Sports and suds—specifically, hoops and hops—are now courting each other in the Continental Basketball Association. The new CBA franchise that will play in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, next season has acquired sponsorship from the Adolph Coors Company, brewers of Coors Light, which is marketed as the Silver Bullet. Silver and red, the same colors that adorn the beer can, will be the official team colors of the Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets.
The urgency of the voice was the same, and the big, restless hands gestured as emphatically as ever, but as CBS opened its preseason NFL coverage last Saturday night, the usually weighty presence of expert commentator John Madden lacked something. Seventy-five pounds, to be precise. Madden's familiar 325-pound bulk has shrunk to 250 thanks to a summerlong diet high in salads and low in Big Macs. This fall, as he roams the inter-states in his custom-built Greyhound "Maddencruiser," America's least-frequent flier has vowed to resist the siren song of the golden arches. "We're going to go into small towns for restaurants, or I'll buy the food in grocery stores," he says.
Keeping Madden out of the fat lane will be the job of Jerry Knick, 38, a 15-year-veteran Greyhound driver who beat out nine other finalists last week in a contest for the privilege of chauffeuring Madden from one CBS assignment to another for the next six months. Knick passed a written test, a driving skills course, a highway driving course and an examination on Greyhound's computerized safety simulation equipment; his last hurdle was an interview with his new boss. "He asked me a lot of questions about my time requirements because it's a lot of miles, and he asked me about how my wife felt," said Knick, who has two children and whose usual run is from Washington, D.C., to Atlantic City. "He was very concerned about not damaging relationships."
The alpha and the omega of World War II in the Pacific, Honolulu and Hiroshima, declared themselves sister cities in 1959. Next June they will celebrate three decades of friendship with a 4,000-mile international yacht race from the mouth of Pearl Harbor to the Great Torii Gate on Miyajima Island near Hiroshima. The organizers—the Hiroshima Yacht Club and the Nippon Ocean Racing Club—are calling the event "A Peace Pilgrimage" and are accepting entries in racing-and cruising-yacht divisions. "The race is to show all people of the world the common bond that has developed between Hiroshima and Honolulu on the 30th anniversary of their sister-city relationship," said Ken Morrison, a coordinator on the Honolulu end. Announcement of the event was made in Hawaii last Saturday, the 43rd anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima.
Golfers at the Waterville Country Club just outside Waterville, Maine, are accustomed to the comings and goings, not to mention the droppings, of muskrats, snapping turtles, Canada geese, mallard ducks, even the occasional moose; but this summer things have gotten entirely out of hand. The animal kingdom, which appears to be reasserting its sovereignty over the Waterville turf, is making an ordinary, pleasant round of golf the subject of farce, a public humiliation along the lines of a Disney cartoon.
The furry element, it seems, has resorted to psychological warfare, it started in the bunkers. When the course opened for play this spring, red fox dens were discovered in three of them, and before long, vulpine cubs were frolicking in the sand or sunning themselves on the grassy banks. "It's a very common occurrence to have them stand five or six feet away," said Bob Timmins, who works in the pro shop. "When you tee up and notice a fox staring at you, chances are pretty good that you're going to slice or hook."
Not content merely to stare, the foxes have adopted the more contemptible, nay, squirrel-like, practice of hoarding golf balls. A three-player team was forced to withdraw from a recent Waterville night tournament when the creatures made off with their balls. The three had just hit their second shots and were walking down the fairway when they saw their glow-in-the-dark golf balls moving, as if through the air. The glowing balls were visible, of course, but the foxes carrying them in their teeth were not.
Considering the stressful conditions under which Waterville golfers have been forced to play this summer, morale remains high. True, attorney Bob Niehoff, a 19 handicapper, while searching for his partner's ball in the rough one day, nearly stepped on a fawn that bore a remarkable resemblance to Bambi, but Niehoff flatly denies recent rumors that the incident unnerved him or cost him an opportunity to break 100.
This may be an omen; then again, it may not. D.C. Duke, an 8-year-old gelding running at Finger Lakes Race Track in Canandaigua, N.Y., has finished last—10th, 10th and 11th—in his last three starts. And a 5-year-old colt named Voo Doo Economics (as George Bush dubbed Reaganomics during the 1980 campaign) has finished in the money only once in five starts this year at Tampa Bay Downs.
MAN VERSUS URSUS
Rangers in California's Yosemite National Park are urging tourists to be "a little more assertive" in their relationships with the park's black bears this summer. When an adult black bear, which weighs some 300 pounds, approaches a campsite with his eye on the food supply, campers are advised, in brochures and on signs posted along the trails, to pick up a small rock or a pinecone and throw it at the intruder. The idea, according to Dick Riegelhuth, chief of resources management for the park, is to wean the bears from human food and force them back to nuts and berries. "We're trying to get people to stand their ground a little bit more," said Riegelhuth. "These bears hardly ever hurt anyone."
The new policy is not without caveats. If, perchance, a bear takes offense at being pelted with stones and pinecones, Riegelhuth says, "Move out of the way and let them have all your food." Campers are also warned not to take aim at bears accompanied by cubs, and to "walk away" if a bear has already laid claim to a knapsack. "Once the bear has his claws on your food," says Jeff Keay, the park's wildlife biologist, "it's too late."
Johan Kriek, No. 64 on the men's tennis tour, won a tournament recently at the Olde Providence Racquet Club in Charlotte, N.C. Afterward, to commemorate the occasion, the club named the stream that runs through its property Johan Creek.
A TREASURE FROM A CHICAGO COLLECTION
Francis P. Burke was a photographer for the Chicago Daily News from the 1890s to the 1920s. He covered sports, particularly baseball, and using a bulky Graflex camera and cumbersome five-by seven-inch gelatin dry glass plates, he took amazing action pictures of the stars of his day: Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Lefty Grove, Tris Speaker, Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb and, of course, Babe Ruth.
Ruth was a little-known 19-year-old rookie lefthander for the Boston Red Sox, fresh out of Baltimore, when Burke took this picture in 1914. It was an eventful year for Ruth, but his rookie season was not the sort that would necessarily have attracted the attention of a veteran photographer like Burke. Ruth's entire major league experience for 1914 was five games, four as a pitcher (he won two) and one as a pinch hitter (he faced Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators and struck out). Nevertheless, Burke must have seen something he liked, because he produced this wonderfully sharp, possibly unique photograph of the burly kid at the threshold of his epic career.
The man responsible for preserving this extraordinary photograph and for offering to share it with SI this week is David R. Phillips, another Chicago photographer, who is also a collector of glass photographic plates, which predated the widespread use of film. Phillips owns "maybe half a million" plates, most of which are stored in the former studios of radio station WLS on Chicago's West Side.
The Ruth photo came into Phillips's possession in 1974 when he acquired the entire archive of Burke & Dean, a photo agency established by Francis Burke. There were 20,000 plates in the collection, some of them dating back to 1871, but by 1974 the firm had passed to new owners who wanted to clear their premises of the whole unwieldy lot.
"Someone told me they had a safe full of old plates, but when I got there, it turned out to be a whole room," Phillips says. "I got physically ill when I started looking at them. The baseball action photos were breathtaking. I bought them on the spot."
Several books and TV specials have been created from Phillips's collection, but he says this photo has been printed only once before, in a book titled That Old Ballgame, published in 1975.
THEY SAID IT
•Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, on the wide-legged stance of the Phillies' lanky Von Hayes: "He looks like a pair of pliers."