Scorecard R.I.P. 'Sport'--Carolina Blues--A Williams Sampler--Cam's Cameos

July 10, 2000
July 10, 2000

Table of Contents
July 10, 2000

Scorecard R.I.P. 'Sport'--Carolina Blues--A Williams Sampler--Cam's Cameos

Let's Get Physical
A new national program will raise money to help bring back gym

This is an article from the July 10, 2000 issue Original Layout

With the attention devoted to high school draft picks, Parade
All-America teams and Dick Vitale's eighth-grade hoops phenoms,
you'd think that this is an athletic golden age for the nation's
youth. Nothing could be further from the truth. By devoting too
many resources to organized competition and too few to broad,
noncompetitive fitness programs, the U.S. is producing a
generation of kids beset with such health problems as
non-insulin-dependent diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and
osteoporosis, as well as common obesity, which has doubled among
youth in the past decade. Physical education used to be an
important component of school life, but that has changed. The
percentage of high school students enrolled in daily gym classes
declined from 42% to 29% during the '90s, and 14% of people age
12 to 21 get no exercise at all.

However, a wake-up call has been sounded in Washington, D.C.,
partly because this is an Olympic year and, according to the
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, partly
because of an April 24 SI feature on the declining state of
physical education. While touring the U.S. Olympic Training
Center in Chula Vista, Calif., on June 23, President Clinton
announced the creation of a privately funded foundation that
will work with the President's Council to improve phys ed in
America's schools. The foundation's primary objective will be to
raise private-sector funds to help finance gym programs. Given
the losing battle the President's Council has been fighting in
recent years to preserve such programs against zealously frugal
school boards, that's not an insignificant mission.

Still, money can only begin to restore phys ed programs at
schools across the country. To complete the task, boards of
education--and local voters--have to overcome their shortsighted
approach to cutting school budgets. "What still has to happen is
for states and schools to recognize that phys ed should be part
of any core curriculum," says former NBA coach Don Casey, the
vice chairman of the President's Council. "If we can combine that
mentality with funds from the private sector, then we can start
to turn around a problem that is approaching epidemic
proportions." --Jack McCallum

So long, Sport
One fan says farewell to an old favorite

On June 27, after 54 years of publication, Sport magazine
announced that it was folding, citing declining ad revenue. Roger
Director, a TV producer and screenwriter and a former editor at
Sport, recalls what the monthly meant for a generation of

They closed the barbershop last week, the one in town, the first
place--not counting school or a friend's house--where your mother
would drop you off and leave you. The bald barber, the white cuff
he fastened around your neck, the hair on the floor and you, in
your satin jacket, in one of those red chairs along the wall, the
lollipop just beginning to get comfortable in your mouth,
crouched over, reading Sport magazine.

Reading Sport, transported by its full-page color photograph of
Mickey Mantle, realizing that it's O.K. to feel as much as you do
about playing and following these games. Accepting, finally, that
the Milwaukee Braves had beaten the Yankees in the 1957 World
Series, the only way you could ever be forced to accept such a
vile thing: because, peeping through one eye, you saw that photo
of Lew Burdette with the brand new Corvette the magazine had
given him for being the Series' Most Valuable Player. Your mother
asking, when you got home, how things were going, and you about
to tell her the most exciting news imaginable--that you'd opened
the magazine and seen beneath the familiar thick bars of type,
under "Next Month in Sport," that there'd be a profile of Willie
Mays. Then realizing, No, mom's a pal, but she wouldn't get it,
and keeping the secret, going to your room, lying in bed and
wishing next month could come tomorrow.

The magazine spoke foremost to youthful passions, but the many
talented people who wrote, edited and took photographs for Sport
were nothing less than fully flowered. The list of staffers and
contributors to the magazine is long and distinguished--Red Smith,
Jimmy Breslin and Dick Schaap, to name a few--and it is no knock
on them that the knock on Sport was its persistent failure to be
more than it was. (As if offering distinctive journalism and
straight-onto-your-wall photography to decades of young men was
something to be ashamed of.) If it did get bested, let's admit it
was up against some pretty tough competition, and it didn't
always catch the breaks. Case in point: The late Ed Linn, the
flinty author of Veeck--As in Wreck, covered Ted Williams's last
game and wrote the piece of his life for Sport. But it was Linn's
misfortune that another great writer was in Fenway that day: We
relish how Williams homered in his final at bat because of John
Updike's immortal Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, which he penned for The
New Yorker.

Sport lurched around searching for the right demographic niche
these last years. But there was really only one reader, and he
was doing a bit of lurching around too. He's the one waiting for
his haircut now, the one who made the appointment at the salon
from his cell phone, making sure he got the colorist he likes.
He's the one sipping bubbly water while flipping through the only
magazines they have there, Elle and W and Vogue. He's the one
wondering how in so many pages there can be nothing he wants to
read. The old barbershop doesn't exist for him anymore.

Who's on Carolina's Mind?

