There was a stick shortage before the fire. In Canada an estimated 25,000 youngsters took up lacrosse this spring, and many had been playing without sticks of their own. Unless the plant can get back into production soon—a highly unlikely event since it was uninsured—there will be a shortage of 3,000 to 4,000 sticks just in Ontario alone. Earlier this year a Canadian sent a stick to Japan with the hope that manufacturers there would come up with a plastic or fiber-glass substitute. So far nothing has come of this but, after all, the enterprising Japanese are famous for their sticktoitiveness. Rots of ruck, racrosse.
THERE GOES THE JUDGE
Dallas and Fort Worth residents are raising hell about Judge Roy Hofheinz, owner of the Houston Astros. They accuse the judge of having blocked the award of a National League franchise to Dallas-Fort Worth because he doesn't want any competition in Texas.
Phone calls and letters to the newspapers have been fierce. Wrote one reader to The Dallas Times Herald: "A louse that will turn down his home state for a foreign country is not deserving of the people of north Texas. I hope he gets a lot of compassion from the people of Montreal." Another reader promised Hofheinz: "Two million Texans won't soon forget your actions." When a Fort Worth TV station carried a Houston- St. Louis game instead of a scheduled Boston- Detroit game, which was delayed by rain, 60 viewers called to complain within the first few minutes.
At Turnpike Stadium, the public-address announcer for the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs in the Texas League gives all scores, except Houston's. Toppo the Clown, a Dallas entertainer, is circulating petitions calling for a boycott of the Hofheinz entertainment empire, including the $16 million Astroworld. The Dallas Times Herald ran a dart-board caricature of Hofheinz, and a note to the side read, "Coming soon, a Judge Roy effigy doll."
Trying to beat the horses can be a heart-pounding game, and so, perhaps fittingly, cardiovascular fitness specialist Eric Banister, a professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, thinks he has the system. He is checking the heartbeats of a couple of Thoroughbreds and a rodeo horse while they walk, trot and gallop in a test paddock.
According to the professor the physiology of man and horse is similar. If it is possible to determine when a human runner is at a peak by checking his heartbeat, well, the same thing should apply to a horse. In an effort to produce winners, Professor Banister reasons, horse trainers may have relied too much on bloodlines and not concentrated enough on rigorous training. "I question whether we have really explored the full potential of the horse," he says. "I want to find out what happens when you take a racehorse and train it hard as we do today's leading athletes." Thus the professor is toying with the idea of getting a horse to run 100 miles a week in training, as top human runners do, instead of the average 12 miles. In short, he would like to train superhorses, which should, in theory at least, "make existing track records abysmally high."
Ideally, Professor Banister would like to experiment with twin foals, one to be raced after conventional training, the other after the Banister method. "All I need is some millionaire to decide to spend a little on scientific research," he says. "People say, what do I know about it? And they're right. I'm just a neophyte, an outsider, but all I'm trying to do is take a fresh look."