- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Then again, that's pretty much what the Bullets are during the regular season, too.
Last week, in one of the most mind-boggling upsets ever in international golf, no-names Raul Fretes and Carlos Franco of Paraguay humbled Scottish Ryder Cup veterans Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance in the Scots' own backyard. It happened at the Royal and Ancient Golf Course of St. Andrews in the first round of the Dunhill Cup, a 16-nation competition won on Sunday by the U.S.
Perhaps aware that Paraguay has only three golf courses—two fewer than the town of St. Andrews—and fewer than 500 golfers to play on them, Montgomerie had confidently assessed his team's prospects against the South Americans before tee time: "If we lose to them we should really pack up and go home."
Well, it was a short trip anyway.
The Third Man
Last Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the raising of gloved fists by 200-meter gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos on the victory stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. That single, forceful gesture, intended to underscore the inequities faced by blacks in American society, and its aftermath—the suspension of the two sprinters from the team and their immediate expulsion from the Olympic Village—touched off a minor revolution in sports.
The forgotten man in the drama was silver medalist Peter Norman of Australia. Minutes before the ceremony Norman, who is white, learned what Smith and Carlos planned to do and asked them if he could participate in some way. "I felt it was a cause worth backing," says Norman, 51, from his home in Williamstown, a middle-class suburb of Melbourne. Smith and Carlos gave him a badge supporting the Olympic Project for Human Rights, and he pinned it to his tracksuit. Norman was mildly reprimanded by Aussie Olympic officials, and he heard a few nasty comments when he got home, but nothing like the fire storm in the U.S.
Things haven't gone well for Norman. In 1985 he suffered serious complications after surgery to repair an Achilles tendon he tore in an exhibition track meet in Melbourne. He spent three months in bed, left the hospital in a wheelchair and subsequently had a nervous breakdown brought on by depression. Norman still spends most of his time in a wheelchair, and his career as a physical education teacher is over. These days he drives a truck and gives motivational talks to "make a dollar where I can."
Norman has kept in touch with Smith and even stayed with him in July when an Australian TV station flew Norman to Los Angeles for a commemorative on the '68 Games. He is proud of his small role in history but despairing of its lasting effect. "There is still a lot of hatred of people who are different because of their color or religion," says Norman. "What we did appears to have been to little avail."