Bill Guthridge, who cited exhaustion in resigning as North
Carolina's basketball coach last Friday, was the perfect man at
the perfect time. With a subdued decency, Guthridge had spared
some slick young suit from having to follow--and come up short in
the inevitable comparisons to--Dean Smith, and along the way he
guided the Tar Heels to two Final Fours. Yet even as he stepped
gracefully down, Guthridge ruined the holiday weekend of a former
Tar Heels colleague.

Kansas coach Roy Williams and his wife, Wanda, made their usual
July 4 pilgrimage to their South Carolina beach house, only this
year they had more to mull over than barbecues and fireworks.
Though no official announcement has been made, Williams confirmed
that he had spoken to North Carolina athletic director Dick
Baddour last week, and it was widely understood that the job is
his for the taking. Williams's Tar Heels ties are strong: In
addition to having grown up in Asheville, N.C., and having been
one of Smith's assistants from 1978 to 1988, he has a son, Scott,
who is a Carolina alumnus and a daughter, Kim, who's currently on
the school's dance team.

If Williams declines the offer--he was expected to make his
decision by week's end--Baddour won't have an obvious backup
candidate, even from Carolina basketball's generously canopied
family tree. The best pure coach, Larry Brown, has a five-year
deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, not to mention lingering
in-state opposition for having spirited Danny Manning out of
Greensboro in 1984, when Brown, then at Kansas, added Danny's
father, Ed, to his staff. Tar Heels assistant Phil Ford blew his
chances with a drunken-driving conviction last fall. Milwaukee
Bucks coach George Karl isn't quite collegiate enough, South
Carolina's Eddie Fogler hasn't been quite successful enough, and
Notre Dame's Matt Doherty and Tulsa's Buzz Peterson aren't quite
seasoned enough.

Guthridge's only real failure was to leave the Carolina faithful
muttering the most profane four-letter word in their lexicon:
Duke. Guthridge lost six of his eight meetings with the Blue
Devils and allowed Carolina to slip perceptibly in the state
recruiting derby. But Williams could solve the Duke dilemma. No
Tar Heels fan failed to notice how Williams confronted Duke
coach Mike Krzyzewski on the sideline for working the refs
during Kansas's narrow second-round NCAA tournament loss to the
Blue Devils in March. Over his dozen years in Lawrence, Williams
has brought a better grade of athlete than might be expected to
a campus that's so remote. All of which suggests that Williams's
departure from Tornado Alley could be every bit as well-timed as
Guthridge's three years on Tobacco Road. --Alexander Wolff

A Puckish Star

From physical hockey to physical comedy. Cam Neely, the bruising
Boston Bruins right wing who retired in 1996 after 13 seasons in
the NHL, apparently has found his new calling: acting. That is,
if you can call making cameos in the gross-out comedies of the
Farrelly brothers acting.

Neely, who made his movie debut as belligerent trucker Sea Bass
in Bobby and Peter Farrelly's 1994 opus Dumb and Dumber, reprises
his role--albeit this time as Trooper Sea Bass--in the Farrellys'
current feature Me, Myself and Irene. "They're big fans of New
England sports," says Neely of the brothers, who are Rhode Island
natives. "That's how we got introduced."

Despite his Tinseltown experiences, Neely doesn't expect to
overtax his SAG card. "It's very enjoyable, but I'm not running
around pounding on doors looking for work," he says of his
big-screen gig. "It's a chance to do something fun in a team
atmosphere. It beats sitting behind a desk."

As for which environment is cruder, a movie set run by the
Farrellys--filmmakers who never met a bodily fluid they didn't
like--or an NHL locker room, Neely says, "I've got to go with the
Farrelly brothers. You just don't see that kind of stuff in
locker rooms."

Street-Smart Street Luger

It's hard to miss the only woman among the 41 ranked
professionals in street luge, the sport that re-creates the day
you lay flat on your back on your skateboard, pointed it down the
biggest hill in the neighborhood and ran home screaming and
bleeding to your mother. Pam Zoolalian, ranked 10th
internationally, wears a pink leather bodysuit (the better to
match her fuchsia hair) during competition. On July 16 Zoolalian,
28, will attempt to beat out 31 guys with names like Biker
Sherlock and Rat Sult in the 2000 Gravity Games in Providence.

How does a nice girl from Pasadena get involved in a sport so
cold-blooded that she calls "mild" a 1998 race-day injury that
broke bones and tore the tendons in her right ankle? "A male
friend of mine introduced me to street luge in 1995," says
Zoolalian, who finances her hobby through her job as a fashion
designer for Elleven, a surfwear company in Huntington Beach. "I
was like, Ohmigod, I totally want to try it." She made her first
board from a piece of plywood purchased at Home Depot. By 1998,
Zoolalian had set the street luge world speed record by clocking
65 mph at a race in Falls View, Ariz. She now travels almost
every weekend to places as far away as Zurich for whatever race
is on the elite street luge calendar, and rides a $1,000 aluminum
and chromoly board that has been custom-built to suit her 5'2",
110-pound frame.

While her starts are usually slower than those of her bigger and
stronger male competitors, Zoolalian's size helps her negotiate
tight turns and squeeze through small openings in the pack during
races, in which either four or six riders compete at once. "I am
pretty aggressive," she says. Her opponents respect her for it--at
least "the old-school guys," she says, "not so much the younger,
cocky ones."

