- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The one they call the Demon of Rye plays inside right for the home-town soccer team. The Demon played so ferociously in a recent 5-1 victory that the losers got a bit suspicious. "How do we know she's a girl?" they demanded of the Sussex Women's Football Association. Well, sure I'm a girl, retorted the wiry Lucille Cato, who is 14. "They're just jealous." So there. In fact, she later practiced with Peter Bonetti, star goalkeeper for the famed Chelsea team, and she sneaked past him for two goals. "I want to become a really good footballer," Demon Lucille said, wistfully. "Good enough for Chelsea—but I don't suppose they would ever have me." Because she's just a mere girl, of course.
Remember how Florida's Republican Governor Claude Kirk insisted on sitting on the bench at football games? It upset the coaches so much that they pushed through a Southeastern Conference rule to shoo him back to the stands. Then along came the elections and Kirk lost. Then along came the annual Tallahassee Quarterback Club jamboree. And who should be sitting at the head table but Coach Bill Peterson, whose Florida State team had just lost to Houston 53-21, Pete Griffin, whose Florida A&M team was demolished by Tampa 49-7, and Doug Dickey, whose Florida U. squad was upset by Miami 14-13. Kirk came up and looked at them. " The Democrats," he observed, "deserve you three guys."
We take you now to faraway Afghanistan where they are busy playing Buzkashi, the murderous national game. A bit like polo, in that you play it on horseback. But you do not use a mallet. You also do not use a ball. You use a headless goat, which you try to drag a quarter mile downfield and back, and then you try to throw it into a circle. What makes the game such fun is that the teams savagely fight for possession of the goat with chains, belts and fists and by socking each other's horses to the ground. Fatal injuries are not uncommon. Today's star is Omar Sharif, playing Buzkashi for his new movie, The Horsemen. The cast of real players don't mind this film nonsense too much until the director orders them to give the goat to Sharif so that he can ride out and score the winning goal. The Afghans say, in effect, "He wants the goat, let him come and get the goat." Sharif says, in effect, "Who, me?" Considerable bribery takes place before Omar gets the goat and scores the goal. An exciting scene. But when you sec The Horsemen, remember that you read it here: that game was fixed.
Jogging is fine for some folks, but Baltimore's Charles Otworth, 63, would rather stroll through the city parks for his exercise. Too tame? Not when you take along a metal detector like Charlie does. So far, in addition to robust health, he has gained $700 worth of coins: 25 Standing Liberty quarters, piles of Indian-head pennies and nickels and two one-gallon jars of plain pennies. To say nothing of a goodly collection of class, friendship and diamond rings, old wedding bands, religious medals and crosses. Plus one button from an old Army coat. Civil War, of course.
And over in England, 70-year-old Percy Childs also walks for his health. Percy has a heart condition, and back in 1952 his doctor forbade him to watch his favorite football club, Nuneaton Borough, for fear the excitement would be too much. So for 18 years Percy has walked two miles to the matches, paid his entrance fee, left before kickoff and walked the two miles home—he wouldn't miss missing a match for the world.
And the week's final golden oldie is Jean-Louis Barrault, the noted French actor-director, currently acting in and directing his new show in Paris. It involves riding a bicycle on stage and that sort of vigorous thing. But don't worry. Barrault cycles in real life; he also swims and recently joined his Rabelais cast for soccer against a gang of Montmartre wrestlers. Acting is the secret of looking zippy at 60, he says. "Playing Hamlet, I lose over two pounds a day. I'll put it another way. Call Hamlet a 3,000-meter race." He's right, of course. You ever see a fat Hamlet?
Scene: a Chicago divorce court. Tearful Wife is telling the judge how bad things are. Well, could the court please have an example? "All right," says Tearful Wife. "Last August Harry asked me, 'Do you have anything to discuss before the football season begins?' "
First Ed Sullivan infuriated Baltimore grandmother Caroline Weisman after the World Series when he introduced some Orioles in his audience. They weren't on camera long enough, she grouched. So she wrote a letter of protest, collected 200 signatures and fired it off to CBS. But CBS returned it unopened. Next Caroline got Sullivan's home address, mailed the letter there. Sullivan replied, "Dear Caroline: Tell your Oriole fan club I'll apologize to all of you next Sunday." But the next Sunday Sullivan ran out of time—no apology. Following Sunday, the show was a taped special—again no apology. Back home, Caroline was busily getting up petitions and boycotts. But, hark. Five minutes before the end of his next show, Sullivan said, "Oh, I've got to do this tonight or I'm really in trouble." And he told Caroline Weisman and Oriole fans everywhere that he was sorry.
Nice going, Ed. Just swell. Of course you realize that in the meantime Caroline's missed the whole damn football season.
In the Midwest you buy eight gallons of Clark gasoline, you get a free picture of a football player. As the man on TV says, "You can have this picture of Alex Karras, who is not only the greatest defensive tackle but, in my opinion, the handsomest, sexiest, most virile, most intelligent...." The man on TV is Alex Karras, by the way.