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The Tyson Case (cont.)
A 911 call will be a pivotal issue in the fighter's rape trial

On the eve of Mike Tyson's rape trial, which is scheduled to begin Monday in Indianapolis, the tape of a 13-minute phone call that his accuser made reluctantly to a 911 operator 24 hours after the alleged attack has emerged as a crucial piece of evidence.

The 911 call—made on July 20—was the focal point of a motion, which the prosecution filed last Friday, asking Judge Patricia J. Gifford to reverse a decision she had made barring the testimony of Dean Kilpatrick, director of the Crime Victim Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, and an expert on rape trauma syndrome. Prosecutors want Kilpatrick to interpret for the jury the alleged victim's statements during the 911 call.

The state didn't add Kilpatrick to its list of witnesses until Jan. 10, nearly two months after Gifford's deadline for disclosing witnesses. That prompted an objection from Tyson's lawyers, who said the trial would have to be postponed to allow them time to prepare a rebuttal. Gifford excluded Kilpatrick without hearing the state's argument.

In asking Gifford to reconsider that decision on Friday, the prosecution says it had only recently learned of the need for his testimony. Special prosecutor Greg Garrison says that he did not know of the 911 call until the accuser revealed it in her deposition of Dec. 20 and 21 and that his office did not locate the tape until Jan. 3.

The prosecution apparently feels that without Kilpatrick's testimony, portions of the 911 tape could be damaging to its side. The young woman, a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant at the time, made the call only after her parents, who were driving to the pageant from their New England home, arrived at their daughter's room at the Omni Severin Hotel 24 hours after the alleged rape. The call was placed at the urging of the accuser's mother.

The alleged victim is heard on the tape telling the dispatcher that she was raped by Tyson. But she is also heard expressing reluctance to press charges. That, plus the delay in making the call, could work against her. If allowed to testify, though, Kilpatrick might explain that her behavior is typical of women who have been raped by an acquaintance.

In deciding whether to allow Kilpatrick to testify—a ruling was expected early this week—Gifford may consider whether prosecutors were in fact unaware of the 911 tape until the alleged victim gave her deposition or if they, for whatever reason, deliberately ignored it. In any event, the tape is critical.

Homer's Odyssey
Nine major leaguers get animated on "The Simpsons"

Homer Simpson pinch-hitting for Darryl Strawberry? And more amazing: a selfless, sure-handed Darryl Strawberry? This must be the world of make-believe.

Don't have a cow, it is. In an episode of The Simpsons that will air on Feb. 20, Mr. Burns, Homer's boss, assembles a lineup of formidable ringers for his company softball team. Jose Canseco and Ken Griffey Jr. join Strawberry in the outfield, while Roger Clemens and Mike Scioscia form the battery. Around the horn the Springfield Nuclear Plant team boasts Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith and Wade Boggs.

"Virtually all the writers on the staff are Rotisserie League junkies," says Simpsons creator Matt Groening. (This explains why—since fielding doesn't count in Rotisserie baseball—Boggs is drawn with a glove on his right hand. The real Boggs throws righthanded.) Last spring, in an overt act of collusion, the writers conspired to create the ultimate Rotisserie team and write a show around it, using the actual major league players to provide voice-overs. Throughout the summer, whenever one of the Springfield nine visited Southern California on a road trip, he would come into the studio to read his lines.

"I was surprised that the players were so amiable," says writer John Swartzwelder, whose script poked fun at their images. It portrays Strawberry, for example, as a spry fielder and team leader who throws around such words as "hustle" and "attitude." Mattingly is booted from the team for failing to trim his sideburns. And Boggs is punched out by a patron at Moe's Tavern after a dispute over who was England's greatest prime minister.

Not everyone appreciated Swartzwelder's sense of humor, however. "One of the players' wives objected to her husband's having an affair with Miss Krabappel, Bart Simpson's teacher," says Groening, who was then forced to say, No way, Jose, to that plot twist.

As a rule, prematurely bald characters are not outstanding baseball players. Take Charlie Brown. Or Barry Lyons. Yet with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the score tied, Homer, who bats righthanded, is called upon to pinch-hit for the lefthanded Strawberry against a southpaw. Homer then strides to the plate as if it were piled high with glazed doughnuts.

Does Simpson strike out or get a hit? We won't spoil it for you, but rest assured that the climax is touching. You may even find yourself reaching for a Homer Hanky

A Team Player
Should John McEnroe be on the U.S. Olympic squad?

Leave it to John McEnroe to turn the Australian Open into a Grand Slam tournament worth caring about. Actually, he did more than that. His dramatic victories over Boris Becker and Emilio Sanchez last week also focused attention on the news that he had not been chosen by the U.S. Tennis Association for the 1992 Olympic team. Had the 32-year-old Mac been blown off the court, would the USTA have been taken to task for selecting Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and Michael Chang to the three-man U.S. team instead of McEnroe? Probably not, but McEnroe's well-timed renaissance put egg on the USTA's face.

