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Scorecard June 9, 1997
Edited By Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
June 09, 1997
Irabu Arrives...Betting on Bailey...Will the Bills Leave Buffalo?...Sorry State of Indy...NBA Assistant Coaches Get Rich...A Splendid Start for Women's Pro Softball
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June 09, 1997

Scorecard June 9, 1997

Irabu Arrives...Betting on Bailey...Will the Bills Leave Buffalo?...Sorry State of Indy...NBA Assistant Coaches Get Rich...A Splendid Start for Women's Pro Softball

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With Indy in trouble—this year's pole-qualifying crowd was the smallest in 51 years, and the rain delay helped to hold the race crowd to 100,000, some 200,000 below normal—Speedway officials were eager to stage an exciting show. Desperate to have the race finish with the cars going all out, chief steward Keith Ward ordered a caution period aborted and the green flag displayed to open the final lap. This came as a surprise to Luyendyk and Scott Goodyear, who until the caution had been dueling for the lead and expected that the race would end under a yellow flag. To make matters worse, caution lights were left blinking in Turns 1 and 2. The competitors, confused and in the wrong gears, accelerated upon seeing the green, and Luyendyk beat Goodyear to the line.

Asked by UPI if he was amazed by "some of the inept judgment calls that are made here," Luyendyk replied, "You used the perfect words, and it does amaze me."

As motor sports marketing executive William Dyer told The Indianapolis Star: "It's going to be real hard to rebuild the stature of Indy. The product is flawed."

Size No Object

Dean Brudwick, for 23 years the boys' golf coach at Mankato (Minn.) West High, knew he'd found someone special two years ago when Brian Haack came out for the team. "The first time people see Brian, they look at him sort of funny, like, What's he doing here?" says Brudwick of his No. 4 golfer. "Then he steps up and drives one right down the middle. No one can believe it."

At 4'5", Haack is a dwarf. He is also one of Minnesota's better high school golfers, a smooth-putting mainstay of Mankato's defending state champion squad, which is ranked fourth in Minnesota heading into this week's state tournament. Haack, a senior, has never let his stature curtail his athletic ambitions, whether in golf, baseball, tennis or even basketball. "I was the 2 guard," says Haack, who played for Mankato as a freshman. "I just didn't shoot the ball too much. Too easy to block."

On the links Haack's only concessions to his size are his inch-shorter-than-standard driver and putter. Though he hits the ball only 220 yards off the tee, he recently fired a career-best even-par 71 and regularly shoots between 74 and 85. "Brian works the greens very, very well," says Brudwick. "It's a real strength."

And what of those spectators who can't help but stare? "They watch me off the 1st tee, and then they go about their business," says Haack. "They see I'm just another golfer."

Follow the Money

When Larry Brown signed a contract worth a reported $5 million a season last month to guide the Philadelphia 76ers, he publicly thanked Rick Pitino, who was soon to sign a 10-year, $50 million deal with the Boston Celtics, for raising the bar on head coaching salaries. Now NBA assistant coaches should also express their gratitude to Pitino. Team sources say that the Celtics will pay Pitino's righthand man, Jim O'Brien, about $450,000 a season, making him the league's highest-paid assistant. Darrell Walker, the Toronto Raptors' head coach, made $275,000 this season, though Raptors executive vice president Isiah Thomas has promised him a raise.

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