Then he tells me I'm at the White House with all these other great athletes like Wayne Gretzky and Reggie Jackson. And I belong there with them."
On Saturday, McDowell struck out enough times to make Reggie proud. In the semifinal he faced Danny Wiseman, a bowler on a roll. Before the tournament Wiseman had dedicated his performance to his terminally ill father, and after six frames Wiseman had a 147-139 lead. But then McDowell rolled four straight strikes for a 248-235 victory. Later in the final against Don Genalo, McDowell opened with five more strikes to take that match.
"A couple of months ago Jack made me a tape that says, 'You're going to win the Firestone this year,' " said McDowell. "Funny thing is, I didn't listen to that one this week. I just stuck with the first tape." Whatever the tape, McDowell is bowling as if he were in a trance.
Hackie Reitman wears two gloves: surgical and boxing
Hackie is a rotten nickname for a surgeon. But Dr. Harold Reitman, a specialist in arthroscopy and sports medicine in Plantation, Fla., is stuck with it, right there on his boxing trunks. Reitman didn't get the sobriquet by stitching up has-been boxers; he got it by decking them.
Twenty-one years ago Reitman won the New England Golden Gloves heavyweight title before giving up boxing to become an orthopedic surgeon. Since reentering the ring in 1989, Reitman, 42, has put together an 8-3-3 record. "My goal is to win the heavyweight championship of the world," he says.
Reitman donates his purses to children's charities. Even so, he is often asked how a doctor can bring himself to inflict pain. He replies that boxing is no worse than any other contact sport, but he admits that he recommends it only for himself. Reitman's manager, Tommy Torino, is more succinct. "Hackie isn't worried about the hypocritical oath," he says.
Legendary trainer Angelo Dundee, who is Reitman's friend, feels that Hackie "should go back to being a surgeon before he gets hurt." But Torino disagrees. "Hackie can fight. I wouldn't jeopardize my career so that some middle-aged doctor can take a trip to Fantasy Island," says Torino (who also manages boxer/actor Mickey Rourke).
On Saturday night Reitman was knocked down for the first time in his career, during a bout against Big Joe Humm at the Miami Beach Convention Center. But Reitman is undaunted. "The night was like a fairy tale, except that I lost," he says. "It was a real war. It was like a Rocky movie, the way blood was gushing everywhere."