Plante caved in and on Dec. 31 told Team USA coach Tim Taylor that he would not be going to Norway. Publicly, Plante has been philosophical about his decision, but privately it hurt. "Every kid dreams of playing in the Olympics," Plante said. The Sabres could have allowed Plante to fulfill his dream, but they chose to make it tough on him, and there wasn't much else that a loyal rookie could have done under the circumstances.
Feel the Burn
The stairclimbing machine, that fixture of the '90s fitness center, is anything but a new invention. At the turn of the century, according to Suzanne Schlosberg, author of The Ultimate Workout Log, primitive stair machines were used for punishment in federal penitentiaries. The devices were hooked up to electric generators, and inmates were forced to climb for hours to help provide the prisons with electricity. Now we know why the darn things are so much fun.
Dude Dining: Part Deux
When last we left Lenny Dykstra (SI, Dec. 6, 1993), he was winning a battle with a stuffy French ma�tre d' over the right to keep his hat on while dining at La Tour d'Argent, one of the world's snootiest restaurants. In case you missed it, Lenny's table manners have been under question stateside, too. While lunching at the Villa Strafford, a swanky restaurant in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne on Dec. 22, Dude got into a shouting match with a Pennsylvania state senator.
Dykstra entered the restaurant with free-lance journalist Bob Klapisch, their attire distinctly below the standards of the tony inn, which was not unsual for Dude and certainly not for a sportswriter. The scruffily dressed duo was directed to a table next to Senator Earl Baker, a Chester County Republican, who was dining with his wife, a secretary and an aide. Dykstra's conversation was peppered, characteristically, with the F-word, and Baker immediately called him on it. Dykstra told Baker, "Take it easy, dude," and resumed talking to Klapisch, again with a few F's. Baker challenged him again, the men rose and got in each other's face, and at one point Dykstra told Baker, "I'm going to drop you, dude." Eventually they were separated by Klapisch and the maitre d' and sat back down.
Klapisch feels that Baker was spoiling for a confrontation. But the senator claims that after he made his initial plea to Dykstra "in a loud and stern voice," Dykstra deliberately "kept it up, even louder" after that.
Baker has been mentioned as a gubernatorial hopeful, and it will be interesting to see if he needs Dykstra's support somewhere down the line. As for Dude needing support, well, he probably won't need much: He just signed a four-year, $24.9 million contract extension.