Oh, these emotional athletes. You may recall the incident (SCORECARD, June 13) in which a Michigan Panther, after intercepting a pass near his own goal line with the score tied in the last minute of regulation play, almost lost the game then and there when he triumphantly—and prematurely—spiked the ball.
Now the danger of letting it all hang out has been brought home again by another athlete in a markedly different sport—bowling—in which spiking is definitely a no-no.
Don Genalo, apparently near victory in a PBA tournament final, rolled the first ball of his last frame and was disheartened to find himself left with a 4-6-7-9-10 "Greek church" split. Thinking he had blown the match, the dejected Genalo half-heartedly tossed his last ball and it landed in the gutter. And then he discovered that he had needed to knock down only three of the five pins left standing in the split to salvage victory. Instead, he lost 214-212.
INTERESTING, VERY INTERESTING
Last week the tale of Shergar, the Irish racehorse kidnapped in February from the Aga Khan's stud farm at Ballymany in Ireland, took another twist. Lloyds of London announced that its underwriters were going to pay the theft insurance—a reported $10.6 million—to 20 of the 34 members of the ownership syndicate who were so covered. Not life insurance, understand, although the Irish police have given up their massive search for Shergar because they believe the 5-year-old stallion is dead.
According to reports, a Lloyds spokesman said last week that the underwriters, on the advice of their lawyers, were paying the theft claim "despite areas of possible doubt." Syndicate members insured only against the death of the horse would still have to press their claims. The stories about the insurance payoff created something of a sensation because Lloyds reportedly disclosed that until a month ago it had had "communications from people purporting to be the kidnappers" through a third party, and that the decision to pay the insurance was made after no further word, "directly or indirectly with whoever may have been responsible for the kidnapping," was forthcoming.
That there had been any contact with the kidnappers came as quite a surprise to police and syndicate members who had been trying in vain for the past several months to communicate with them. Had the kidnappers really been talking, however indirectly, with the underwriters? And if so, why?
The next day Lloyds "categorically" denied that it had been in touch with the kidnappers, but like the masters of intrigue in novels of suspense, it refused to divulge anything more.
THE GRIDDER AND THE SWIMMER
There have been a couple of big milestones in John Elway's life of late. One of them was academic. He received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Stanford, becoming one of the few No. 1 picks in the NFL draft in recent years to graduate on time with his class. The other milestone was romantic. A couple of days earlier Elway became engaged to Stanford classmate Janet Buchan. The two have been dating since they were freshmen—"It seems like 100 years," Buchan says—and plan to marry soon after Elway completes his rookie season with the Denver Broncos, who acquired him in a trade on May 2 after he refused to sign with the Baltimore Colts, the NFL team that had drafted him.