Lebow was found to have cancer in February of 1990. Even as he underwent chemotherapy, he continued to run, first on the roof of the hospital and then back out on the roads and paths of Central Park, where he was greeted constantly by other runners. Though Lebow ran 69 marathons, he ran his own five-borough race just once, in 1992, 18 months alter major surgery. He and an old friend, nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz, finished in 5:32:34, cheered on every step of the way by grateful citizens of the Big Apple.
On Nov. 6, when the New York City Marathon is held for the 25th time, that gratitude will again be on display. "It was funny trying to explain Fred to the newsmen who didn't know him," said Road Runners Club publicist Raleigh Mayer on Sunday. "They said, 'He had no wife or children, no family?' I said, 'No, everybody feels like Fred is part of their family. He has the biggest family in America.' "
Basic Football Productions (BFP), a Wisconsin video company, cites research estimating that 70 million women in America don't know how many points a field goal is worth. We're not sure whether this is good news or bad, but BFP clearly finds it alarming enough to have released a 55-minute video, Basic Football, intended for women. The star of the video is that smirking scatback, Burt Reynolds, who suited up in Semi-Tough and The Longest Yard and, in real life, for Florida State.
The video opens with Reynolds in an empty football stadium. "This is where they play football," he says. "Which is a lot better than playing on a basketball court." It goes downhill from there.
The video isn't just imbecilic; it's also offensive. In one scene a muscular tank-topped male "teacher" walks into a classroom filled with women and asks, "Who wants to learn about football?" Giggling and smiling coquettishly, the women raise their hands. Pretty retro, boys.
Worse is the scene in which a female "interviewer" tells a "quarterback" that it doesn't seem so bad when his pass protection breaks down. "Oh, no?" says the quarterback. "Do you have any idea what it's like to have 1,500 pounds of angry beef tryin' to get you, grab you, throw you on the ground?" The camera shifts to the woman, who, incredibly, has a dreamy, suggestive smile on her face.
For you 70 million women, we hereby inform you that a field goal is worth three points. This video is worth nothing. And if you still want to see Burt smirking, try renting Smokey and the Bandit.
What Price Glory?
Any aging athletes still clinging to mementos of past victories may be interested in what Finnish Olympic legend Lasse Viren has been up to. Winner of the 5,000-and 10,000-meter runs at both the 1972 and '76 Games, the 45-year-old Viren recently put his four gold medals up for sale. The price: One million Finnish markka, or about $200,000, apiece. "If somebody gives a million, he may choose the medal," said Viren, who insists that his decision to sell is not based on any financial hardship. "What does it matter if they are with me or somewhere else?"