Just in case any of the latter group happen to miss the
rasberry-colored blur streaking past them in Providence, they'll
get the message from the words painted on the back of
Zoolalian's pink helmet: SPANKED BY A CHICK.



As the Tour de France got under way last Saturday, all eyes were
on defending champ Lance Armstrong, last year's improbable
conquering hero. The odds are against Armstrong's retaining his
title, due to this year's emphasis on hills (not his specialty)
and the presence of a stronger field than he faced in '99.
Still, no one is counting out cycling's comeback kid.

Go Figure

Miles on Jets QB Chad Pennington's '85 Olds, which he drives to
remind him of his blue-collar roots.

Fewer feet that, on average, this year's baseballs flew than
1999's, in a study set up by Major League Baseball.

Percent rise ($75 to $250) in the cost of rinkside seats at
Chicago's United Center for next year's Blackhawks games.

Bowling average of 1987 world discus champion John Powell, who
will compete in next week's U.S. Open.

Portuguese water dogs in BARK (Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps),
a team trained to fetch Pac Bell HRs.


Hiawatha G. Knight, as the first female president of the
International Boxing Federation. The former high school gym
teacher and charter member of the IBF replaces founder Bob Lee,
who is in the second month of a federal racketeering trial in
which he has been accused of taking bribes for manipulating

The 193-yard 13th hole at the Innisbrook Resort's Island golf
course on June 28, by John Elway, who was celebrating his 40th
birthday at a pro-am in Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Sydney business leaders, by chief of the New South Wales State
Chamber of Commerce Margy Osmond, to turn a blind eye to
employees' taking long lunch breaks during the Olympics. Osmond
suggested that during the Games, employers institute casual
dress codes, install TVs in the office and "be realistic about
productivity levels."

Signed On
Shaquille O'Neal, as a shareholder of Planet Hollywood, the
financially troubled restaurant chain from which celebrity
investors Demi Moore, Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and
Bruce Willis recently bailed. "I plan to do for Planet Hollywood
as I have done for the Lakers," said the NBA Finals MVP. The
eatery said that it will soon be offering the Shaq Shake on its

Ila Borders, 26, the only female player in men's pro baseball.
In 1997 the lefty became the first woman to play in a men's
league, with the independent St. Paul Saints. "I wasn't out to
prove women's rights," said Borders, who was 0-0 and had a 9.35
ERA for the Zion Pioneerzz this season. "I love baseball."

The Big Hurt

Sports and pain. They go together like, well, athletes and
drugs. The recent announcement that Jimmy Connors will be the
spokesperson for HoMedics TheraP magnetic wrist bands reminded
us that there's a long tradition of jocks telling us how we can
feel better. If you've got a body part that's a-hurtin', chances
are a sports figure is out there pushing the perfect pill,
potion, balm, gadget or snake oil. In fact, if you round up some
recent health product endorsements, you can put together your
own Frankenjock. To wit:

Richard Petty for Goody's Headache Powder

Karl Malone for Rogaine

Tiger Woods for TLC Laser Eye Center

Picabo Street for Chapstick

Jimmy Connors for TheraP magnetic wrist bands

Jackie Joyner-Kersee for Flovent Asthma Inhalers

Nolan Ryan for Advil

Jim Palmer for Prilosec

Dan Reeves for Zocor

Wayne Gretzky for Tylenol

Mark Brunell for DonJoy knee braces

John Madden for Tinactin

Net Loss

He made only one All-Star team, but reporters will tell you that
the New Jersey Nets' Jayson Williams, who retired last week due
to recurring injuries, made the All-Quote squad every year of his
10-year career. In tribute, we present the wit and wisdom of
Chairman Jayson.

On finishing behind Toni Kukoc and Arvydas Sabonis in the 1995-96
Sixth Man of the Year vote: "I know one thing--I was the best

On mixed signals: "I went to Chicago, and they gave me a
four-hour psychological test. Then they traded for Dennis

On his (now-broken) engagement to model Cynthia Bailey: "We had a
little problem over the prenuptial agreement. She said, 'We have
to make some changes.' I asked her did her name change. She said
no. I said, 'Well, there won't be any changes.'"

On settling a lawsuit with someone who said Williams manhandled
him in a bar: "The best $30,000 I ever spent. I beat his fat

On the Knicks' chances of winning a protest of a loss to Miami in
1998: "Stevie Wonder has a better chance of getting a driver's
license than they do of having that overturned."

On which predictions come true: "In eight years here, I've been
predicting championships, playoffs wins, wins over the Knicks. I
say an ambulance will take me out of here before I give up, and
sure enough, here come the sirens."

This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged the Green
Bay Packers to change their name, saying that a franchise named
for slaughterhouse workers promotes bloodshed.

Too many resources are being devoted to organized competition
for kids and too few to broad, noncompetitive fitness programs.
They Said It
Florida Marlins manager, on his underachieving team: "You know
the saying that you learn more from defeats than victories?
We're going to become Einsteins."