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A Year of Transitioning
Steve Rushin
December 20, 1999
Our first annual Theismanns go to those who made the most indelible statements of '99
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December 20, 1999

A Year Of Transitioning

Our first annual Theismanns go to those who made the most indelible statements of '99

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Heavyweight title fights stolen from Britons. FBI agents pursuing Don King: These are a few of our favorite things.

But then, we have so many fond memories of 1999. And so this evening we acknowledge those people who made the year a momentous one in sports media, and bestow upon each honoree a Theismann trophy, named for quarterback-turned-broadcaster Joe Theismann, who once said, "The word genius isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

And the Theismanns go to....

Best Answer to Dumb Question

Injury-plagued tennis player Todd Martin was asked in a U.S. Open press conference: "Could you tell us where you are physically right now?"

"Physically, I'm right here," replied Martin. "Would you like to know where I am metaphysically?" Most Candid Color Analysis Mary Bryan, ESPN golf announcer, on air during the Rochester International, blurted out: "I think players and caddies have to have good intercourse on a week like this."

Boldest Statement in a Print
Dana M. King had already agreed to a plea bargain that would minimize her jail time when she appeared in court in Centerville, Tenn., in May on drunk driving charges. Needing only to feign contrition in the courtroom, King found herself in front of Hickman County circuit judge Timothy Easter, who promptly sentenced her to 10 days in jail for contempt (a citing that was later overturned). In hindsight it may have been imprudent for King to have come before the judge in a Stone Cold Steve Austin T-shirt, especially one boldly emblazoned with the professional wrestler's catch phrase—THE 11TH COMMANDMENT: THOU SHALT WHOOP ASS.

Most Gracious Sound Bite
On Nov. 19, before his first game at Golden State since the strangulation of coach P.J. Carlesimo nearly two years before, Knicks forward Latrell Sprewell was asked if he'd consider meeting with the man he choked purple. "Definitely," Spree told reporters. "I mean, I'm not so arrogant that I can't forgive."

Lifetime Achievement in Advertising
Sega, the Japanese electronics giant, paid several million dollars for the right to put its name on the jerseys of the Italian soccer team Sampdoria, little realizing that sega is Italian slang for masturbation.

Special Citation in New Media On the Internet auction house eBay, a man named Timothy Stockwell put up for bid some bits of wreckage from the 1979 plane crash that killed Yankees catcher Thurman Munson. Bidding reached $12.54 before Stockwell withdrew the scraps of metal and nylon, following protests from the catcher's horrified widow.

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