Guthridge's only real failure was to leave the Carolina faithful muttering the most profane four-letter word in their lexicon: Duke. Guthridge lost six of his eight meetings with the Blue Devils and allowed Carolina to slip perceptibly in the state recruiting derby. But Williams could solve the Duke dilemma. No Tar Heels fan failed to notice how Williams confronted Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on the sideline for working the refs during Kansas's narrow second-round NCAA tournament loss to the Blue Devils in March. Over his dozen years in Lawrence, Williams has brought a better grade of athlete than might be expected to a campus that's so remote. All of which suggests that Williams's departure from Tornado Alley could be every bit as well-timed as Guthridge's three years on Tobacco Road.
NHL-ER GOES HOLLYWOOD
A Puckish Star
From physical hockey to physical comedy. Cam Neely, the bruising Boston Bruins right wing who retired in 1996 after 13 seasons in the NHL, apparently has found his new calling: acting. That is, if you can call making cameos in the gross-out comedies of the Farrelly brothers acting.
Neely, who made his movie debut as belligerent trucker Sea Bass in Bobby and Peter Farrelly's 1994 opus Dumb and Dumber, reprises his role—albeit this time as Trooper Sea Bass—in the Farrellys' current feature Me, Myself and Irene. "They're big fans of New England sports," says Neely of the brothers, who are Rhode Island natives. "That's how we got introduced."
Despite his Tinseltown experiences, Neely doesn't expect to overtax his SAG card. "It's very enjoyable, but I'm not running around pounding on doors looking for work," he says of his big-screen gig. "It's a chance to do something fun in a team atmosphere. It beats sitting behind a desk."
As for which environment is cruder, a movie set run by the Farrellys—filmmakers who never met a bodily fluid they didn't like—or an NHL locker room, Neely says, "I've got to go with the Farrelly brothers. You just don't see that kind of stuff in locker rooms."
Street-Smart Street Luger
It's hard to miss the only woman among the 41 ranked professionals in street luge, the sport that re-creates the day you lay flat on your back on your skateboard, pointed it down the biggest hill in the neighborhood and ran home screaming and bleeding to your mother. Pam Zoolalian, ranked 10th internationally, wears a pink leather bodysuit (the better to match her fuchsia hair) during competition. On July 16 Zoolalian, 28, will attempt to beat out 31 guys with names like Biker Sherlock and Rat Suit in the 2000 Gravity Games in Providence.
How does a nice girl from Pasadena get involved in a sport so cold-blooded that she calls "mild" a 1998 race-day injury that broke bones and tore the tendons in her right ankle? "A male friend of mine introduced me to street luge in 1995," says Zoolalian, who finances her hobby through her job as a fashion designer for Elleven, a surf-wear company in Huntington Beach. "I was like, Ohmigod, I totally want to try it." She made her first board from a piece of plywood purchased at Home Depot. By 1998, Zoolalian had set the street luge world speed record by clocking 65 mph at a race in Falls View, Ariz. She now travels almost every weekend to places as far away as Zurich for whatever race is on the elite street luge calendar, and rides a $1,000 aluminum and chromoly board that has been custom-built to suit her 5'2", 110-pound frame.
While her starts are usually slower than those of her bigger and stronger male competitors, Zoolalian's size helps her negotiate tight turns and squeeze through small openings in the pack during races, in which either four or six riders compete at once. "I am pretty aggressive," she says. Her opponents respect her for it—at least "the old-school guys," she says, "not so much the younger, cocky ones."