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Scorecard July 14, 1997
Edited by Hank Hersch and Kostya Kennedy
July 14, 1997
Don King's Shrunken Stable...Plummeting 10,000-Meter Mark...Sabres Cut Coach of the Year...Protesting Native American Nicknames...wing's Empty Guarantees
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July 14, 1997

Scorecard July 14, 1997

Don King's Shrunken Stable...Plummeting 10,000-Meter Mark...Sabres Cut Coach of the Year...Protesting Native American Nicknames...wing's Empty Guarantees

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Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo has talent (he's the No. 1 player in the world), youth (he's only 20), riches (he will make about $15 million in salary and endorsements this year), companionship (he dates well-known Brazilian runway model Susana Werner, herself a soccer player) and a major nocturnal problem. In a segment that Jerry Springer or Jenny Jones would have killed for, Ronaldo, a dashing striker who recently left Barcelona to sign with Inter Milan, went public on a Brazilian TV show with the admission that he is a bed wetter. "I have this recurring dream where I'm going to the bathroom to pass water," Ronaldo told the show's host, Xuxa, who happens to be Pelé's former girlfriend. "The next thing I know, my bed is all wet." Ronaldo also made headlines during the Atlanta Olympics when, during Brazil's 3-1 win over Hungary, he relieved himself on the field, shielding his privates with the ball.

At least if his difficulties become an official issue, Ronaldo may have an ally in FIFA, soccer's worldwide governing body. The general secretary of that organization is one Sepp Blatter.

Lunatics 1, Asylum 0

If you have any doubts as to who runs sport in the 1990s, consider the merry madhouse known as the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres, who won the Northeast Division last season, have decided to entrust their future to $4 million-a-year goaltender Dominik Hasek, the league's most valuable player, instead of the NHL's coach of the year, Ted Nolan. During the playoffs the volatile Hasek attacked a Buffalo columnist who questioned the severity of an injury that had kept him out of two postseason games (SI, May 5); Hasek later made it clear that he wanted Nolan out of town, saying he did not respect him. Nolan, whose contract expired on June 30, had the support of nearly every other Buffalo player, but management listened to Hasek. "I honestly don't know what made Dom feel the way he does," Nolan said last week. "I tried to treat everybody fairly, but as far as kissing up to players, I'm not one of those guys."

General manager Darcy Regier, who was hired only last month, took a slap at Nolan when, at a June 26 press conference, he offered him just a one-year contract for an undisclosed amount. Nolan instantly rejected the offer, which was subsequently withdrawn. In the two days after the press conference, there were a pair of pro-Nolan rallies in Buffalo, each of which drew hundreds of fans. Jean Knox, widow of the franchise's founder, Seymour Knox, attended one. "This never would have happened if Seymour were alive today," she says of Buffalo's failure to re-sign Nolan. "Ted Nolan would have a long-term contract."

Nolan has no immediate job prospects. The Jack Adams Award as the top coach is a splendid line on a résumé, but there aren't many NHL coaching opportunities available. Moreover, Nolan's feud with former Sabres general manager John Muckler, whom team president Larry Quinn fired after the playoffs, might make potential employers queasy. "There could be that perception of me [as a G.M. killer]," the 39-year-old Nolan said, "but I've had a pretty good history of working with people."

If Scott Bowman retires as coach and general manager of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, Nolan would be a strong candidate to take over behind the bench in Detroit. Another Red Wings coaching possibility: Muckler.

Bonus Baby
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson was in the Orioles' locker room last week cradling Chris Hoiles's 14-month-old son, Dalton. When Anderson, a bachelor, drew quizzical stares from the Baltimore beat writers, he had a ready explanation. "You make two straight All-Star games," he said, "they give you a baby."

A Different Road

Sports car racing is not widely thought of as an urban pursuit, at least not outside the streets of Monte Carlo. But thanks to driver Dave Rosenblum, some 100 teenagers from poverty-torn North Philadelphia have gotten a taste of the track. In 1984 Rosenblum, 48, a Munich-born and Philadelphia-bred haberdasher, founded the Inner City Youth (ICY) Racing Team, which competes on the professional Sports Car Club of America World Challenge Circuit. Each year the program gives eight to 10 students from Philadelphia's Edison High, which is located near Rosenblum's clothing store, a chance to learn about cars—and about an environment beyond their own neighborhoods—as a member of a pit crew. The kids, who must maintain good grades to stay on the team, take turns traveling to races across the country. Many "graduates" of the program have gone on to automotive careers, from working at car dealerships to becoming military mechanics. All of them, in a world where to do so is not common, have finished high school.

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