Oh, that's right. There is no commissioner.
Not So Fast
In our Sept. 28 issue we reported that the University of Washington football team had 27 players who run 40 yards in a time of 4.6 seconds or faster. Tailback Beno Bryant, we said, turns a 4.29 in the 40, cornerback Waller Baileya 4.31, and star running back Napoleon Kaufman a blistering 4.22. "Nobody runs with Napoleon," said overawed Husky freshman Jason Shelley. Well, apparently not even Napoleon runs with Napoleon.
The Washington coaching staff certified the times as correct, having begun timing recruits themselves after receiving exaggerated times from players' high school coaches. This is a fairly common practice. "I know one thing, every high school coach I've ever seen exaggerates his players' 40-yard-dash times," says Oklahoma strength and conditioning coach Pete Martinelli. "They want the kid to get signed."
Now comes an alert reader, Pat Crandall of Bowie, Md., to assert that virtually all 40 times dispensed by football coaches—swallowed whole and breathlessly reported by the press—are preposterous. Crandall notes that the 1991 world championship 100-meter final, in which Carl Lewis set the world record of 9.86, was videotaped and analyzed at 10-meter intervals by Seiko. By extrapolation, it can be proved to within one .01 of a second that Leroy Burrell, who was leading at that point and whose clocking of 9.88 at the finish is the second fastest ever in the event, had a time at the 40-yard mark of 4.38 seconds. Which would mean that those 40-yard times at Washington—and at a lot of other schools—are just plain nonsense.
St. Louis Blue general manager Ron Caron invests a few dollars each week in the Illinois lottery, and while the Blues were in training camp last month, the jackpot for choosing the six winning numbers swelled to $42 million. When the winning numbers were selected on Oct. 3, Caron was pleased to see he had picked the first two, 7 and 8, and he began to get excited when he discovered he also had the next two numbers, 18 and 28.
The fifth number was 38, and Caron was beside himself when he found he had that one too. The final number was 17. Caron had picked 13.
The day after the lottery, one player, Denny Felsner, was cut from the Blues' training camp roster. Felsner's uniform number was 17.
The Ol' Redhead