McEnroe's four seasons as No.1 were a distant memory last year when he fell out of the top 15 for the first time since 1978, to No. 28 in the rankings. As for the Olympics, however, there is something to be said for loyalty, longevity and savvy in international competition, and no American has ever played as often or as well in Davis Cup matches as McEnroe.

In selecting its Olympic team, the USTA says it went strictly by rankings. But did it?

According to the year-end world rankings, Courier (No. 2) and Sampras (No. 6) were obvious choices. Andre Agassi (No. 10) declined an invitation—what, and abandon Vegas for that cultural desert, Barcelona?—leaving only serve-and-volleyer Derrick Rostagno (No. 13) in front of Chang (No. 15). Chang's prowess on clay, which will be the surface in Barcelona, gave him the nod.

Once the makeup of the team strayed from the rankings, it wasn't Chang's presence that should have been questioned but the selection of Sampras, a fast-court player who in his first Davis Cup two months ago lost his two singles matches.

Because Olympic rules guarantee only two players from each country places in the singles draw, the USTA feared that McEnroe's low ranking would force him to gain entry under a wild-card exemption. But are we to believe that the International Tennis Federation, which oversees the sport in the Olympics, would have denied McEnroe a spot? And as for doubles, McEnroe is simply the best ever. Is the USTA serious?

Not only should the USTA have selected McEnroe for the Olympics; it should have named him captain of the U.S. team—both Davis Cup and Olympic—instead of re-upping the ineffectual frontman-nice guy Tom Gorman just before the U.S. lost to France in the Cup final last December. Is there any question that Mac knows more about international tennis than any USTA empty-head? No. Not to mention, as everybody saw in Australia last week he can still play.

Veiled Threat
A world champion may be without a country

When Hassiba Boulmerka won the women's 1,500 meters at the World Track and Field Championships last August in Tokyo she was hailed as a hero in her native Algeria. Now, however, Boulmerka has left the country, and a rising fundamentalist Muslim movement may make life difficult for her if and when she returns.

Last winter, fundamentalists issued a kofr, a pronouncement of disapproval, against Boulmerka. She had offended Muslims by appearing in public with face and legs exposed—that is, in running clothes. According to Muslim belief, a woman must be covered from head to toe, with a veil over her face.

At the time, the kofr seemed harmless; the fundamentalists were powerless to punish her. But in elections on Dec. 26, they won enough seats in parliament to apparently ensure that they would take control of the country after a second round of voting scheduled for Jan. 16.

But before that could happen on Jan. 11, a military-backed committee seized power, canceling the upcoming balloting and nullifying the results of the December election. Boulmerka then left Algeria for Paris.

As long as the committee is in power, Boulmerka presumably will be free to run for Algeria. In fact, she has become. a symbol for the antifundamentalists. In a recent interview with journalist Pat Butcher, Boulmerka said, "In one sense we're [Boulmerka and fellow Algerian Noureddine Morceli, who won the men's 1,500 at the World Championships] the best hope they've got. That's an awful lot of pressure."

If the fundamentalists come to power, the pressure could get even greater.




The Springfield Nuclear nine, plus Homer and Burns (lower right).



McEnroe's leadership would be invaluable to the U.S. Olympic team.



Boulmerka offended Muslims by appearing in running clothes.



Judgment Calls

[Thumbs up]To Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille, for donating a $20,000 prize that's conferred annually on an NHL All-Star for outstanding work with children, to the Children's Bureau of Los Angeles and to Ottawa's Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

[Thumbs down]To the NHL, for honoring a team of former Philadelphia Flyers from the mid-1970s during its All-Star weekend. The Broad Street Bullies, whose goon tactics were an embarrassment to the league, played an exhibition game against a team of true ex-All-Stars.

[Thumbs down]To New York Mets pitcher Bret Saberhagen, for canceling an appearance to sign autographs at a benefit last Saturday in Kansas City for the Special Olympics. He showed up that night at a banquet and on Sunday at a card show, where he signed autographs for $10 apiece.

The Big Chill

Every year at this time International Falls, Minn., holds a festival called Icebox Days. Last week two ski races had to be postponed. It was too cold.


George Raveling, USC basketball coach, on his plan to send the videotape of a game to the Pac-10 office to protest the game's officiating: "If the Warren Commission were still active, I'd send them a tape too to determine whether one official acted alone or if there was a conspiracy."


Mike Patrick, ESPN announcer, upon being introduced as master of ceremonies at the Touchdown Club Awards dinner in Washington, D.C.: "My broadcast partners are Joe Theismann and Dick Vitale, so I am unaccustomed to public speaking."


20 Years Ago in Sports Illustrated
Sixteen-year-old speed skater Annie Henning appeared on the cover of the Jan. 31, 1972, issue, our Winter Olympics preview. Henning wouldn't skate without a Snoopy pin on her uniform and wouldn't travel without three jars of peanut butter in her luggage. We predicted that Dutch speed skater Ard Schenk would win three golds (he did), but he received his greatest award before the Games: A tulip was named for him.