SI Vault
Edited by Steve Wulf
March 02, 1992
Shark Attack
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March 02, 1992


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When Pennefather sent a letter to some of her friends at Christmastime, she poked fun at her new life "behind locked doors." Describing her first meal as a Poor Clare, she wrote: "I was given a wheat biscuit, a couple of nuts, three slices of cheese and a grapefruit. 'Appetizers,' I thought. I kept waiting for the main meal. Well, it's six months later, and I'm still waiting."

As for recreation, Pennefather wrote: "We don't play any basketball...but every now and then, we do get together for a little game of stickball. The first time we did this, the novice mistress came out, and we gave her a brief practice session with our makeshift bat, and after a couple of attempts, she got her first hit in 35 years! We all congratulated her, and I told her that this was normal, because all great athletes go through slumps."

He Is an Einstein

Joe Theismann's quote tests the theory of relativity

In our Feb. 10 issue, SCORE-CARD contained the following THEY SAID IT from Joe Theismann, the former Washington Redskins quarterback who now is a broadcaster for ESPN: "The word genius isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

It didn't take an Einstein to figure out that Theismann meant Albert, not Norman, right? Well, a couple of readers have pointed out to us that we may have wrongly judged Theismann. One of them is Al Losiewicz, who was vice-principal of South River (N.J.) High when Theismann was a student there. Wrote Losiewicz, "I am certain that Joe referred to his friend and schoolmate Norman Einstein. Norman was a very bright student who graduated at the top of his class."

In the interest of fairness, we asked Theismann whom he had meant. "Obviously, you've found out that my comment was not as absurd as it might have seemed," he said. "I found the guy I went to high school with, Norman Einstein, to be very intelligent."

We couldn't leave it at that, so we tracked down Norman Einstein—Dr. Norman Einstein, to be exact. He is an emergency-room physician at Catawba Memorial Hospital in Hickory, N.C. After graduating as valedictorian in '65, Einstein attended Rutgers, where he majored in physics, of course. "My professors used to tease me a lot," says Einstein, who went on to med school at Tufts.

After reading Theismann's quote, Norman sent him a letter in which he wrote, "Albert Einstein was of course a genius. Norman Einstein is a middle-aged physician and a frustrated weekend athlete who can rarely par a golf hole and never serves a tennis ball faster than 50 mph."

The doctor needn't be so modest. After all, everything's relative. As an athlete, Albert Einstein was no Norman Einstein.

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