The Post-Gazette also dispatches to downtown Pittsburgh two town criers, dressed in tricornered hats, white stockings and brown velvet knickers, who shout the day's headlines through megaphones. Though the Pirates' sharp dip in ticket sales tin's season has been widely attributed to the strike, not everyone has missed the papers. "The strike has been nice," says Steeler fullback Merril Hoge. "I haven't had anybody jabbing at me or asking dumb questions like, Why'd you fumble that ball?" But for many Pittsburgh sports figures, having no newspaper has often felt like looking in a mirror and seeing no reflection. "People say to me, 'I bet it's nice not to get the criticism,' " Pirate manager Jim Leyland says. "That's bull. I love to pick up the papers in the morning with a cup of coffee, a cigarette and my wife on the porch. It don't get any better than that."
At the Women's Sports Foundation awards dinner in New York on Oct. 5, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who has grossed more than $750,000 in endorsements and stipends in 1992, was honored as amateur sportswoman of the year.
By Any Other Name
We call your attention to the labors of John Vorhaus, a Los Angeles-based television sitcom writer with a specialized computer program and way too much free time, who has extracted what he calls the "secret meaning" of several sports names by turning them into anagrams.
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In 490 B.C. the Athenian runner Pheidippides was dispatched from the city of Marathon to Athens with news of the rout of the Persian army. Pheidippides covered the 25 miles from the battlefield to the capital at top speed, delivered his message and then dropped dead on the spot. Despite that rather melodramatic beginning, marathon running developed into a comparatively low-risk event, or at least it was until England's Chris Stewart, the third-place finisher in both the 1976 and '77 New York Marathons, turned the ancient Greek legend on its head and began running relief supplies across sniper-infested battle lines and into the broken heart of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovinia.
Shortly after winning a half marathon in Slovenia last November, Stewart learned of the desperate plight of people living in small Croatian towns cut off from international aid. "Some were dying from simple infections because they had no antibiotics," Stewart says. "They were just ordinary, bewildered people, and nobody seemed to be helping them." After strapping to his waist a canvas pouch stuffed with antibiotics, syringes and bandages, Stewart set off from the outskirts of Osijek, a small city in Croatia, and ran several miles through a battle zone, past woods where Serbian snipers lurked, into Osijek proper. Seven months later he ran supplies to a hospital in the western Bosnia-Herzegovinian town of Jajce, encountering heavy shelling on his seven-hour run back to safety. Once, Stewart took cover in a farmyard. "I was crouching when I realized there were dead people piled all around me," he says.
Stewart had not planned to return to the war until early December, but two weeks ago he received an urgent call at his home in Cyprus telling him the hospital at Jajce had been virtually leveled by shelling and asking him to return to the front, which he is now preparing to do. "Being a marathon runner does help," he says. "You can endure a great deal of discomfort, and you have this determination to get through and do something."