His recruiting budget, he says, was six tanks of gas. The entire season is budgeted at $50,000. Says Fowler: "The kids think they will be 10-0. I think we could win five, but more likely three." Whatever, Fowler and everyone else at Baptist Christian hope that after this season, 1974 will not be looked back on as "the good old days."
Sportswriters have been known to get hungry, and their bosses have been known to complain about how much it costs to fill them up. C. B. Fletcher, 40, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, seems to have solved both problems with a masterful stroke that has made him the envy of his colleagues.
He is an occasional "food taster" for hundreds of restaurants under the corporate canopy of Shoney's Inc. These include Shoney's Big Boys and Captain D's, both far-flung fast-food operations. Actually, the company calls Fletcher a "secret shopper." Whenever Fletcher wants to, he goes into any of the restaurants, orders, eats and pays. Then, like the 250 other Shoney secret shoppers, he mails in an evaluation form on the food and service—along with a meal receipt, for which he is reimbursed.
He figures he spends between $10 and $20 a week at the various restaurants, often when he is out of town on a sports assignment, and he makes a lot of critical comments: "I'm afraid if I don't, they might take me off the list." It is true there might not be much future for a fired secret shopper.
Biggest foul-up at Shoney's is failure to keep the water glass filled. "I'd say they miss on that 95% of the time," says C.B. His worst experience? In Memphis he had to wait 20 minutes to even get a menu. Says a miffed Fletcher, "I nearly had a seizure."
For years, basketball fans were confused as to which of the Van Arsdale twins was Tom and which was Dick. Their blond heads bobbed up and down basketball courts for 18 years, most recently for the Phoenix Suns, and while their faces were amazingly similar, so were their talents.
Larry Connor of The Indianapolis Star tells just how similar: during their three years of high school basketball, Dick averaged 16 points, Tom 15.66; in three seasons at Indiana University, Tom averaged 17.38, Dick 17.22, and while Tom had 723 rebounds, Dick had 719; in the NBA (where both played 12 years), Dick averaged 16.4 points per game, Tom 15.3; each made the NBA All-Star team three times.
Their best season was 1970-71, when Tom averaged 22.9 points and Dick 21.9. Their worst was 1976-77, when Dick averaged 7.7 points and Tom 5.8—which is why they are now retiring to desks that are side by side in a Phoenix real-estate office. Without having the rigors of travel, they will be able to spend more time with their families. Each has one son and one daughter.