Joyner-Kersee has served the sport selflessly for years, and she is one of its few marquee athletes. But is this the time for her to make a stand based on principle, especially that tiresome "no-respect" one trotted out to justify so much selfish behavior these days? It's time to make rebuilding track and field the principle that matters most.
Last week found America's latest 900 number, Jeremy Sonnenfeld, celebrating his newfound fame. Sonnenfeld, the first amateur or professional in the 101-year history of the American Bowling Congress to bowl a sanctioned 900 series—three consecutive perfect games—traveled to Huntsville, Ala., to accept a gold "900" ring at the congress's annual national tournament. He also appeared on Good Morning America and chatted with the BBC.
Steve Lewis, meanwhile, got nothing, except a severe case of the might-have-beens. The 33-year-old Lewis, of Xenia, Ohio, is one of three bowlers to have rolled the closest thing to perfection, an 899 series, and, of those, Lewis came closest of all. Competing last September in his league in Xenia, he rolled 35 straight strikes, only to leave the 6-pin standing on his last roll to finish with a 300-300-299-899. He took the news of Sonnenfeld's feat with grace—after all, he alone knew how difficult it was.
"Once you get that far and realize what you can accomplish, you can't concentrate," says Lewis. "I had butterflies, shaky hands and everything else. It's a sickening feeling. With the pressure Sonnenfeld had on him, I can't believe he did it."
The Sisters McCarthy
Amy and Joanne McCarthy have garnered a modicum of local attention as the starting backcourt for the Illinois-Chicago women's basketball team, but it's their non-ball-handling sister who gets the real exposure. "Jenny's so big now I just accept it," says fifth-year senior Joanne, a 5'7" guard who is the Flames' leading scorer and the reigning Midwestern Collegiate Conference woman player of the year.
Jenny McCarthy, a nonathlete who attended but did not graduate from Southern Illinois, is the 24-year-old former cohost of MTV's Singled Out and Playboy's 1994 Playmate of the Year. She's also a big Illinois-Chicago fan, as she showed when she came to a Flames exhibition game this season and, with Joanne bringing the ball upcourt, stood and yelled—incongruously, but enthusiastically—"Charge!"
Joanne and Amy, a 5'7" junior, recall opening Playboy to see their own flesh and blood in the flesh. "She explained it to me as a stepping-stone," says Amy, who set the career assist record at Moraine Valley Community College near Chicago before transferring last summer. "It's her body. I know that wasn't what she was going to do for the rest of her life. I just wanted to support her."
Amy says that Jenny's manager has suggested that she, Amy, pose for the camera, and she may indeed follow her big sister's tan lines...up to a point. "I don't know about Playboy" Amy says. "Maybe I'll try modeling clothes or something."