What's Right About Sports Tired of lockouts, walkouts and players who don't box out? Tired of cringing every time you open the sports page? Relax. We found 76 reasons to celebrate

August 09, 1998

Kenyan Distance Runners
They come swift and silent--one, two, then a pack--faces
glistening, feet barely touching the ground, gliding toward a
distant forever.

The Bounce Pass
Always available. Always a surprise. Always pretty.

Something That Makes You Like A Sport You Hate
Torvill and Dean.

Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah, Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah. Hey-Hey. Goodbye
And take that weak s--- with you.

The End Of The Wave In Our Lifetime
Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah, Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah. Hey-Hey. Goodbye!

It's Still Hard To Get Into Baseball's Hall Of Fame
Scooter waited a lifetime and Tony Perez still has to pay $9.50.

Grip It And Rip It
John Daly's maxim works for all sports: It's only a game, so
swing hard.

Mexican Fighters
They arrive, one after another, hungry and earnest, throwbacks
to boxing's early days, tough little men trying to make a buck
in the toughest sport of all.

The First Four Days Of March Madness
Somewhere in Cleveland, Mouse McFadden is still telling stories
about when he....

Successful Hail Marys
Reassuring evidence that some prayers can still be heard over
the din.

Saratoga--Where Favorites Go To Die...
...and racing fans go to remember what the sport was like before
it killed itself.

Sampras's Slam-Dunk Overhead
Power, athleticism and finesse in one fluid motion. Best of all,
he attempts it on crucial points--not just on Nike spots.

A Mark McGwire Moon Shot
SRO for BP?

Going To Your First Ball Game With Your Dad
Who remembers his or her first NBA/NHL/NFL game?

Tailgating In Green Bay

Blood Feuds
The Miracle on Ice, India vs. Pakistan in field hockey, U.S.S.R.
vs.Hungary in water polo. This is war, but nobody has to die.

Golfers Who Play Quickly
Not that we support capital punishment, but if we did, we'd
start with anyone over a six handicap who plumb-bobs.

A 360[degree]
Any sport. Anytime.

Football In The Mud
Primordial entertainment.

Hockey Players Who Get 17 Stitches Between Periods
Not that there aren't equally tough guys in other sports: Jose
Canseco once played an entire game with hat-head.

Bill Murray
Haven't you always wanted to make sand angels in a bunker?

Playing for nothing more than fun and pride. What a concept!

Sudden Death
You have to go to the bathroom. You really have to go. You
really, really have to go....

Racehorse Retirement Homes
Great athletes should not end up as dog food.

Running Back Kickoffs
Take a knee? Gentlemen, please confine genuflecting to your
local house of worship.

I am not Tiger Woods. I am Dave Steib. I am George Foreman. I

Women Who Dunk
We'll trade you two Derrick Colemans and an Anthony Mason for
one Lisa Leslie.

Cubs Fans Tossing Back A Visitor's Home Run
So much more creative than Red Sox fans who throw beach balls or
Yankees fans who throw batteries.

24 Baskets And 24 Assists For Princeton
Naismith smiles.

The Seventh Game...Any Seventh Game
Every shot matters. Every decision matters. Every second
matters. Game 7 defines a season, a career, a franchise. It
separates the good from the great.

A.J. Leibling On Boxing
"[Archie] Moore was an aging academician--37 to be precise--of
such celebrity that young fighters came from the very Antipodes
to study at his feet, which is where they often landed."

Helping An Opponent Up After Knocking Him On His Butt
Your kid is watching. His kid is watching.

The Dome Team Disadvantage
No team that plays under a roof has won a Super Bowl. There's a
reason they call it pay dirt.

Boog's BBQ
Camden Yards' olfactory factory--so good that after one bite, the
O's woes suddenly become bearable.

The Sea Of Red In Lincoln
The most devoted fans in America.

Kerry Wood's Fastball
Baseball stripped to its essence: Here it comes, Meat--see if
you can hit it.

Okay, so it has become a serious cliiiiiiiiiiiche, but it
harkens back to an era when sportscasters took themselves less
seriously than Eddie Vedder.

Florida A&M Marching Band
The sublime marriage of John Philip Sousa and

Bicycle Kicks
The slam dunk with a twist. "Look, ma--no hands."

