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Events that have already been closed captioned include this year's Sugar Bowl, the Super Bowl and selected regular-season NFL games. Though the captions are designed primarily for fans with hearing problems, the National Captioning Institute is also trying to interest bar owners in using the service as a way of helping patrons get essential information despite the din of the crowd. Another new and potentially large market is suggested by a hearing-impaired Yadkinville, N.C. woman who related that her husband, who can hear, enjoyed the captions on a recent Monday-night NFL telecast as much as she did. She explains, "He says it's nice to turn down the volume so he doesn't have to listen to Howard Cosell."
BUT THERE ARE NO MORE ZASLOFSKYS
To update our last report on the subject (SI, Oct. 20, 1980), the number of players named Johnson in the NBA figures to grow to 15, or 5.4% of the league's players during the upcoming season. The expected addition of rookies Frank ( Wake Forest) to the Washington Bullets and Steve ( Oregon State) and Eddie ( Illinois) to the Kansas City Kings will swell the ranks of a Johnson contingent already so potent that Atlanta Hawk Guard Eddie, a 19.1 point-a-game performer last season (and older brother of the Bullets' Frank), would be only sixth man on an all-Johnson team consisting of forwards Mickey and Marques, Center George T. and guards Magic and Dennis. Those five would have soundly whipped both the all-Smith team (there were five of them in the NBA last season, including guards Randy and Phil) and the all-Jones team (also five last season, the best being Bobby and Caldwell).
But the Johnsons had better watch out. There were three players named Williams in the NBA in 1980-81, Ray averaging 19.7 points, Freeman 19.3 and Sly 13.2. They will return this season along with Ray's brother Gus, a 22.1-point scorer in '79-80 who sat out last season in a contract dispute with Seattle, and three rookie Williamses—Buck ( Maryland) and Sam ( Arizona State), first-round picks of New Jersey and Golden State, respectively, and Herb ( Ohio State), who scored 24 points in just 27 minutes for the Indiana Pacers in a recent exhibition game and who has apparently sewed up the backup center job, forcing the man who previously held that spot to move to forward. His name: demon Johnson.
ONLY IN AMERICA
Not since Jack Nicklaus won the Cajun Classic to finish $81.13 ahead of Arnold Palmer for the 1964 money title had the pro golf tour seen anything quite like it. Going into last weekend's Pensacola Open, which has long since replaced the Cajun as the tour's final stop, there was a four-way battle for the 1981 earnings title among Tom Kite with $364,099, Ray Floyd with $354,926, Tom Watson with $345,660 and Bruce Lietzke with $336,146. Because in recent years most of golf's major awards had been wrapped up long before the tour's end, the Pensacola usually attracted a lot of nobodies. But this year was different. All four of the above-mentioned worthies were on hand.
Well, it was a dogfight, just as you would have expected. Jerry Pate won the tournament with a 17-under-par 271, with Kite, Lietzke and Floyd finishing, respectively, four, five and seven strokes back. Then there was Watson, who was playing Pensacola for the first time in hopes of winning PGA Player-of-the-Year and top money honors for the fifth straight year. He sank an 80-foot putt on the 18th hole for an opening 64, but then blew up with a second-round 76 and finished 10 strokes behind Pate. He thus failed to get the win he needed to overtake the absent Bill Rogers for Player-of-the-Year honors. He also was supplanted at the top of the money list, which he headed in 1980 with a record $530,808. This year it wound up as follows: Kite $375,699, Floyd $359,360, Watson $347,660 and Lietzke $343,446. So who needs Nicklaus vs. Palmer, anyway?