But it would have cost Faldo at least $110,000 to send a bottle of Scotch to each of Scotland's 5.695 pubs, and besides, many of the fans who followed him at Muirfield probably don't live in Scotland. So Johnnie Walker has mailed a free miniature bottle of Scotch to any fan who has sent the company proof that he or she attended the final round of the Open.
The Story of the Mural Is...
Two sports murals were unveiled last week, one for fans, one of fans.
People in downtown Pittsburgh can now look up at a 46-foot-wide, 135-foot-high mural featuring Penguin star Mario Lemieux, former Pirates Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski and former Steelers Joe Greene and Jack Lambert. Painting the mural, which was designed by New York artist Judy Penzer, wasn't without complications. On their first day on the job the two painters discovered that because of an electricity outage they couldn't lower the scaffolding. Unfortunately they didn't find this out until they were on the scaffolding, 20 stories up. No one could hear their shouts, so they painted this on the wall: NO POWER. SEND HELP.
Half a world away the Arsenal Football Club in suburban London revealed its mural. The north end of Arsenal's stadium has been under construction all summer, and the work was not done by last Saturday's season opener against Norwich. So to cover up the unsightly construction site, Arsenal installed a 140-foot-long, 30-foot-high mural depicting 8,000 fans. Lest the players miss the cheers from the usually raucous fans in the stadium's north end, the crowd noise from the south end was piped through speakers in front of the mural.
Nielsen Media Research released figures last week on the television ratings for NBC's coverage of the Barcelona Olympics. The numbers revealed that among the 25 largest cities in the country, the Olympics were most popular in Portland, Ore., where 22.5% of the television sets that were on were tuned to the Games. Atlanta, site of the 1996 Summer Olympics, ranked 24th. This probably says more about Atlantans' passion for their Braves than it does for any indifference toward the Olympics. During the fortnight of the Games the Olympics drew a 13.6% share in Atlanta, while the Braves, who were moving into first place in the National League West at the time, attracted 36.0%.
When it comes to graduating football players, the Southwest Conference has the most abysmal record in the country. "We're not proud." says assistant SWC commissioner Britton Banowsky. Indeed, in the recently released NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, which reveals what percentage of scholarship football players entering the 106 Division I-A football-playing schools in 1983 and '84 graduated within six years, four of the bottom 13 are SWC members. Texas graduated 27% of its players, Texas A&M 25%, and Houston and Texas Tech just 14% apiece. Only Southeastern Louisiana, with a 9% graduation rate, ranked lower than Houston and Texas Tech, and that school dropped football in 1986.
SWC schools are not the only ones who should be embarrassed by the new report. For all students, athletes and non-athletes, the average graduation rate for the 106 schools was 56%. Only 29 schools graduated their football players at or above that 56% level. These numbers are even more distressing when you consider that athletes receive favored treatment, including free tutoring.
But it's unfair to focus on the worst performers and not praise the best. Here are the schools that had the highest percentage of their football players graduate: Boston College (85%), Duke (84%), Notre Dame (82%), Northwestern (78%), Ohio (76%), Stanford and Virginia (74%), Cal (70%), Colorado and North Carolina (66%).