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The four plays filmed with Plimpton at quarterback had no completed passes (no jerks after all, those Lions) but did include a quarterback keeper on which George was crushed by Defensive End Jim Mitchell, who drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Afterward, in the clubhouse, a battered Plimpton was asked how he felt about his old Lion friends almost sabotaging the show. "There were moments when I wished they had," he said. "They threw defense at me I never saw before."
"I just wanted to let him know he was playing football," Mitchell said.
IF THE CLEAT FITS
Every Saturday and Sunday morning a New Yorker named Dick Curtis ships his wife to the country and spends his weekend in town crashing about in Central Park playing touch football. Last year Curtis discovered that one of his alleged football companions wasn't playing the game; instead, he was using it as an excuse to get out of the house to meet a lady friend. With this as a springboard, Curtis and a couple of writing friends produced a paperback novel called The Touch Team, which has to do with six touch-football players who leave their wives each Sunday morning and, after a brief meeting in Central Park to get their stories straight, wander off to theoretically greener pastures.
Copies of the book have since appeared, and attendance at the real weekend games has risen sharply. Most of the new spectators, it turns out, are wives.
THE TOMBOY SYNDROME
The psychologists keep analyzing sport, and sport keeps taking a beating. Writing in Psychology Today, Marie Hart says, "The woman who wishes to participate in sport and remain 'womanly' faces great stress. By choosing sport she usually places herself outside the social mainstream. But if woman is to be more than mother...we must reward her for sports achievement instead of stigmatizing her for it. A female athlete meets more oppression than most other women in the American way of life. Sport is male territory; therefore participation of female intruders is a peripheral, non-central aspect of sport."
Charging bravely ahead, Miss Hart declares that, paradoxically, this antiathletic stigma is primarily a white phenomenon. A black woman can be strong and competent in sport and still not be denied her femininity. Indeed, she can gain added admiration and respect from both females and males. A white woman athlete, on the other hand, has to overcome deep-seated prejudice.
Even if a woman is able to compete vigorously without losing feminine status, Miss Hart warns that she should be aware of the dangers of taking drugs to enhance athletic performance. Male athletes have been warned repeatedly about the side effects of anabolic steroids but, she says, "Little has been published about the negative effects of male steroids on women. They are known to increase muscle size, to change fat distribution and also to produce secondary male characteristics such as increased face and body hair and deeper voices."
Girls, in other words, should be girls.