington. "They have pride and they want to take care of their families. All they need sometimes is a little help to get over the hump, to get their lives back in order."
Washington signed the minimum contract, but his charitable scheme was abandoned at the suggestion of the front office on the grounds that it would prove impractical and might be misunderstood. Washington would give his salary away privately. The comeback attempt failed, however, because Washington's age, 31, and injuries wouldn't allow him to play up to NBA standards. But though he is far from a rich man, he told his teammates that he would continue with charitable work. Indeed, Far West Federal Bank of Portland has decided to sponsor the 6th Man Foundation, an assistance program similar to the one Washington envisioned, and has asked the former player to help administer it. The members and management of the Trail Blazers will also contribute to the fund.
Washington's extraordinarily good intentions last year left an impression on his former employers. "I think that the world is going to be a better place because Kermit walked through it," said Inman. "I've had conversations with prime ministers and with presidents," said Weinberg, a high-ranking member of the Democratic National Committee, "and I'll probably forget those, but if I live to be 120, I'll probably never forget that conversation with Kermit. It wasn't just the money. It was that he felt he owed it to the fans and owed it to us, and it was what he wanted to do with it and with his whole attitude about responsibility to people."
An FBI wiretap on Nov. 17, 1979 of a suspected Albuquerque gambler inadvertently uncovered the biggest college sports scandal of the decade. Caught on tape was a call from University of New Mexico assistant basketball coach and recruiter Manny Goldstein to head basketball coach Norm Ellenberger in which Goldstein revealed he had obtained a false junior college transcript for one of his players. This revelation—merely the tip of the iceberg—let loose a chain of events that rocked the campus and endangered the entire New Mexico athletic program. On Nov. 30, Ellenberger and Goldstein were suspended from coaching. On Dec. 6, six New Mexico basketball players were declared academically ineligible. On Dec. 13, Goldstein resigned and on Dec. 17, Ellenberger was fired. On Dec. 21, New Mexico was ordered by the NCAA to forfeit six fall football wins because a star tight end had received credit for a summer extension course he never attended. Finally, the NCAA placed the New Mexico basketball program on four years' probation. Last Dec. 10, 12 days after the probation ended, the Lobos went out and beat vaunted UCLA 65-60 in Pauley Pavilion. "I think that it's probably the best thing for the community and the state," said coach Gary Colson, the man who picked up the pieces after Ellenberger left. "We're back on track again. It's been a long time."
The job of rebuilding the shattered athletic department fell to John Bridgers, a former Baylor football coach who was hired as athletic director on Dec. 5, just as the scandal—now called "Lobo-gate"—was unraveling. Bridgers cracked down on the standard abuses, such as selling complimentary tickets, and he started looking for the people he needed to put the program in order. "Repairing the damage," he said at the time, "takes people you can trust. In any walk of life there are people so motivated to succeed that if they don't succeed within the law, they don't care what rules they have to break. But in athletics you have to have people willing to operate within the code. It's not complicated, but it doesn't take much to blacken your name."
Four days after Ellenberger was fired, Bridgers hired Colson, a veteran of 21 years in coaching and a man of impeccable credentials, as his basketball coach. He hired Joe Morrison, formerly of Tennessee-Chattanooga, as his football coach. He hired new wrestling, swimming, track and field and tennis coaches. He appointed assistant athletic director Tom Brennan as the academic-student affairs adviser for his department, and his staff prepared an 84-page Athletic Policies Manual, a sort of morality code.
