And yet, Madame la Baronne was a well-beaten 12th, Mwinga Mwanjala did finish a distant fifth, and Lucy Harris would probably have trouble making a good boys' high school team. In other words, there is a difference, and the difference should not be ignored. Two women scientists who have done research in women's sports say that most sports are designed by men for men—and that can be bad for women. In high jumping, for example, a favorite style among males is the Fosbury Flop, in which the jumper twists his body and sails over the bar backward, head and shoulders leading the way. Dr. Dorothy V. Harris of Penn State and Barbara Drinkwater of the University of California say this style is no good for women. They say that women have more estrogen, which produces a greater concentration of fat in the thighs and hips. Men have more androgen, which affects bone development and is responsible for the proportionately wider shoulders in men. Because women generally are wider in the pelvic area and men in the shoulder area, their centers of gravity are different. A man executing the Fosbury Flop gets the area of his body with the most weight over the bar first. A woman trying the same technique is handicapped. The low-center-of-gravity theory also affects women basketball players, according to Gloria Soluk, basketball coach at Wayne State in Detroit. "Men can hang in the air, women can't," declares Mrs. Soluk.
Well, it's a theory, anyway.
AIS OKKI NOOSE
In his best-selling book, The Great Railway Bazaar, a description of his travels through Asia, Paul Theroux describes a conversation with a Russian dining-car waiter named Viktor. Viktor, a hockey fan, kept pressing Theroux for information about Canadian and U.S. hockey teams, among them (according to Therouxian orthography) the Bostabroons, Doront Mupplekhleef, Mondroolkanadeens and Cheegago Blekaks.
STRINGING THEM ALONG
At the conclusion of basketball practice one night last week, Canton (N.Y.) High School Coach Jerry Hourihan told his players to shoot their customary 25 free throws and then left the gym. When he returned 30 minutes later, Hourihan found his star guard, 6'1" senior Hal Cohen, a 35-point scorer who makes 83% of his foul tries in games, still at the line. "He's got a string going, Coach," said one of Cohen's teammates.
Indeed he did. Cohen had made 167 shots in a row and the gym was beginning to fill with spectators, most of them athletes coming from other practices. While the onlookers oohed, aahed and cheered, Cohen kept shooting—past 200, past 250. When he reached 300, a girl swimmer who was acting as his retriever had to leave to catch her bus. Her place was taken by a player who had been 0 for 9 in Canton's previous game. "I don't want him," kidded Cohen, but kept on shooting.
When he reached 400, Hourihan began to fear that all the free throwing might affect Cohen's performance in Canton's next game, two nights later. He wondered if blisters were beginning to develop. "No," said Cohen, and kept on shooting. When he reached 500, Hourihan asked if he was getting tired. "No," said Cohen, and made his next 75 shots without hitting the rim.
Finally, an hour and a half after he had begun, Cohen put up a shot that glanced off the front of the rim, hopped past the hoop and dropped off. According to the
Guinness Book of Records, the largest number of consecutive successful free throws by a professional is 499, by Bunny Levitt. The highest total by an amateur was 200. Cohen finished with 598.
BEHIND YOU ALL THE WAY, JOHN
Football coaches try not to have rabbit ears, but all coaches hear the crowd when, in a fourth and short-yardage situation, it hollers, "Go for it! Go for it!" Johnny Majors, University of Pittsburgh head coach, claims that during one game he heard a fan shout, "Go for it! Go for it!" and then add, "But you better make it, you S.O.B."