At the Chicago law firm of Holstein, Mack & Associates, a young attorney named Bruce Wolf shuts himself in his office three times each day, pulls a couple of thick law books from the shelves and gets down to work. He stacks the books on his desk, puts a microphone on top of them—the better to position it at mouth level—dons a headset and starts talking. For 90 secords (live at 7:55 and 8:55 a.m., on tape at 5:55 p.m.) he races through a breezy, offbeat, impudent, satirical sports report that's broadcast over radio station WLUP: "Hey, Chet Chitchat here with the lobotomy line on sports! Holy Cow! Holy Toledo! Holy Mackerel! Wholly unsatisfactory N.F. of L. labor contract" and "Today's quiz question—if Steve Garvey and Ed Garvey were brothers, which would their Mom like best?"
The 29-year-old Wolf began his radio career as an undergraduate at Northwestern, and after graduating in 1975, he continued to broadcast occasionally while holding down a newspaper job. A once-a-week stint on WXRT led to a daily spot on that station that he did live from home. After finishing law school (at Chicago-Kent College of Law at night) and going to work for Holstein, Mack, he landed the WLUP shows.
In between broadcasts, which is to say most of the time, Wolf takes care of his legal responsibilities, sometimes missing a broadcast because of them. "I don't want this to turn into a full-time job," he told Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune. "I mean, I've already got a full-time job. Being a lawyer is more than a full-time job...."
Still, each day there he is, microphone on books, telling his listeners that an NFL team scored "much to the delight of the 14,685 no-shows" and, reacting to TV's overabundance of World Series features, "there are eight million stories in the naked locker room."
The "Latest Line" column in the New York Daily News last week listed the point spread for Saturday's Raiders-Rams game as follows:
FAVORITE PTS. UNDERDOG
LOS ANGELES 7½ Los Angeles
Hard to go wrong on that one.
NOT QUITE A HOUSEHOLD NAME
What active coach or manager in pro sports has the best won-lost percentage, based on a minimum of 100 games? The top record among big league baseball managers is Dick Howser's .596 (213 wins, 144 losses), which puts the Kansas City skipper fifth among our finalists. Fourth is Scotty Bowman of the Buffalo Sabres, with a .684 (609 wins, 233 losses, 179 ties). Third is Billy Cunningham of the Philadelphia 76ers (.697, 299 wins, 130 losses). Second is Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins (.719, 199 wins, 76 losses, six ties). And Numero Uno in this competition, the coach with the best percentage, is.... Well, of course, you knew it all the time. It's Don Popovic of the—let's see—the New York Arrows of the—wait a second—the Major Indoor Soccer League. Popovic has an .808 percentage (122 wins, 29 losses). True, Shula and Howser have coached about twice as many games as Popovic has, Cunningham almost three times as many, Bowman six times as many. Never mind. In this competition, Pop's tops.
A WARNING WITH TEETH
This was all in fun, although it sounds a little strange. For Jerry Stewart, football coach at Tucker (Ga.) High, 1981 was one of those nightmare seasons in which his team lost more than its share of one-point games. After it was over, Stewart got a letter from a local man, saying, "You have any more games like that, and I'll shoot your dog." Stewart wrote back, saying, "I don't have a dog." A few days later his doorbell rang, and there on the step was a puppy. With it was a note that said, "Don't get too attached to this." This year Tucker High went 6-5, and at the postseason awards banquet, Stewart's opening comment was, "I'm happy for my seniors...and for my dog, Sam."