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MOMENTS of Truth
Steve Rushin
December 29, 1997
If your memories of 1997 are neither warm nor fuzzy, blame it on sports, which were seldom warm and rarely fuzzy in the last 12 months. Ninety-seven was a bear. Ninety-seven had no hair.* Fuzzy Zoeller wasn't Fuzzy, was he? So rather than choose a favorite Moment of the Year, as other SI writers have done in the following pages, I have selected a Letter of the Year. Is that cheating—picking a unit of type, not a unit of time? I think not. In sports one small letter can make all the difference. Ask Johnnie Cochran: He defended O.J. but offendd P.J.
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December 29, 1997

Moments Of Truth

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If your memories of 1997 are neither warm nor fuzzy, blame it on sports, which were seldom warm and rarely fuzzy in the last 12 months. Ninety-seven was a bear. Ninety-seven had no hair.* Fuzzy Zoeller wasn't Fuzzy, was he? So rather than choose a favorite Moment of the Year, as other SI writers have done in the following pages, I have selected a Letter of the Year. Is that cheating—picking a unit of type, not a unit of time? I think not. In sports one small letter can make all the difference. Ask Johnnie Cochran: He defended O.J. but offendd P.J.

Of all the letters from A to Z (AZ being the postal abbreviation for Arizona, which won the ICAA basketball title), one clearly emerged as the inner in 1997. It was not L. L almost got the W. L had one 'elluva year, what with all the L's in Latrell Sprewell and Ernie Els's winning the U.S. Open and El Ni�o's elevating sales of L.L. Bean outerwear.

But in the end 1997 belonged to E. E for E-4 (as Tony Fernandez will attest). Or E-vander. Without is, you can't get to F (which the Florida Marlins wore on their caps) or G (which the Green Bay Packers wore on their helmets). Ninety-seven gave us some remarkable champions, and '98 will have some size 15EEE shoes to fill.

Indeed, the best E of the year was one that never even appeared. After Holyfield retained his heavyweight boxing title in June, this magazine ran a story on the bout's referee, Nevada judge Mills Lane. The headline read THE ULTIMATE ARBITER. Now put an E in front of arbiter. You have the headline for our next Mike Tyson story.

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