George Frenn, another former Olympian noted for his blunt opinions, says, "I heard that the guy named to coach the Olympic hammer throwers was in Saudi Arabia coaching until the middle of June. That's ridiculous."
Frenn says he wrote to Dr. Leroy Walker, head U.S. Olympic track coach, recommending that Bob Backus, another former star, be asked to help work with the hammer men but was turned down.
Connolly suggests that the five most promising U.S. hammer throwers be taken on a tour of Germany and the Soviet Union to learn up-to-date techniques and modern training methods, but that is a long-range program, designed to pay off in the future. Right now, one of the surest bets at Montreal is that the U.S. won't be anywhere around when they hand out medals in the hammer.
Jokes about the arrival of the metric system ("Baseball is a game of centimeters") are getting stale, and so is the practice of painting on outfield fences the precise distance in meters the fence is from home plate. No one paints "340 feet 11� inches" on a fence, so why "103.63 meters" instead of "104"?
In motor sports, however, changing the figures from the English to the metric system may have a practical—which is to say, financial—value. "They've been trying to reduce the length of races because of the cost," explains Corky Connors, promoter of the Beltsville, Md. Speedway. "That's where the metric system can help. Take the Daytona 500. If they make that 500 kilometers instead of 500 miles, they'd have the same name—Daytona 500—and the excitement the name creates. But they'd also have a race that would be about half the distance, and that would cut costs in half."
During the U.S. Open, while the demanding Atlanta Athletic Club course was being roundly criticized by some of the pro golfers and just as strongly defended by local people, a USGA official stood at the far left side of the 18th green early Sunday morning, pondering the placement of the pin for the last day's play. As he did, a couple of backwoods types who had been raking a bunker joined him on the putting surface.
"Put it in the lake," one of them advised.
"Make 'em work for it," said t'other.