The Soldier's final chunk, meanwhile, was launched in near darkness, and the pumpkin projectile could not be found. When searchers came up empty again the next day, the Modulator was declared the winner. Two days later, however, Melson's splattered punkin'—identifiable from signatures of team members and the "To the bat of hell" scrawled on the pumpkin's skin—was located by chunkers some 200 feet behind the church, which meant the fruit had flown more than 2,900 feet. "Those chunkers wanted me to protest the results," Melson says. "I told them to just let it go. If we had won the appeal, the boys from Illinois would have thought the contest was rigged. Sure, we got a raw deal, but that's the way the punkin' busts."
Cut Out for the Job
After guiding Tampa Bay to the best record (20-12) in Major League Soccer, Thomas Rongen was named coach of the year. So it was surprising that he left the team last week to coach the New England franchise. Then again, maybe the move makes sense. The team Rongen abandoned is nicknamed the Mutiny. The team he joined? The Revolution.
The Home Team
Some eyebrows were raised last month when a list of the NBA's top 50 alltime players (as selected by a national panel of broadcasters, journalists and former players) included 12 former Boston Celtics. But in Boston, where pride in the Celtics, who have won 16 NBA championships, runs deep, the nearly one-fourth representation was deemed to be just about right—or maybe too low. The Boston Globe asked its readers to rate the 50 honored players (they weren't ranked by the national panel) in order of their ability, and let's just say the 1,932 responses received as of Monday had a parochial flavor.
Fans had the sense to place Michael Jordan first, albeit tied with Celtic Bill Russell. Boston's Larry Bird came in second (according to the Globe's ranking system) with non-Celtics Magic Johnson and Wilt Chamberlain tied for third. But then things got a little green. Boston's Bob Cousy was ranked sixth, ahead of both Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. Celtic John Havlicek was eighth (too high but not horribly so), and Boston's Kevin McHale (10), Sam Jones (11) and Dave Cowens (13) were way too high. Bill Sharman, Cousy's backcourt mate, who some felt shouldn't have even been on the list, was tied with Moses Malone for 17th. Finally, Nate Archibald (a too-high 18) and Pete Maravich (a too-high 20) were regarded with undue favor because, one must conclude, they played with the Celtics late in their careers.