Well, that's tough. But we are sorrier for pro-football fans who are not getting the championship game they want and are entitled to expect.
If those Canadian kids are really in better shape than our kids—and they look better to Seattle's physical-education chief, William Haroldson—there may be a way to catch up. The secret could be the new "agility apparatus" that has become the school rage in Canada.
Haroldson imported one and last week introduced it on a trial basis at Seattle's Sacajawea Elementary School. It is a sort of super jungle gym, requiring 40 feet of wall space and an 18-foot ceiling. It folds out to nine feet in width, like a piece of modern walk-in sculpture, and features ladders, rings, parallel bars, balance benches, windows, climbing ropes and a cargo net.
According to Haroldson, the gym can increase a child's grace and agility as no other device is able to. More than 200 are in Canadian schools, and the factory has a backlog of orders for more. Haroldson hopes to equip all Seattle schools with them.
It is catching on already. Sacajawea youngsters took one look at the gym and swarmed into it. Now the teachers, who usually can take jungle gyms or leave them alone, are talking about sending the kids home early so they can play on it themselves.
THE COATHANGER OLYMPICS
Stuffing phone booths is Out. Skateboarding is Out. Swallowing goldfish is way, way Out. Knibbling is In. The fount of American Knibbling (pronounced with a hard K) is Baltimore, and students at Johns Hopkins University and the nearby College of Notre Dame are its prophets.
A Knibbler takes a wire coathanger and bends it into a square. The hanger then is held upside down by an index finger. A coin (Swiss francs are most stable, but a penny will do nicely) is then balanced horizontally on the very tip of the hanger hook. The idea is to twirl the hanger around the finger in a vertical plane and keep the coin in place by centrifugal force. That part is easy; the real test comes in slowing down and stopping the Knibbling Hook. Next, one must start it up again or reverse it with the coin still balanced.
"Hopkins students hold all the world records in this new sport," says Henry M. Hocherman, a 19-year-old sophomore and captain of the school team. He is captain because he can Knibble with three hangers hung in tandem. Hopkins players claim to have balanced as many as eight pennies in one Knibble. And at Hopkins a Master Knibbler is one who can spin a large coin balanced atop a smaller one.