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Scott Ostler

A Last Look at Some Incredible Moments in Sports From 1987

December 15, 1987|Scott Ostler

Before we press onward into 1988, a fond look back at the great moments of 1987 . . .

Greetings from Uncle Sam: Al Davis learns that the Navy has decided not to allow promising running back Napoleon McCallum to return to the Raiders. And, the team's plan to move to Irwindale hits a snag when the Army Corps of Engineers won't turn over the necessary land.

Thus the Raiders become the first team in decades to lose to Army and Navy in the same season.

Toward more picturesque speech: New York Giants linebacker/author Lawrence Taylor refers to Dennis Conner and his America's Cup crew as "the boat people."

Great. Now we'll have to come up with a new name for the Titanic victims.

Best new sports magazine: "Roll, Crash & Burn."

First issue's centerfold photo: The 1987 Dodgers.

Coach of the Year, 2nd runner-up: The coach of the Irvine Little League team that loses to Taiwan in the World Series. The Irvine coach leaves his pitcher/son in the game long enough to give up 13 hits and 21 runs.

Coach of the Year, 1st runner-up: Coley Casedy, football coach at Evans (Ga.) High. He plants a radio receiver in his son/quarterback's helmet. The illegal device is discovered when officials overhear Dad sending in plays.

Wow. For a while there, the kid thought he was psychic.

Coach of the Year: Tom May, coach of a girls' basketball team at an Indiana high school. After each game, May names his "least-proficient starter." The next day in school, that girl is forced to wear a 20-pound ball-and-chain around her ankle.

Reportedly, the school's enlightened administration voted down May's proposal to improve the team's rebounding through use of the medieval rack.

Speak softly: At the Oregon State Fairgrounds, jockey Wendy Ohnstad is disciplined when found in possession of a cattle prod.

Psst, Wendy. If you need a job, we know a girls' basketball coach in Indiana who could use an assistant.

Pinball wizard: Boxer Tyrell Biggs runs his Mercedes off the road in Laguna Beach, clipping a parking meter, three trees and a light pole.

He says: "I wasn't paying attention."

Pinball pinhead: Boxee Tyrell Biggs, after bragging about how he'll win and then taunting Mike Tyson in the first round, is savagely beaten and methodically punished by Tyson for seven rounds.

Biggs says: "I wasn't paying attention."

Fight of the year: Tie between Mike Marshall vs. Phil Garner (The Slugout in the Dugout), and Mike Tyson vs. a parking-lot supervisor at a rap concert who comes to the aide of a female parking attendant Tyson is trying to kiss.

Where are those cattle prods when you need 'em?

Porn report: Teen tennis sensation Steffi Graf turns down an offer to pose nude for the West German version of Penthouse magazine.

In a revenge move, Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione announces plans to run photos of Steffi, shot years ago by an amateur photographer. The rare and embarrassing stills show Steffi blowing easy forehand crosscourt passing shots.

More porn: In advertising a University of Mississippi football phone hotline, two newspapers print wrong numbers. Both numbers are dial-a-deed porno recordings, featuring women talking dirty.

Hey, close. Instead of an Ole Miss report, you get a young miss report.

Keep on truckin': Former boxer Mitch (Blood) Green is stopped by police for driving while watching a TV set on his dashboard. They find drugs. His driver's license is revoked for the 55th time.

And they said Leon Spinks' record of 60 would never be threatened.

Guns 'n' Ammo: Dwight Gooden's girlfriend comes to meet him at LaGuardia airport and is arrested for packing a stolen .38 pistol.

The police let her go when she explains she only uses the gun to shoot out those annoying curb-side loudspeakers that tell you the white zone is for passenger loading and unloading only.

Catch of the Year, runner-up: Pedro Guerrero injures his back catching his big-screen television as it falls off a shelf during the earthquake.

Catch of the Year: At Anaheim Stadium, a Ram fan is suffering through yet another defeat when a Minnesota Vikings fan in the upper deck falls over the railing, drops 30 feet and lands on the Ram fan, spraining his back.

Y'know, it never rains but it pours.

Hey, kids--Tips on how to get high: Swedish high jumper Patrik Sjoberg, who sets a world record just under 8 feet, says he smokes cigarettes, explaining, "Smoking is a way to keep fit."

Dominique Wilkins tells of his typical pregame meal--popcorn, Snickers and potato chips.

Geez, what next? Michael Jordan reveals that he jumps higher after snorting cotton candy?

Food for holiday thought: Moses Malone says Charles Barkley looks like Santa Claus.

Has anyone ever seen those two round mounds together?

A player to keep an eye on: The Golden State Warriors hire a baby-sitter to keep tabs on rookie center Chris Washburn, after Washburn misses more planes than King Kong.

However, the Warriors fire the man when they come home from a movie and discover the baby-sitter has eaten all the ice cream, invited friends over and let the kid stay up way past his bedtime to watch Miami Vice.

Quote: Dodger owner Peter O'Malley, on why the Dodgers chose not even to speak to free agent Tim Raines:

"We don't need two center fielders."

We see your point, Peter. It would be a dangerous situation. With two center fielders, they might run into one another chasing a fly.

Still . . . You say collision, we say collusion.

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