Ask a group of teen-agers to name their favorite sports heroes, and tennis, surprisingly, will produce more candidates than any other sport.
That's what a national poll conducted by the Gallup Youth Survey revealed. Though O. J. Simpson topped the list, three tennis players made the teens' top ten, while basketball, baseball and boxing contributed only one athlete each. The rest of the top ten were: 2. Chris Evert, 3. Joe Namath, 4. Muhammad Ali, 5. Nadia Comaneci, 6. Julius Erving, 7. Billie Jean King, 8. Bruce Jenner, 9. Johnny Bench and 10. Jimmy Connors.
Broken down according to sex, the boys' list was: 1. Simpson, 2. Ali, 3. Erving, 4. Namath, 5. Bench, 6. A tie between Larry Csonka and—are you ready for this?—Howard Cosell, 8. Fran Tarkenton, 9. Connors, 10. Roger Staubach.
The girls selected: 1. Evert, 2. Comaneci, 3. Simpson, 4. King, 5. Namath, 6. Jenner, 7. Ali, 8. Connors, 9. Mark Spitz (yes, Mark Spitz), 10. Olga Korbut.
For whatever it means, the boys picked 10 men while the girls had only four women among their 10 choices.
DOING THE HUSTLE
In the revered, ungrammatical clich� of its best-known sports commentator, the ABC television network "tells it like it is." The network's advertising department obviously doesn't subscribe to the dictum, however. There, the operative slogan seems to be "sell it like it isn't."
Last week ABC-TV ran an ad in The New York Times promoting its telecast of the NCAA track meet on Wide World of Sports. The ad's illustrations featured a photo of high jumper Dwight Stones, who set his 7'7�" world record in last year's NCAA meet. Unfortunately, the '76 meet also marked the end of Stones' college eligibility, a well-known fact that guaranteed he would not be in this year's NCAA meet.
This sort of phony hustle has been tried before (SCORECARD, March 14) by NBC and CBS. If the networks continue to engage in this misleading practice, they may succeed in losing the viewers they go too far to attract.
JUST THE TICKET