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Scorecard
Edited by Jack McCallum
March 28, 1994
A Splitting Headache
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March 28, 1994

Scorecard

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SHOW

FEATURES

COMMENT

ESPN Fitness Pros
ESPN, ESPN2

Sexy Exercisers in Revealing Outfits
Uses Trendy Madonna Mike
Lots of Muscles
Overly Perky Exercise Leaders

Suggests that rolled-down coveralls and turned-around baseball caps are requisite exercise attire; introduced "cardio-funk" into America's a.m. lexicon.

BodyShaping
ESPN, ESPN2

Resort Setting
Sexy Exercisers in Revealing Outfits
Lots of Muscles
Overly Perky Exercise Leaders

Wisecracking mesomorphs in tank tops; women lifting in bikinis; muscle porn at its best—or worst.

It Figures
Lifetime Television

Overly Perky Exercise Leaders

Infants bounce from Jolly Jumpers as mommies and daddies work out; if the show were any homier, the Waltons would be doing jumping jacks.

Getting Fit
ESPN

Resort Setting
Sexy Exercisers in Revealing Outfits
Overly Perky Exercise Leaders

Guru Denise Austin has one degree in exercise psychology and 1,000 exercise outfits.

Body by Jake
Cable Health Club

Resort Setting
Sexy Exercisers in Revealing Outfits
Lots of Muscles
Overly Perky Exercise Leaders

Jake Steinfeld. the self-proclaimed "trainer to the stars," has started his own 24-hour fitness network, on which he urges you to "work your buttisimo"; the concept of hell is alive.

Bodies in Motion
ESPN

Resort Setting
Sexy Exercisers in Revealing Outfits
Lots of Muscles

Former Israeli decathlete Gilad Janklowicz wants you for his personal exercise army—or he'll kick your buttisimo.

Basic Training
ESPN2

Resort Setting
Sexy Exercisers in Revealing Outfits
Lots of Muscles

Women in provocative fatigues tumbling down hills and power-marching under the whir of battle choppers; this is why Bill Murray enlisted in Stripes.

Everyday Workout
Lifetime Television

Overly Perky Exercise Leaders

Leader Cynthia Kereluk sometimes shown on split screen; by the end of the show, you're twice as sick of her.

Step Reebok
ESPN, ESPN2

Uses Trendy Madonna Mike

Muted, surrealistic lighting makes it look like The Bad-Acid-Trip Workout.

A Splitting Headache

Purse splitting, in which prize money is divided equally among two or more competitors according to a prearranged agreement, was common on the PGA Tour 30 years ago, when money was tight and golfers were not Fortune 500 companies unto themselves. Before their U.S. Open playoff in 1962, Arnold Palmer asked Jack Nicklaus if he would like to split the first- and second-place money. Nicklaus said no, and he went out and won the title. This incident, along with rumors of purse splitting by Nicklaus, Palmer and Gary Player at the 1962 World Series of Golf, led the old PGA of America to prohibit the practice. The ban was continued by the PGA Tour when it was formed in 1968 and continues today, with penalties ranging from minor fines (less than $500) to permanent disbarment from tournament play.

Last week PGA commissioner Deane Beman announced an investigation into purse splitting during certain "unofficial events" on the Senior tour. He did not name them, thereby casting a shadow on all five senior events listed as unofficial: the Senior Skins game, the Senior Slam of Golf, the Chrysler Cup, the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf and the du Pont Cup. Purses for these events range from $450,000 to $1.15 million.

SI has learned that the investigation centers on the Merrill-Lynch Shootout, a weekly nine-hole contest (not even listed as unofficial) played during tournament practice rounds. Shootout purses range from $5,000 for first to $500 for 10th. Obviously, purse splitting in such a small-stakes event would not qualify as a major scandal.

That doesn't make it right, however. Purse splitting is, at the very least, deceptive, a form of false advertising that, no matter what the stakes, undermines the competitive nature of the game. Beman was correct to enlist outside counsel to investigate the allegations, and, if they prove true, he will be correct to penalize the purse splitters.

Radical Stupidity

The Milwaukee Brewers last week brought in a California motivational group called Radical Reality to "motivate" their players. During a clubhouse presentation, one of the Radicals ripped a phone book in two with his bare hands.

The next day an overly motivated Steve Sparks tried to duplicate the phone-book feat—and dislocated his left shoulder in the process. The rookie righthander, a nonroster player, was scratched from his next scheduled pitching appearance and last Friday was assigned to minor league camp. Said Brewer trainer John Adam, "This is one of the freakiest injuries I've seen—and a bit annoying, because I had to look up a number later."

Covering the Big Man

If you think paying Charlotte Hornet forward Larry Johnson's $84 million contract is tough, try insuring it. Such mega-buck deals have become the rage, and one result has been a shortage of insurance for the contracts of top pro athletes.

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