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January 25, 1971
What did the first astronaut say to the football coaches?
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January 25, 1971


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What did the first astronaut say to the football coaches?

Apollo 11 's Edwin Aldrin, addressing the American Football Coaches Association banquet in Houston, allowed as how "I've often thought of what it would be like to play football on the moon. They might have to lengthen the field. At first glance, it would save a lot of wear and tear on the quarterback. He can let the ball go and not worry about it for a while." Good point. "But on the other hand," Aldrin continued, "the ball might take so long to come down that every man on the other team might be under it."

And what did the second astronaut say to the coaches?

Michael Collins, same spaceship, same banquet, allowed as how it has been estimated that the average man speaks 25,000 words a day and the average woman, 30,000. "Thank goodness no women are football coaches," he said. Then he added: "Unfortunately, when I come home each day I've spoken my 25,000—and my wife hasn't started her 30,000."

Look out, Collins. Here comes the ball down. On your head.

Environmental Vote of the Week goes to Governor John Love of Colorado. Did he shut down a noxious factory? Stop some manufacturer from mucking up a river? Well, no. But he did obtain an air pollution variance before allowing a 19-gun salute to be fired at his inauguration. It's a start.

Well, it's back to the old job as assistant bell captain at Miami's Fontainebleau for Levi Forte. Who? Levi Forte, in case the name doesn't clang a bell, is the 30-year-old victim they put in there against Floyd Patterson, who won by a TKO in the second. As assistant bell captain, one of Levi's main duties is taking care of special requests from the guests. Like—sob—getting them fight tickets.

Short sports notes from Across the Sea:

Don't worry about Christopher Hudson of Sussex, England. No sir, 15-year-old Chris will have a new entry for the big worm race at Brighton this week. But it is a shame about his Whippy Willie, who was to worms what Whirlaway was to horses. A couple of weeks ago Willie won a warmup race in a stunning 2:15.0 over a two-foot course, and last week he set a world record in 1:45, uh, flat. Then this awful thing happened to Willie on a training run. He accidentally fell off the table to the floor. Christopher stepped up to look for him and....

Another great race involved Ian Trainis, who bravely sprinted after some robbers in London, knowing that the gang was armed with an iron bar and a sawed-off shotgun. According to the newspaper account, he almost caught the rascals, too, but they got away. Would have been a dandy fight. Trainis was armed with a beer bottle.

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