- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
A BUNCH OF BUNS
Are the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers so many hamburgers? Yes, siree, judging by the promotion of the 10 Ponderosa Steak Houses in Western Florida. Every time the Bucs lose, the chain gives away a Buc Burger, fries and a Coke to any kid 12 or under accompanied by an adult who makes a purchase.
Ponderosa's Mike Dixon started dishing out the freebies Sept. 29, and he is absolutely delighted. "I got the idea from the Yankees in New York and the giveaway of French fries with a purchase at Burger King when the Yankees win," Dixon says. "Since the Bucs seemed unlikely to win many this season—though we sure hope they do—we just turned it around. We even put our chef at one store in a Buc helmet one day of the week."
Is the promotion paying off? "I'll say," enthuses Dixon. "We figure we have given away 8,000 burgers so far, but the promotion, in this time of traditional decline with the tourists not here, has produced a definite increase in sales, because of buying by parents of kids who want a free Buc Burger."
Ah, those Russians. They have the strongest man in the world, superheavyweight lifter Vasily Alexeyev, and now they are putting the knock on those who develop muscles strictly for show. The newspaper Sovetski Sport has condemned the network of body-culture clubs that flourishes despite official disapproval. "It does not befit a man to parade in front of the public flexing his muscles," pronounced Sovetski Sport, flexing its editorial muscles. "Body-builders emerge from the basements. They don't walk. They carry their muscled torsos proudly—self-conceited, self-important, looking like roosters on a promenade."
Eight years ago the paper launched its first attack on "the Trojan horse of culturism," and in 1973 the Soviet Sports Ministry declared private body-building clubs alien to the Soviet concept of sport. Still, the clubs, bearing such names as Muromets (after a legendary Russian strong man), Narcissus and Hercules, flourish.
The current attack came about after Vladimir Burilov, nicknamed "Unique," a member of the Muromets club in Moscow, killed a drunk who had wandered into a room frequented by Muromet members by first pressing a 90-kilogram barbell against his throat and then battering him with a 30-kilogram dumbbell. Apparently the drunk had interrupted Burilov's nap. Earlier, Burilov had attacked his twin brother with a hammer in an argument over who should wash the dinner dishes, and his grandmother complained that "ever since taking up body-building six years ago, all he has done is to stand in front of the mirror all day and flex his muscles. It is disgusting to look at him." A court pronounced Burilov insane, and he is now in a psychiatric institution.
This incident prompted Sovetski Sport to deduce that body-building "stupefies boys no less than does alcohol.... There are very many unbalanced persons among them and almost everyone seems to adore himself." What's more, bodybuilders keep pictures of their American counterparts, who are reported to "talk about homosexuality quite freely, as if it is something quite natural."
To remedy the situation, Sovetski Sport vigorously recommends that "athletic gymnastics," which promote "muscle strength combined with agility, endurance and swiftness, the ingredients of almost all dynamic sports," be taken up instead. But, the paper admits, there is a shortage of both gyms and coaches, and as a defiant Vladimir Shubov, manager of the Narcissus club told the paper, "I'm afraid that because of your articles our studio will be closed down. But you can't help reckoning with us. Power is with us. I have only to appear on a beach, and that will be enough to form another studio."