SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
December 20, 1976
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December 20, 1976


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When it came time to renew his automobile registration this fall, Ed Badger, who was beginning his first season as head coach of the Chicago Bulls with the avowed intention of making the team a factor again in the NBA, decided to get special plates. He asked for "WIN 50," because winning 50 games in the NBA is a hallmark of success, like batting .300 or rushing for 1,000 yards. But somebody in the licensing office, presumably thinking he was doing the applicant a favor by giving him a lower and therefore more prestigious number, crossed Badger up by assigning him plates that read "WIN 20."

Maybe it wasn't an innocent mistake. Maybe the man in the licensing office knows the Bulls better than Badger does. Off their performance thus far this season, they're going to end up a lot closer to 20 wins than to 50.


Everybody knows the Big Eight is just about the most competitive conference in college football. This season, for example, four of its teams have been invited to bowl games and the battle for the conference title was so close that it may have turned on one play that took place in a game back in October.

Oklahoma State was leading Colorado 10-6 with about a minute to go, but Colorado was threatening. Then a State defensive back intercepted a Colorado pass in the end zone. Exultation. Certain victory. All the back had to do was down the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Oklahoma State would have had the ball on its own 20 and could have run out the clock or, at worst, been forced to punt, which would have left Colorado in poor field position with only seconds to play.

But, in his excitement, the back ran the ball out of the end zone, was hit, fumbled—and Colorado recovered on the one. The Buffaloes quickly scored, scored again seconds later when they intercepted a desperate, last-ditch Oklahoma State pass, and won 20-10. Colorado ended the season in a tie for the conference championship with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, and it gained the coveted invitation to the Orange Bowl because of its wins over those two teams.

If, however, Oklahoma State had downed the ball, run out the clock and won, it would have won the title outright and it would have gone to the Orange Bowl, instead of to the relatively minor Tangerine Bowl. And Oklahoma's dramatic last-minute win over Nebraska, which gave the Sooners their share of the title, would have meant nothing as far as the conference championship was concerned.


Pro golfers have the life. Imagine being paid all that money for doing what people who work for a living pay to do for fun. And we don't mean only the Jack Nicklauses and the Ben Crenshaws. Judy Rankin, the leading money-winner on the women's tour, won $150,734 this year.

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