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GALLERY OF DOOM
Jeannine Bliss, the secretary in the Arizona State basketball office, meant no harm last fall when she hung photos of the Sun Devil players in two rows on the wall behind her desk. But soon a strange pattern developed. Center Emory Lewis, whose picture hangs first in one row, suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and missed the first 18 games of the season. Then guard Tarence Wheeler, whose photo is next to Lewis's, tore up his left knee and was lost for the season. Next, forward/center Torin Williams, whose photo is next to Wheeler's, came down with strep throat and was sidelined for four games. After that, center Mark Becker, whose picture is fourth in line, was knocked out for the season with a broken right wrist. Finally, guard Rich Goldberg—yes, photo No. 5—went down for two games with water on his left knee. "It got to where we weren't laughing anymore," says coach Bob Schermerhorn.
The coaching staff was especially worried because the sixth and seventh pictures were of two starters, forward Alex Austin and guard Mike Redhair. The jinx was thought to have ended at an afternoon practice on Feb. 6, when nonplaying walk-on John Hayes and redshirt Emilio Kovacic suffered a broken finger and a bruised finger, respectively. Alas, to protect Austin and Redhair, Bliss had moved Hayes's picture into position six and Kovacic's into position seven on that morning.
At last report Redhair, whose photo now hangs in position No. 8 in the gallery, was still alive and well.
ALIAS SULTAN OF SWAT
When checking in for a convention of Cub fans at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago recently, several members of the team got the hotel to register them under assumed names to protect their privacy. Pitchers Rick Sutcliffe and Mitch Williams chose to be R. Redford and G. Patton, respectively, but the deepest cover was used by infielder Curtis Wilkerson, who has hit a total of three home runs in his six-year big league career. Wilkerson signed in as B. Ruth.
It may not be your idea of a sun-and-fun getaway, but the Hotel Nelson in Norwich, England, is offering a special Pollution Weekend package for about $160. The deal comprises two nights' lodging, free breakfasts and dinners, and a consciousness-raising tour of the surrounding countryside. "Guests will be shown areas ravaged by acid rain, effluent and pesticides," read an ad in the London Sunday Times. "Highlights include a beach [along the North Sea] where dead seals are washed up and (a success) the place where wild orchids have started to flourish again."
Hotel general manager Peter Mack-ness, who thought up the special, says that part of the proceeds will be donated to a nature trust. He adds that guests who arrive in cars that use unleaded gas and who bring environmentally safe deodorants—those not containing chlorofluorocarbon propellants, which damage the ozone layer—will receive a 10% discount.
RACING'S COCAINE MYSTERY