June. In Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the Orlando Magic beats the San Antonio Spurs at the buzzer to win the title. The Spurs squander a chance to win when Dennis Rodman takes nine steps without dribbling the ball on a last-second breakaway and is called for traveling. "Hey, no one can make me play by the rules, man," says Rodman. "I'm a rebel." For the finale Rodman wears his hair up in a French twist, with a lovely bordeaux tint.
July. Three-year-old Ashley Brats-worth defeats Steffi Graf in straight sets to become the youngest female to win Wimbledon. Ashley's dad insists he wanted his daughter to have a normal childhood, but the girl had her heart set on playing pro tennis. "What could I do?" says Dad. "It's her decision." He says Ashley should be even better next year, once she is potty trained.
August. In their search for a new commissioner, the baseball owners are turned down by George Mitchell, Mario Cuomo, Dan Rostenkowski, Oliver North and Joycelyn Elders. They finally turn to the only person who will accept the position, and in his first official act, commissioner Pete Rose reinstates himself.
Tyson runs his post-prison record to 12-0 with a third-round TKO of Calvert DeForest.
September. The NFL, in an agreement with Fox, postpones the start of the season for one week to focus more attention on commentator Jimmy Johnson, who says he will make a decision on his future very soon. "I won't coach again unless an owner agrees to give me his team," says Johnson. "He has to hand over 100 percent ownership, then go home and leave me alone. I won't take a penny less. I enjoy TV too much." In Phoenix, Cardinal owner Bill Bidwill is reportedly mulling over Johnson's demand.
October. On the last day of the baseball season, Bonds hits his 178th home run of the year, but Wade Boggs falls short in his bid to hit .800, finishing at .798. "If only the Woodman had picked up the slack behind me," says Boggs, referring to Yankee cleanup hitter Woody Allen, "things might have been different."
The Cleveland Indians win the World Series. Charlie Sheen saves all four games.
November. Tyson knocks out Danny Bonaduce and accepts an offer to fight George Foreman on Jan. 22, 1998, the champ's 50th birthday. Foreman says the layoff will give him time to not get in shape.
December. Cowboy coach Jackie Sherrill tries to castrate a lion to get his team motivated for a playoff game in Detroit. The lion cats him. Jones hires Johnson as his new coach. "To be honest," says Johnson, "Jerry and I never stopped loving each other."