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THE JET'S DREAM
During a 13-year NBA career that ended in 1975, Chet (the Jet) Walker was a mainstay on a league championship team—the Philadelphia 76ers of '67—and appeared in seven All-Star Games. His 18,831 points for the Syracuse Nationals, the Sixers and the Chicago Bulls make him 19th on the NBA's alltime career scoring list. Yet Walker says that none of his basketball accomplishments can compare with the honor conferred on him at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sept. 14. That night, Walker, who now works as a film producer (SCORECARD, March 9, 1987), received an Emmy as coproducer of the outstanding children's program A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story. The two-hour NBC drama detailed the struggles that Detroit Piston star Isiah Thomas's mother endured in raising nine children in a poverty-stricken, drug-infested Chicago neighborhood.
"The story of Isiah's mother is so similar to my own life," says Walker, 50, referring to his childhood in Benton Harbor, Mich. "My family lived in poverty in the projects. I have many trophies now, but this is the best. Absolutely it is the most rewarding."
Two incidents in Moscow last week involving touring NHL teams and their host opponents in the Soviet Union should put to rest notions that hockey players and fans in the U.S.S.R. are above the violent tactics we have come to expect—and revile—in North America. A forward for the Khimik Voskresensk club high-sticked Minnesota North Star center Dave Gagner in the mouth and demonstrated his remorse by giving his teammates high fives en route to the penalty box. Gagner needed 25 stitches on his face. Late in the game, won by Minnesota 3-2, two of the North Stars' surliest players, Basil McRae and Mark Tinordi, went after Gagner's aggressor and got a couple of licks in before they were pulled away by officials.
The following day the Montreal Canadiens' 3-2 overtime loss to Central Army was marred by two fights, five game-misconduct penalties and ugliness from the fans, who pelted the Canadiens with bottle caps, coins and vodka bottles, a barrage that prompted Montreal coach Pat Burns to pull his team off the ice for 10 minutes. Of the brawling, Sovietskii Sport columnist L. Trakhtenberg was moved to describe the way "the players, their faces distorted from fury and pain, beat on one another until it seemed as if from the arms of each of them hung two dumbbells and not gloves." Lovely.
MAN'S BEST FRIEND
When Bud Creal, a marketing executive and sometime hunter who lives in Duluth, Ga., bought his pointer, Beau, he knew he was getting himself a pretty good bird dog. Pointers are, after all, prized by hunters for their skill at locating feathered game, and Beau has three field champions within his family's past five generations. Still, Beau is not yet two years old, and Creal could not have anticipated that the dog would become such an adept tracker so soon. Beau, it seems, is older than his dog years.
On Sept. 10, Bud and Beau were dockside on Lake Lanier, taking cover from a scalding Georgia afternoon inside the air-conditioned houseboat of their friend Ken Baker. Suddenly Beau sprang to his feet, raced to the door and began barking. When the door was opened for him, Beau sprinted off down the pier. A flock of Canada geese rose to his left. Beau ignored them. Some mallard ducks appeared on the right. Beau ignored them. A stanchion from which dangled freshly caught large mouth bass? Beau ignored that, too. After 40 yards he froze, raised one foreleg, extended his tail and pointed his head rigidly at a boat just pulling up to the dock, its prow full of bikini-clad young women. "He's not that well trained yet," says Creal. "If he was trained, he could be worth as much as $5,000, but I'm not going to do that. I just got him for pleasure."