SI Vault
Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum
March 05, 1984
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March 05, 1984


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The award for the smelliest trade of the week goes to David Schoenstadt, who owns both the New York Arrows and the Kansas City Comets in the Major Indoor Soccer League. The MISL is freewheeling enough both to allow such dual ownership and to have looked the other way when the Eastern Division also-ran Arrows traded star forward Njego Pesa to the St. Louis Steamers, a team that was in a fierce battle with Schoenstadt's Comets for first place in the Western Division.

Would baseball allow George Steinbrenner to own both the Yankees and the White Sox? Even if it did, would it then think nothing of it if George shipped Dave Winfield to the Royals when the latter team was challenging the Sox for first place? Of course not. Schoenstadt lamely explained that last week's confounding deal was made "for the good of the Arrows"—the New York team received a draft choice and a reported $7,500 in exchange for Pesa—and he further insisted that the Comets could "overcome" Pesa's presence in the St. Louis lineup. But he also had the grace to admit that the trade was "a classic example of conflict of interest."

The Los Angeles Rams' Kirk Collins, who had come into his own as a corner-back in 1983, died last week at the age of 25 of cancer of the esophagus, a rare disease in one so young. At Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, Collins came so late to the game that he wasn't recruited by any four-year university and wound up instead at Binn ( Texas) Junior College. Although he eventually won a scholarship to Baylor, he didn't start for the Bears until the final game of his junior year and was selected by the Rams only in the seventh round of the 1980 college draft. Collins made the team but spent his first season on injured reserve and his next two on special teams and as a reserve safety. But Collins was quick and smart and never stopped improving, and last fall he not only became a starter but also was leading the NFL in interceptions early in the season. He appeared to be emerging as a star.

But then tragedy struck. In the first quarter of a 27-24 overtime loss to the Jets on Sept. 25, Collins pulled a groin muscle while returning an interception 58 yards, his second interception of the day and fifth of a season then only four weeks old. He would never play football again. In an examination prompted by the groin injury, a malignant tumor was discovered in his throat. After that Collins attended Rams practices in street clothes and accompanied the team to some away games. He was awarded the game ball after the Rams' 24-17 upset of Dallas in the playoffs, a game he watched on TV from a hospital bed. His death came less than five months after his final NFL game.

Phil and Steve Mahre were the first brothers to finish one-two in the same event in the Winter Olympics, but they weren't the first siblings to do so. In fact, the Goitschels of France did it twice in 1964 in Innsbruck, Christine finishing ahead of Marielle in the slalom and Marielle winning the giant slalom while Christine tied for the silver with Jean Saubert of the U.S. And brothers have gone one-two at the Summer Games. In 1896 John and Sumner Paine of the U.S. won the gold and silver medals in the military pistol event in the first modern Olympics in Athens, and two other Americans, Piatt and Ben Adams, did likewise in the standing high jump in 1912. In 1952 fencers Edoardo and Dario Mangiarotti of Italy went one-two in the �p�e. Raimondo and Piero D'Inzeo, also of Italy, took the gold and silver in individual show jumping at the 1960 Summer Games, but their horses weren't related.


What came to your mind when you saw the symbol of the 1984 Winter Olympics? Most people doubtless interpreted the symbol as being a stylized snowflake. Gary Griffin, a chemistry professor at the University of New Orleans, and Laurence Peterson, until recently the vice-president of Celanese Research Company, had another view. The ubiquitous design made them think of the symbolic representation of tetramethy lenecyclobutane, the non-benzoid aromatic hydrocarbon molecule they synthesized when they were professor and student, respectively, at Yale in 1962.

When it comes to geometric design, similarity, like beauty, is apparently very much in the eye of the beholder. "We talked about writing a tongue-in-cheek letter to Sarajevo telling them they had stolen our molecule and we were going to sue them for two suitably framed posters of the logo," Griffin says. It's probably just as well that he and Peterson finally settled for the satisfaction of seeing their molecular symbol, or something roughly like it, get worldwide exposure. Afterall, the word out of Sarajevo is that the Olympic design was the handiwork of the late Miroslav Apronic, a Yugoslav economist and graphic designer who got the idea for it from the pattern in an old handmade rug.

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