SI Vault
November 15, 1999
Confidence GameWithout reform, boxing's just the same old con
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November 15, 1999


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Two months after his induction Fowler was in Turkey, tending to victims of a devastating Aug. 17 earthquake. Few people were better qualified for such a task than the 44-year-old Fowler, who has spent nine years as an emergency medicine instructor at universities in Turkey and who founded the country's emergency medicine association.

Football was never his passion. After receiving his bachelor's degree, Fowler taught junior high school in India for eight months and then returned to UCLA, where he got his M.D. in 1983. While finishing his residency in emergency medicine and teaching at a community hospital in Kentucky, he wrote to foreign medical schools asking for a job in emergency medicine. To his surprise a response from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey, included a date when he could start working. "They were excited somebody wanted to come," says Fowler, who spoke little Turkish and had to learn the language on the fly. "Usually, no one in the U.S. would be interested."

After the quake he saw his work pay off when he met one of his former students in a makeshift emergency hospital. "She had just become a certified emergency specialist when the earthquake hit," Fowler told the Los Angeles Times. "That was great, seeing her running the emergency department of this temporary hospital."

"There's a lot to be done yet," says Fowler. "But that's the point—to train people to take my place."

Puttering Around The House

Between driving her three kids to soccer and baseball practice, taking an accounting class at the University of Dubuque in her hometown and keeping a three-bedroom house in order, Kim Haas is trying to become a millionaire. Haas, a 36-year-old housewife, will win $2 million—$1 million for herself and $1 million for charity—if she makes a 10-foot putt on national TV this month. "I've pushed aside the cleaning a little," she says.

On Nov. 28 at the Westin Innisbrook Resort, Haas will become the fifth person and the first woman to attempt the seven-figure putt. No one has made it since Gillette started the putt-off in 1995, but don't bet against Haas. In August, after practicing for weeks on her off-white living room carpet, she hit a 10-footer for $12,500 in a preliminary contest, then won a drawing for a shot at the $2 million putt. To prep for that knee-knocker, Haas, who plays golf about twice a year, has putted for at least 30 minutes a day at a Dubuque course. She has also worked on visualization. "I've dreamed about the putt twice," she says. "Both times it went in."

Auld Enemies
Scotland and England have treated each other rudely since before William (Braveheart) Wallace mooned English nobles at the Battle of Stirling Bridge seven centuries ago. The latest affront came during ticket sales for this week's second leg of a two-game playoff between Scotland and England for a spot in the 2000 European soccer championships. To keep a Tartan Army of hooligans from sweeping southward, the staff at Wembley Stadium's box office received a crash course in identifying Scottish surnames and accents-two guidelines by which ticket buyers could be denied seats. If your name was MacDuff and you spoke with a burr, you had a tough time getting a ticket even if you'd been a Londoner for decades. Illegal? Not in Europe, where soccer officials routinely segregate opposing fans to cut down on rioting. Despite such efforts, more than 25,000 Scots are expected at Wembley for the renewal of soccer's Battle of Britain, the sport's oldest international rivalry.

The Man Who Rocked the Rock

In a boxing week marred by same ol', same ol', the big surprise came from a bout at which, lo and behold, a fight broke out. Last Saturday's heavyweight battle between little-known Oleg Maskaev and title contender Hasim (the Rock) Rahman in Atlantic City combined the id-stoking drama of Jack Dempsey vs. Luis Firpo with the ugliness of Riddick Bowe vs. Andrew Golota.

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