ESPN, the cable TV sports channel, has a series called Best of Notre Dame Football, which appeared on Channel 40 in Chicago this summer. Notre Dame fans, who are in abundance around Chicago, were delighted, of course—until the show went on the air. Then doubts crept in. The first Notre Dame game that ESPN ran was a 28-14 loss to Southern California in 1971. The second was a 45-23 loss to USC in 1972. ESPN rallied the Irish to two wins in a row, but then came a 34-20 loss to Pitt in 1975, a 17-13 loss to USC in 1976 and a rerun of that 1972 rout by USC.
This is the best of Notre Dame football? Five defeats in the first seven games? Irish fans, fighting off memories of the Joe Kuharich era (two wins, eight defeats one season), protested. "Worst of Notre Dame Football," they called the series.
HAS GRETAWITZ EVER RUN IN TENNIS?
Not long ago, a copy of an English-language magazine called Kuwait Track and Field arrived at the Indianapolis headquarters of the U.S. governing body in that sport, The Athletics Congress. Some of the contents of the Middle East-published magazine required a bit of effort to decipher. As recently noted in the TAC newsletter, when the Kuwait magazine referred to the "Oniz prize," it apparently meant the Jesse Owens Award conferred annually on the top U.S. track athlete. Similarly, the Norwegian runner the magazine identified as "Gretawitz" was, in all probability, Grete Waitz. Then there was Kuwait Track and Field's reference to last June's TAC championships in "Tennis." The event was held in Knoxville, Tenn. Another event the magazine mentioned was the U.S.-U.S.S.R. meet in July in TAC's home city. Yep, right there in "Indiana Police."
But it's a risky business to make fun of foreigners' command of one's native tongue, witness a joking suggestion by the TAC newsletter that Kuwait Track and Field's gaffe about Indiana Police made it sound as if state troopers had surreptitiously "taken over the reigns of U.S. athletics." Yep, "reigns."
NOW OCCUPYING THE RAIDERS' SPACE
It won't necessarily fill the void created by the loss of the Raiders to Los Angeles, but the USFL announced last month that it will put a team in the Oakland Coliseum called the Bay Area Invaders. Howard Friedman, the franchise's administrative vice-president, said that the name was selected simply because it "presents an aggressive, 'now-kind-of-thing' image. Beyond that, we're happy to accept anything anyone wants to make of it." We fear that the "now kind of thing" Friedman is referring to really is "Space Invaders," the electronic game that got the video craze going. We further fear that videomania, having thus infiltrated the USFL, could spread like the plague. With several USFL teams still searching for a name, can the Phoenix Galaxians or the L.A. Asteroids be next? Stay tuned, earthlings.