Shirts And Skins
No parents. No coaches. No agents. Choose up sides. Guard the
man who guards you. Call your own fouls...but not too often.

Chi Chi Rodriguez
Elegance and entertainment in Banlon and straw hats. !Ole!

Boston Marathon
"I will never forget running past Wellesley, with thousands of
screaming teenagers. That must be what it felt like to be a
Beatle." --Rob de Castella, '86 men's champion.

The Caribbean World Series
Baseball passion circa 1950s with a dollop of spicy salsa. The
world's not watching, but it should be.

Making A Bet
"The best thing in life is cashing a bet," Nick the Greek said.
"The next best thing is losing a bet."

Crashing Into The Wall To Make A Catch
Warning track? What warning track? This is what I'm supposed to do.

Picabo Street
Go fast. Go faster.

Friday Night High School Football
You know why the World Cup is no big deal in the U.S.? Because
we've got our weekly life-and-death match against the dreaded
crosstown rival.

No Instant Replay For Officials
The Immaculate Reception remains immaculate....

It's important to glisten.

A ball is a ball, a strike is a strike, and clipping is 15
yards. No plea bargains, no lawyers.

Evander Holyfield's Heart
Who says you can't mend a broken heart?

Foul Balls
The chances of catching one are minuscule, but you bring your
mitt anyway.

Soccer Moms
The ultimate bench warmers.

We loved N.C. State vs. Phi Slamma Jamma, the '69 Mets vs. the
Orioles, the Broncos vs. the Packers, the iceberg vs. the
Titanic. We didn't even take the points.

Derrick Coleman
Without villains, there'd be no heroes.

One-Team Careers
All stars should be like Tony Gwynn, Barry Sanders and Ray
Bourque. They should stay, like Ernie Banks, and never win a
championship, or stay, like Michael Jordan, and win six.

Late Bloomers On The Senior Tour
Life offers a mulligan.

U.S. Open Rough
The greatest tournament in the world is supposed to be hard to

Saves On Penalty Shots
You're naked, and you've just found the world's biggest towel.

The Breathless Seconds Before The Start Of The Olympic 100-Meter
Final Or A Heavyweight Championship Bout Or The Kentucky Derby
That hammering sound you hear is your heart trying to punch a
hole in your chest.

Army vs. Navy In Anything
Never been a meaningless game in this series. Forget the Medal
of Honor--what every cadet or midshipman really wants is a
varsity letter and a star (for defeating the archenemy).

Steve Smith Giving $2.5 Million To His Alma Mater
Go to the head of the classy.

A Fast Break In Which The Ball Never Touches The Ground
Dribbling is for kids in high chairs; unselfish ball movement is
for the ages.

Rick Majerus
Nike, meet Krispy Kreme.

Going For It On Fourth Down
No football game should be decided by a geek named Milos with no
thigh pads and a low-slung, single-bar face mask.

Jayson Williams's Sense Of Humor
"Kerry Kittles is so skinny we don't take him on road trips, we
fax him.... I'll be here all week, and don't forget to tip your

The Penn Relays
Running away to the track and field circus.

Watching Jordan, Gretzky and Rice--The Best Ever In Their Sports
Front-row balcony seats as Michelangelo paints the Sistine Chapel.

Barry Sanders Running Out Of His Shoes
It must not be the shoes.

Cameron Crazies
Proof of two long-held assumptions: 1) Fans can have an impact.
2) Even smart people can act like idiots.

Eddie Futch
An island of dignity in a sport run amok, a lonely example of
why they still call it the Sweet Science.

The One Shot That Makes You Think You're Ready For The PGA Tour
Golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the
occasional miracle.

The Touchdown Dance
The celebration of life shouldn't come with a 15-yard penalty.

The Montreal Canadiens' Road Uniforms
The CHC--it stands for Club de Hockey Canadien--remains as bold
and fresh as it was when it was introduced in 1917. Bonus
points: not a speck of black or teal.

The Knuckler
Fat men can throw it. Thin men can throw it. You can throw it.
Get to work!

The Hockey Handshake
I bloodied your nose, profaned your mother and slashed your ACL.
Wanna get a beer?

Uniforms Without Names On The Back
Mark Grudzielanek.

