SI Vault
Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum
November 16, 1981
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November 16, 1981


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As everybody knows, the term "no-show" refers to people who buy tickets to sports events but then stay home. Somewhat more baffling, to us anyway, is the use of that term by a radio sportscaster who, remarking on the near-capacity crowd of 57,574 in Candlestick Park for the San Francisco 49ers' 45-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys earlier this season, assured his audience, "I don't think we have many no-shows here."


Would you believe $100 for a pair of running shoes? Well, here comes the 990 from New Balance, the Allston, Mass. firm that fancies itself the Rolls-Royce of the running business. New Balance already manufactured $70 training shoes (by comparison, the top-of-the-line entry of the industry giant, Nike, bears a $56.95 price tag), but the 990 is billed as the last word in durability and stability. It features a polyurethane motion-control mechanism (rigid enough to anchor the heel, claims Product Manager Jim Solomon, yet flexible enough not to damage the leg), pigskin instead of cowskin (for lightness and to allow the foot to breathe), Vibram soles and reflector material for night running.

Firing the opening salvo in what shapes up as a hot philosophical debate among the aerobic set, Ed Burke, manager of the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston, told The Boston Globe's Bruce A. Mohl, "I couldn't in good faith sell that shoe. I simply don't feel any running shoe is worth $100." But Duke Hutchinson, assistant manager at Marathon Sports in nearby Cambridge, was no doubt right when he predicted, "There will be people out there who will buy them. It's kind of the first-kid-on-the-block syndrome."


For Mike Stock, Northwestern '61, Saturday was a bad day all around. Not only did his alma mater get beat for a record 29th straight time (page 68) but also the team he has coached for the past three seasons, Eastern Michigan University, extended its own losing streak to 17, currently the second-longest in the nation, as the result of a 13-7 defeat at the hands of Kent State. But the doubly cursed Stock is defiantly upbeat. Noting that only one of Eastern Michigan's starters is a senior, he says, "We've laid a good foundation for the future. And the kids haven't gotten down." As for Northwestern, which has had three coaches in the space of four years, he says, "There hasn't been enough stability there, going from one personality to another. It takes time."

Stock should know. In 1958, he joined a Northwestern team that had gone 0-9 the season before under second-year coach Ara Parseghian. After improving to 5-4 in '58, Parseghian's Wildcats really came alive in 1959 and were ranked No. 1 in the country for four weeks before finishing with a 6-3 record. Stock was All-Big Ten that season, and led the conference in scoring, a signal achievement for a 5'9", 185-pound fullback and strong safety who had wound up at Northwestern mainly because he hadn't been recruited by any other major football school. "While I was at Northwestern, we beat Oklahoma twice and Notre Dame twice," Stock recalls. "And we lost to Ohio State in Columbus 47-6, then came back the next year to beat them in Evanston 21-0."

Which leaves only the question of how the Eastern Michigan Hurons (0-9) would have fared against Northwestern (0-9) if those two hapless teams had been fated to meet in 1981. Says Mike Stock, coach and Old Grad, "It would have been a heck of a battle."

Jack Nicklaus' son Steve, a freshman wide receiver on Florida State's football team, has been given a nickname by his new teammates. According to Golf World magazine, the other Seminole players call him "Arnie."

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