Kenya, which is slightly smaller than Texas in area, has a population of more than 13 million, but of the 25 or so Kenyans now on track scholarships in the U.S., 17 are from Rift Valley. Kenya has more than 40 tribal groups, but runners from just two of these tribes—including such heroes as Kipchoge Keino and Ben Jipcho—have accounted for all 45 track medals that Kenya has won in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Furthermore, outstanding runners from neighboring Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda come from tribes that are closely related to these two.
HOMAGE TO GOTHAM
An approving comment on New York comes from our Kansas City correspondent Ted O'Leary, who says, "Out here in the hinterlands New York has been getting a bad press. We are led to believe that its people are either bums who live off the public trough or the pampered rich. But now we hear about the Brooklyn College football team, and our attitude changes. We read that Vince Gargano, the head coach, had his salary reduced from $3,200 to nothing because of the city's budget crisis, and that his players buy their own shoes and practice in their old high school jerseys. We note that the team's budget this season was $8,500, a sum that wouldn't pay the recruiting phone bill at a lot of big colleges. Gargano said that the school got its players the best helmets money could buy, but had to scrimp on other things, such as buying meals for the team on game days. Yet Brooklyn got through its season (six wins, one defeat) and was invited to play in the Coco Bowl in San Juan against the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico ( Brooklyn won 50-12). To accustom themselves to San Juan's tropical heat, the players worked out in the furnace room at Roosevelt Hall on the Brooklyn campus.
" 'There is a nice spirit,' said Dr. Charles Tobey, the school's athletic director. 'Maybe that's the way athletics should be.'
"Maybe so," our correspondent concludes, "and maybe such football hotbeds as Norman, Okla.; Columbus, Ohio; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; South Bend, Ind. and Lincoln, Neb. could learn something positive about their favorite sport from much-maligned New York."
HEY, WHAT'S HAPPENING?
Here is a report from Golf and Football Writer Dan Jenkins' Department of Tracking Down Spicy Rumors at the Close of the Year.
Rumor: the NFL is sure to go to a 16-game regular season in 1976. Some players are in favor of it. By adding to the season's games they would lose two of those hated exhibitions and make more money.
Our spies say: Not likely very soon, and certainly not in 1976.
Rumor: the Masters will eliminate the 18-hole playoff on Monday in case of a tie, and go to "sudden death" on Sunday, starting on hole No. 1. Why? A growing feeling that playoffs are anticlimactic—and that the Monday TV audience is deplorably small.