SI Vault
Edited by Ron Reid
June 04, 1979
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June 04, 1979


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The idea came to Conrey, a weekend player from Fort Lauderdale, after taking tennis lessons four years ago from Don Candy, who coaches Pam Shriver.

"The objective in tennis is to keep your eye on the ball and hit it in the center of the strings," Conrey says. "But the hardest thing to teach is to watch the ball hit the strings. Candy said I wasn't seeing the ball. He said, 'When you do, you'll hear a sound.' I said, 'What sound?' He said, 'The ping of a solid hit.' So I thought, 'Why not hear a sound like a beep every time?' "

Shortly after the lesson, a friend and partner, Phil McQuaid, gave Conrey a book called How to Invent and Get Rich. A week later he dreamed up the electric racket, which has been patented but is not yet on the market.

When it is, the beeps may eliminate some bleeps.


When a schoolteacher in Houston told her fifth-grade class to write a paper on the two greatest heroes in Texas' history, one student's entry was Jim Bowie and Bum Phillips.

Bowie, of Alamo fame, seemed a logical choice, but Phillips, head coach of the Houston Oilers?

" Bum Phillips made a football fan out of my mother," the youngster said. "If he can do that, he has to be a hero."


Following the Preakness, the infield at Pimlico was strewn with 140 tons of garbage that took 200 men most of the next day to cart off. The removal crew estimated that 80% of it consisted of empty beer, wine and liquor containers, with a curious contrast between the empties at the start and finish lines. Wine was the favorite at the start, bourbon predominated at the wire, and beer was the top choice in the middle of the infield.

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