COLOR PHOTO: MARK THOMPSON/ALLSPORT [Kenyan Runners] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of basketball players in game] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of ocean waves] B/W PHOTO: NATIONAL BASEBALL LIBRARY [Phil Rizzuto in baseball uniform] COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN [Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [John Daly golfing] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of hands holding rosary beads] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Boxing gloves] COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN [Kenny (Mouse) McFadden] COLOR PHOTO: RICH PILLING/MLB [Father and son in Cleveland Indians shirt and hat] COLOR PHOTO: GREG REEKIE/CALGARY SUN [Saratoga horse-racing trophy] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: PHOTOFEST [Drawing of rocket ship piercing eye of the man-in-the-moon] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of snowboarder doing an aerial maneuver] COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN [Pete Sampras] COLOR PHOTO: JACQUELINE DUVOISIN [Bill Murray] COLOR PHOTO: JONATHAN DANIEL/ALLSPORT [Football player on muddy field] COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER [Team USA hockey players rejoicing] COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS [Randy Mckay with bloody face] COLOR PHOTO: EVERETT COLLECTION [Sean Astin in movie Rudy] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of waterfall] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Dog] COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS [Desmond Howard] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Volkswagen Beetle car] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Beachball] COLOR PHOTO: BOB DONNAN [Brian Earl] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of number 7] COLOR PHOTO: JUDY GRIESEDIECK [Metrodome] COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER [Lisa Leslie] B/W PHOTO: UPI/CORBIS-BETTMANN [A.J. Leibling] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Warren Moon and Bruce Smith in game]
COLOR PHOTO: PETE SOUZA [Boog Powell holding charcoal-grilled meat] COLOR PHOTO: TYLER MICOLEAU [Burning ball] COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND [Florida A&M marching band] COLOR PHOTO: DUOMO [Runners legs in Boston Marathon] COLOR PHOTO: DAVID CANNON/ALLSPORT [Bebeto] B/W PHOTO: JOHN HUET [Basketball players in game] COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK [Chi Chi Rodriguez] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of bottle of hot salsa] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Crumpled dollar bill] COLOR PHOTO: V.J. LOVERO [Tony Tarasco in game] COLOR PHOTO: CARL YARBROUGH [Picabo Street skiing] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of man and woman in stands cheering] B/W PHOTO: AP [Franco Harris in game] COLOR PHOTO: DAVID LIAM KYLE [Anthony Mason] COLOR PHOTO: RICH CLARKSON & ASSOC. [Jimmy Valvano and basketball players] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of human heart deflecting arrow] COLOR PHOTO: TOM DIPACE [Tony Gwynn] COLOR PHOTO: V.J. LOVERO [Boy with baseball glove] COLOR PHOTO: DUOMO/PS [Football referee] COLOR PHOTO: TIM O'DELL [Derrick Coleman] COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN ROSEN [Drawing of man covering himself with towel] COLOR PHOTO: BILL O'LEARY/WASHINGTON POST [Soccer mom and son on soccer field] COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK [Tom Wargo] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Patch of sod grass] COLOR PHOTO: LIONEL HAHN/AGENCE VANDYSTADT [Hand with starter pistol] COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO [Back view of football official holding fourth down marker] COLOR ILLUSTRATION [Icon of gladiator helmet] COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER [James Worthy and Earvin (Magic) Johnson in game] COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC (7) [Doughnut with sprinkles] COLOR PHOTO: PAUL BERESWILL [United States Military Academy mascot] COLOR PHOTO: DOUG PENSINGER/ALLSPORT [United States Naval Academy mascot] COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS [Hands passing baton] COLOR PHOTO: TAKASHI OKAMURA [Detail from Sistine Chapel Michelangelo painting The Creation of Adam] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Barry Sanders and opponent in game] COLOR PHOTO: BOB DONNAN [Cameron Crazies fans of Duke University] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Eddie Futch] COLOR PHOTO: ROCKY WIDNER [Jayson Williams] COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER [Golf ball on grass beside hole] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Michael Irvin celebrating touchdown] COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER [Mark Recchi] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO [Hand displaying knuckleball technique] COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO [Overhead view of hockey teams shaking hands] B/W PHOTO: AP [Back view of Babe Ruth]