Brennan set about involving the faculty in the cleanup, promulgating the novel notion that athletes should also be students. He devised a system in which every faculty member who teaches an athlete is asked to prepare progress reports on the student twice a semester. If an unfavorable report is received, the athlete is called in for a discussion. Brennan also employed 50 tutors and organized study tables for athletes in all sports. The results have been impressive. In the spring or fall semesters of the last academic year, 110 New Mexico athletes achieved a grade-point average of 3.25 (B-plus) or higher (on a scale of four). And placekicker Pete Parks had an even 4.0. The year of Lobogate the overall average for basketball players was a dismal 1.8, or D-plus. The past two years it has been 2.6. During the period from 1970 to 1980, only 20% of New Mexico basketball players graduated. Of last year's seniors, four of six graduated at the end of the semester that ended in December. The student-athletes haven't played all that badly, either—a 14-15 record last year. The football team had a 10-1 season in 1982 and was 6-6 last season under coach Joe Lee Dunn, who succeeded Morrison, since departed for South Carolina. In all 10 men's sports, New Mexico's composite ranking in the nine-member Western Athletic Conference for '82-83 was fourth.
And, says Bridgers, "I don't think there's any question that we've got the program going by the NCAA rules. The athletic directors in the WAC and around the country are convinced we're operating a good, clean program."
Maybe it's the money or the pressure or even the media, but the one thing that seems to have gone out of sports is sportsmanship. This is a time when winners no longer humbly praise beaten opponents but dance over them. Such terpsichorean exhibitions are distasteful, to be sure, in football, baseball, basketball and boxing, but they are even more grating to the sensibilities in the sport that was once a safe harbor of civility—tennis. Sportsmanship must have gone out of this game with white pants and long skirts. We needn't look any farther than John McEnroe for a convincing example of boorishness.
But tennis doesn't have to be that way at all, as our final nice thing of 1983 so happily demonstrates.
On one side of the Centre Court net for the quarterfinal match at Wimbledon stood 22-year-old Tim Mayotte, a former NCAA champion from Stanford and a recognized court gentleman. Mayotte was seeded 16th at Wimbledon and was ranked 29th in the world. On the other side of the net was Kevin Curren, a 25-year-old South African who had also won an NCAA singles championship, at Texas. Curren was recognized as a fiery competitor who nevertheless had learned to control his temper. He was seeded 12th at Wimbledon and was ranked 7th in the world. Curren reached the quarterfinals by defeating none other than Jimmy Connors—despite Connors' taunting attempts to destroy his concentration.
Curren had won all 69 of his service games before the Mayotte match. He extended that streak to 70 in the second game of the first set, then had it broken in the fourth game, which Mayotte won with his blistering cross-court backhand. Mayotte, playing "the best tennis of my life," won the first set 6-4, and he was leading 5-4 in the second when he faulted four of his next six first serves and finally lost a tiebreaker 7-6. Curren was at the top of his power game now and he won the third set 6-2. But Mayotte rallied in the fourth set and was leading 4-2 when Curren fought back to win the next three games. Both were playing magnificently, and the crowd was responding to the even struggle. "An aura of greatness now settled upon what had always been an exemplary demonstration of grass-court tennis," wrote The Times of London correspondent Rex Bellamy about the match. "The ferocity of the cut and thrust almost chilled the blood."
Again they played a tiebreaker. Curren reached match point for the fourth time with a deadly forehand service return and finally won with a booming serve to Mayotte's backhand. As the ball bounced past him, Mayotte dropped his racket and applauded—applauded, it would seem, his conqueror, himself, their fine match and perhaps just tennis itself. The Centre Court crowd rose to applaud them both, and when Mayotte reached across the net to shake hands, Curren embraced him.
It was an uncommon display of shared respect for modern tennis, and Bellamy was so moved by it, he wrote, "Here were two mutually appreciative sportsmen who had enjoyed a good scrap and were left in no doubt—the crowd stood to give them a long ovation—that in taking pleasure from the game and each other's company they had also given pleasure to thousands of others. They reminded us, too, of what should be a truism: Playing a game for a living is no cause for getting cross."
We should all applaud these two nice guys for teaching that simple lesson. Indeed, why be cross? Maybe it's not too late, after all. Can it be that in 1984, the Orwellian year of all years, athletes such as Mayotte and Curren will represent the wave of the future in sports? Lord knows, we've had quite enough of the other kind. Sportsmanship in sports? It might just work.