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Original Issue


Doubles partners Donna Sergi and Mike O'Connell have pretty good teamwork, but one could not really say they are 100% together. Still, despite small differences of opinion on pigs and tennis rigs they reached the mixed doubles quarterfinals in the Binghamton, N.Y. Department of Parks and Recreation Open Tennis Tourney, and won 6-2, 6-3 over Nancy Booth and Dave Heichemer, who have no such quarrel: they agree that Bobby Riggs is a sure winner. For those who might wonder whether Donna or Mike is the better player—forget it, they aren't going on record. Why do you think they didn't enter the singles tournament?

This week's sporting spillover from Watergate: Rick Reichardt, recently acquired from the Chicago White Sox by the Kansas City Royals, stepped right up and won a 2-1 game against his old team with a two-run double. Enter the panel of newsmen, one of whom asked if his prior knowledge of the Chicago pitchers had helped. "Yes," dead-panned Reichardt. "At that point in time I was looking for a breaking ball."

Everybody knows Jack Nicklaus has nerves of steel. They have steeled him through all those pressure putts and unbendingly carried him to 13 major championships and a million dollars. So what happens when Steely Man's wife has a baby? He faints dead away. "When the first child was born I looked into his room and just went down to the floor," Nicklaus says. "The second baby, I had to walk out of the hospital because I felt myself going again. I got sick at home later on. The third baby, I think I spent more time in the recovery room than Barbara did." Jack lasted until nightfall after the fourth child, and he was still on his feet this time when a fifth baby was born on July 24. "I'm all right now, but I guess it will happen sometime tonight," Nicklaus supposed. "I think it's nice that I get sick like that. It's a nice human reaction."

And now a reaction from Barbara. "I feel fine," she said

On another nursery front Jackie Brown, a rookie defensive back who was cut by the Baltimore Colts, took time out at tryouts to accept congratulations. Brown proudly announced that his wife had just given birth to a baby girl in Elkin, N.C., that the infant weighed almost nine pounds, and that her name was Shacondra Mondrel. "That's Swahili," Brown said. "I don't know what it means. I just picked it from the list." List? What list? A compilation of 80 names of African descent provided by his students at Kennan High School in Columbia, S.C., where Brown teaches world history. It is possible that the child might have one problem. About the first time she tries to spell it, she'll faint dead away.

Dennis Allen, a 6'2", 235-pound starting guard for Texas Tech, has more than one string to his bow. Says Allen, who plays the cello as well as he plays the line: "I considered trying out for a music scholarship somewhere, but music scholarships aren't I worth what football scholarships! are." Does Allen consider that an injustice? "No, not really," he says. "You could never get 40,000 people to pay eight bucks a head to watch somebody play the cello."

After 43 long years—Pat O'Brien and the late show not-withstanding—it is nice to report that another Rockne is rising in football. Young grandson John (at left in the picture) played defensive halfback and quarterback for two years at Northeastern Oklahoma Junior College, and now has signed on with the Lakewood (Colo.) Oilers of the Southwestern Football League. Sure, it's a small start, but one must remember that Rockne already has a distinct advantage over everybody else: he knows the halftime talks by heart.

A woman assistant coach might bring a little class to college football, Indiana Coach Lee Corso mused on this very page last week. Now for this week's report: it turns out that Georgetown University Basketball Coach John Thompson already has a woman assistant and says she is performing splendidly. So far, Mary Fenlon has concentrated on supervising the academic affairs of players, securing tutoring, keeping tabs on their progress and generally advising them—although she does attend practices and coaching meetings and travels with the team on road trips. "I couldn't tell you the difference between a point and a pivot," Miss Fenlon admits, but that has its advantages. "I've had little trouble with other coaches," she says. "When I was at the coaches' convention in St. Louis, they'd eye me suspiciously on the elevator and they would invariably ask me if I actually coached. When I explained what I did, they'd smile. It seemed to make them feel better that I wasn't a threat." Ah, but you relaxed too soon, men. Miss Fenlon forgot to tell you that she also recruits.

Don Davidson, assistant to the chairman of the Atlanta Braves, has written a book about his 40 years in baseball. Davidson happens to be four feet tall, and the title of his book is Caught Short. It is available in paperback; naturally, the publisher is Bantam.