The 1976 Guinness Book of World Records credited the Mighty Atom with having the world's "strongest bite," because he could chomp wrought-iron nails in half. "Bring your own nails," he would tell skeptics. Around 1962, Greenstein fractured three molars after some wise guy slipped him a tempered spike, and shortly afterward the Mighty Atom showed up at the offices of Strength and Health in York, Pa., where he announced, "I think I'll bite the last nail for you people." The nail is now on exhibit at the York Hall of Fame.
An early student of the martial arts (he studied jujitsu in Japan in 1912), the Mighty Atom was not one to back down in an argument. Years ago in Texas, an assailant shot Greenstein between the eyes with a revolver. The bullet flattened itself on bone above his right eye and Greenstein, who suffered only a deep wound, carried the slug as a watch fob.
As biographer Spielman says, "The Mighty Atom was a little man with a giant spirit."
It has been said that football players should have a sense of the visceral, but some people in Florida are taking it a bit far. Chris Duffy, a center at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale, gained 20 pounds before the season by blending the brain of a cow, the pancreas of a pig, the liver of a Black Angus, the spleen of a sow and occasionally a cow's heart or a pig's kidney with apple juice, and then drinking the concoction.
"I had to hold my nose to get it down," says Duffy, who has suspended the diet temporarily. "There's really no way to describe the taste. I used to drink it maybe four, maybe five times a day, and then eat one big meal at night." No one dared ask Duffy what he ate at the big meal.
Then there is Larry Canaday, coach at Eau Gallie High. School officials have ordered him to stop biting off the heads of frogs during pregame huddles. "Our kids loved it," Canaday says. "They would say, 'Look how wild the coach is, let's get wild, too.' Last year we were winners, 9-1, and people loved it. But now we are losing, 1-3, and certain intellects will use this as an excuse to pick on football."
The National Hockey League's waiver draft, designed to help have-not teams by stripping talent-rich teams, flopped last week. When the draft was approved last June, Clarence Campbell, the retiring NHL president, said, "What we want is to move bodies around." But only three bodies moved last week: Goalie Wayne Thomas from Toronto to New York and penalty killer Dave Forbes from Boston to Washington, for $12,500 each, and Center Paul Woods from Nova Scotia, a Montreal farm, to Detroit for $50,000.
Colorado, which can use players, passed. So did Cleveland. "We offered some very good hockey players," says Sam Pollock of Montreal. "I'm surprised that only one of them was taken. People accuse me of having all the best players, so I was willing to spread some out—and still there were no takers."