'TIS THE SEASON TO BE WARY
It is snow-shoveling time in parts of our land, and would-be shovelers would do well to pay heed to the words of Paul Lessack, director of cardiac prevention and rehabilitation at Rutgers Medical School. Lessack, who says only 4% of middle-aged men and women are physically fit, declares that people who are over 40, or out of shape or not usually physically active, should not shovel snow. Even those up to the job should warm up first by jogging in place or doing a few calisthenics before picking up the shovel. That will get the heart muscles pumping blood in preparation for the exertion of work. The heart area should be protected with warm clothes, since cold weather constricts the arteries at a time when the shoveler's body most needs a full and increased supply of blood.
IFS, BUTS AND MAYBES
No sooner had the Mexicans knocked the U.S. out of 1976 Davis Cup competition—when Raul Ramirez, playing before a home crowd in Mexico City, won two singles matches and teamed with Marcelo Lara to take the doubles—than the second-guessing began. After all, it was the second straight time that Mexico had eliminated the U.S., and Colombia had done it a year earlier. This time it was especially embarrassing because we had a new Davis Cup captain, Tony Trabert, who had persuaded Jimmy Connors to join the team.
But Mexico won anyway, and the second-guessing went this way. We would have won...
?If Arthur Ashe, currently No. 1 in the world, had played singles. (But Ashe is far from No. 1 on clay, which these matches were played on.)
?If Connors had played doubles as well as singles. (But Dick Stockton and Erik van Dillen, who did play doubles, have been a team since they were 12 years old, and they looked very sharp in practice.)
?If Stan Smith and Bob Lutz had played doubles. (But Smith has arm trouble and would have been a chancy selection at best.)
The plain fact is that the Mexicans, and particularly Ramirez, were inspired. On this occasion, at least, they had the better team.
FORCE VS. FINESSE