Inevitably, some people aboard the QE2 wondered whether their butterfly-stroking, diploma-conferring fellow passenger might be, well, a man overboard. Undaunted, Misheff explained that Swimming Across the Atlantic was merely intended to "poke fun at preconception and challenge the absurd." And, oh yes, would anybody like to help him finance his voyage by buying a section of his drawing Wave on Wave? Misheff created that work in five days of nonstop toil in Milan. It consisted of wavy lines drawn on a 30-meter-long strip of paper with 400 blue ball-point pens. Ten meters were sold at a price of roughly $650 a meter.
Houston Astro First Baseman Ray Knight has been going around in recent months with a young woman he introduces as "my girl friend, Nancy." Double takes are in order. The object of Knight's very obvious affection is Nancy Lopez, the golfer. The 29-year-old Knight, who as of Sunday was among the National League batting leaders with a .298 average, met Lopez, 25, who's eighth on this year's LPGA money list, in Houston, where they were living only a few doors apart. Lopez' divorce from Houston sportscaster Tim Melton recently became final, and friends don't rule out the possibility that she and Knight will marry. There's no telling what Rona Barrett would say about any of this, but students of mixed-sports romances would no doubt rank a Knight-Lopez union right up there with such other notable pairings as Jackie Jensen-Zoe Ann Olsen, Ralph Kiner-Nancy Chaffee and Terry Bradshaw-Jo Jo Starbuck.
PAHK YAH CAH NEAH FENWAY PAHK
Larry Barnett's name was misspelled Larry Bonnett on the Fenway Park scoreboard at the start of a recent Red Sox game. It seems that the scoreboard operator had been given Barnett's name orally, something that can obviously cause problems in Bahstan.
This year's U.S. Open was sullied by the sort of player misbehavior that has become all too common in tennis. During his quarterfinal victory over Gene Mayer, John McEnroe asked that the line judge be changed after he had called four foot faults on McEnroe. Although the rules make no provision for honoring such a request, McEnroe got a new judge. During a win over Victor Amaya, Johan Kriek protested a call by shaking an umpire's stand. Then there was the Ilie Nastase-Jimmy Connors match. When Mike Blanchard, the tournament referee, called for a suspension of action because of a light rainfall, Nasty and Jimbo blithely kept on playing. When the characteristically abusive Nastase began cursing and carrying on, Don Wiley, the chair umpire, after issuing a warning, hit him with a point penalty that cost him a game. Nastase then warned Wiley that if Wiley kept looking at him, "I kill you." During a break Nasty threw a towel at Wiley, who pretended not to notice the affront.
Why do tennis officials put up with such antics, which would get a baseball or basketball player thrown out of a game? The answer is that players can be immediately replaced in those sports and are thus expendable, which isn't the case in tennis. All right then, how does somebody like Wiley feel about being subjected to public abuse? SI's Joy Duckett posed that question to Wiley, who professed to be unfazed. He suggested that cursing at officials has always gone on in sports, the only difference being that in tennis a microphone is now at courtside to pick it up. As for how it felt to be hit by a towel and threatened in front of a large audience, Wiley shrugged and said, "I can't give you feelings. I can only give you facts. It goes with officiating in professional sports."
That's an interesting commentary on professional sports. So is something else Wiley said. Referring to the Connors-Nastase match, he wryly concluded, "It was a very good, entertaining match...as far as the crowd was concerned."
One of the services we've faithfully tried to perform in these pages is to keep abreast of the admittedly esoteric research of Jed Brickner, a Los Angeles lawyer and track-and-field nut who analyzes performances on the basis of days of the week on which they occur (SCORECARD, March 10, 1980, et seq.). Conspicuous among Brickner's previously reported findings was the fact that only one athlete had the top performance in his specialty for each day of the week—Edwin Moses in the 400-meter hurdles. But that, as Brickner now notes, was before West Germany's Harald Schmid won the 400-meter hurdles in last week's European championships in Athens (page 66). Moses still holds the world record of 47.13 set on July 3, 1980—a Thursday—and he also has the "records" for Sunday (47.59), Monday (47.90), Tuesday (47.14), Friday (47.17) and Saturday (47.45). But Schmid's time of 47.48 in Athens eclipsed Moses' mark of 47.64 as the fastest ever on a Wednesday, thereby ending the latter's reign as the sport's only seven-day wonder.