Recent history seemed to repeat itself on Saturday when, after a McKinley touchdown late in the first quarter, McDaniels's kick again sailed wide right. "It was déjà vu," McDaniels would say. "I was thinking I might end up feeling the way I did last time." But in the fourth quarter, with his team trailing 20-19, he found Mark Thewes with a 46-yard touchdown pass. Moments later, with McKinley going for a two-point conversion, McDaniels handed off to running back Julius Lancaster, then slipped into the end zone, where he caught Lancaster's pass. McKinley held on to win 27-20 and take a place in the state semifinals—while McDaniels took a place in the McKinley football pantheon.
Ten days after losing his heavyweight championship to 45-year-old George Foreman, 26-year-old Michael Moorer announced that he was retiring from boxing to go into law enforcement. While his decision to quit the ring was hardly a shocker—throughout his 36-bout career, Moorer had seemed ambivalent about the Sweet Science—his choice of a new profession raised some scarred eyebrows. Moorer, after all, once pleaded guilty to slugging a policeman during a brawl. Perhaps he simply figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
But hold that badge. Forty-eight hours after retiring, Moorer unretired, saying he had quit rashly, out of frustration over his personal life. According to his manager, Moorer has already signed for a rematch with Foreman. Even by the revolving-door standards of pugilistic pensioneering, this is a dizzying re-entry. Long ago, when Moorer was all of nine years old, Foreman had his own second thoughts after retiring—but at least Big George waited 10 years before reconsidering.
To Ruin a Bruin
Disciplinary proceedings begun last week in Toronto against Alan Eagleson provide a glimpse of what may be the biggest rip-off ever of an athlete by an agent. In a 17-pagc, 44-count bill of particulars, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the governing body of lawyers in Ontario, has charged Eagleson, the player agent and onetime chief of the NHL Players Association, with a variety of wrongdoing, from unauthorized loans of union funds to embezzlement of airline tickets to collusion with NHL owners. But perhaps the most breathtaking of the allegations concerns Eagleson's treatment of his first and most prominent hockey client, Bobby Orr. In 1975, with Orr looking for a new contract toward the close of his 12-year career, Eagleson allegedly "failed to disclose to Orr...an offer from Boston which included an 18.5% ownership" in the Bruins. Orr wound up signing a deal with Chicago; the value of the Boston franchise was recently estimated to be $88 million. Eagleson's lawyer says his client will contest all charges. But if this particular allegation holds up, Eagleson will have cost the former Bruin great more than $16 million.
Martina Navratilova's retirement from singles competition last week should have been a moment of unalloyed tribute. And it might have been, were it not for the ham-handedness of Madison Square Garden in raising to the rafters a banner graced with Navratilova's name, only to remove it as soon as the Virginia Slims Championships ended five days later.
The banner ceremony, dreamed up by the Garden's marketing and promotions staff, was to commemorate Navratilova's career, her 53 singles victories in the Garden and her 167 tournament titles overall, the most by any player, man or woman. Or was it to sell more tickets to the Slims session on Nov. 15 that included her farewell? Either way, the "tribute" merely confused the honoree, provoked distracting controversy and appalled at least one Virginia Slims executive, who disavowed any involvement with it. Buried in pre-event publicity was a minor detail: The banner wouldn't go up and stay up, to hang alongside those honoring former Knicks and Rangers, but would be hoisted only during tennis events. There is just one tennis event at the Garden—the Slims. Worse, nobody saw fit to point out the fine print to Navratilova until the last minute. "It seems like more trouble to put it up and take it down than to just leave it up," said Navratilova, who was reluctant to make an issue of the matter.
Paul Munick, vice president of athletics and family entertainment at the Garden, bridled at criticism of the ceremony and says the decision will stand. "The folks who are up on the ceiling are Knicks and Rangers who have been in this building hundreds of times," he says. "It's their home. With all due respect to Martina, it's not her home." But if she hadn't somehow made the place her home, why was the Garden raising the banner? And once deciding to honor her, why slacken the embrace by doing so halfheartedly?
"Should we have bought her a Rolls-Royce?" asks Munick, who suggests Navratilova was angry because she had lost her last singles match, a first-rounder with Gabriela Sabatini, who went on to beat Lindsay Davenport in the final.