SI Vault
Edited by Sarah Pileggi
March 07, 1977
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March 07, 1977


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"Congratulations to you. Red Schoendienst, for the honor of having a baseball field named after you. The best I have ever done was to have a mule named after me—Charlie O. who unfortunately passed away Dec. 15, 1976. I am now looking for a replacement for Charlie O, the mule, and this time it will be a jackass, and I assure you he will not be named Charlie O, but will be named after someone who, in my opinion, is a real jackass. I am sure your imagination is good enough to identify this person immediately."

Let's see. Could it rhyme with phooey?


Athletes, as ABC has told us ad nauseam, experience either the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. The Stratford High School basketball team of suburban Houston has just experienced the thrill of defeat.

Because of a split season with separate champions in each half, Stratford had to lose to Spring Woods High in order to get into a three-way playoff for the District 17-4A championship.

"It defies explanation," said Coach Jerry Kroll, trying to explain, "but anyway, the team we tied in the first round would automatically go to the district championship if we won."

So the Stratford reserves played the entire game and that strategy worked. They lost 72-45. Only the Stratford fans were confused by their role. They sat listlessly in the stands, wondering how one cheers a team on to defeat.

"What could we do?" said cheerleader John Aven. "We couldn't very well yell 'Win team, win.' We were hoping they'd lose. They had to lose."

Lose they could, and lose they did. Said Stratford reserve Roger McCleary, presumably with a straight face, "We knew we had to lose and we did it."


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